Freewriting Fun: Take it Outside

Walking and writing… this is our writing focus this week.  We’ve been experiencing beautiful, warm fall weather, an ideal time to head outdoors for some writing. The assignment?  The daily focus may vary, but every day, my son is to take a walk and then complete a 10-20 minute freewrite about the experience. What is freewriting? From Julie Bogart’s The Writer’s Jungle: “Freewriting is the … Continue reading Freewriting Fun: Take it Outside

Treasures: A Nature Basket

My son collects soooo many sticks, rocks, feathers, nuts, and other cool stuff during our outings that his “treasures” have become a bit overwhelming.  In order to provide a space for his favorite discoveries, I gave him a basket.  We call it his “nature basket”, and it’s where the best finds are kept. *** WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge:  Treasure Continue reading Treasures: A Nature Basket

It’s cold in California! Now let’s go play outside…

I’ve noticed a funny thing here in California (at least in the Bay Area).  When the temperature drops below 60F, kids disappear from the playgrounds.  This morning before school, the thermostat was still hovering around the freezing point, yet the kids who arrived early had a blast running around on the playground.  Really, parents, playing outside is healthy in all weather.  If kids in Finland … Continue reading It’s cold in California! Now let’s go play outside…

Instagram: Steinhart Aquarium, San Francisco

I’m beginning to play a bit with Instagram. I’m testing out how the photos embed within a WordPress post. So, this is a test! Hope it works…. *** Here’s a photo I took of my son earlier this week at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco… View this post on Instagram Steinhart Aquarium, San Francisco #kids #SanFrancisco A post shared by Linda Bernardi (@suburban_nature_mom) on … Continue reading Instagram: Steinhart Aquarium, San Francisco

Solar Cooking Science: Melting Marshmallows

We had a bit of fun on Friday afternoon, melting marshmallows to make s’mores, using the Thames & Kosmos Solar Cooking Science kit. After a week of higher than 100 degree Fahrenheit heat, the weather finally cooled down to a high of 80 degrees on Friday…. cool enough for us to head outside for a solar energy experiment. First, we built the solar oven provided … Continue reading Solar Cooking Science: Melting Marshmallows

Organic Olallieberry U-Pick: Swanton Berry Farm, Pescadero

In addition to offering an organic strawberry u-pick, Swanton Berry Farms also grows fields of olallieberries and blackberries.  During our visit to the Pescadero area last week, we incorporated a bit of organic olallieberry picking. Curious what an olallieberry is?  It’s kind of like a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry, but not quite (it’s truly a cross between a loganberry and a youngberry).  … Continue reading Organic Olallieberry U-Pick: Swanton Berry Farm, Pescadero

Our Favorite Camping Treat: Nutella S’mores!

It’s always frustrated me a bit that when making s’mores while out camping, the chocolate just doesn’t melt.  I know how to roast a perfect marshmallow, melted completely in the middle, wonderfully gooey and creamy, with a nice, light brown shell.  But the chocolate has always been an issue.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Chocolate in any form is delicious.  I’m not real picky about … Continue reading Our Favorite Camping Treat: Nutella S’mores!

Curves: Wave Workshop, Bay Area Discovery Museum

Photos from the Wave Workshop at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito.  My son loves this exhibit.  Kids can create boats from the foam geometric shapes, turn on the fan (wind), and find out how their boats perform on the water.  My son will refine and tweak his boat over and over in an attempt to design a boat that will float down the … Continue reading Curves: Wave Workshop, Bay Area Discovery Museum

Geology for Kids: Crystal Mining Excavation Kit

My son recently received the 4M Kidz Labs Crystal Mining science kit for his birthday.  He LOVES these excavation kits (see this post about a similar kit, also made by 4M.. Paleontology Play:  Dinosaur Skeleton Excavation Kit – Velociraptor). My son is super into rocks and minerals these days, so this was a timely gift.  The kit comes with eight different kinds of crystals, hidden … Continue reading Geology for Kids: Crystal Mining Excavation Kit

Connecting Kids With Nature: How Grandparents Can Help

Are you a grandparent who would like to help connect your grandchild(ren) with the natural world?  Check out these great tips from Richard Louv…  Grand Ideas!  21 Great Ways Grandparents and Grandfriends Can Connect Kids to Nature.  What wonderful ways to bond! My dad and my son, then three, gardening together (Tip #9:  Create a Grand Garden)… Continue reading Connecting Kids With Nature: How Grandparents Can Help

Fun! Great American Backyard Campout

The Great American Backyard Campout is coming up on June 22nd, 2013. It’s time to start planning now! What is the Great American Backyard Campout? It’s an event created by the National Wildlife Federation and their “Be Out There” campaign to reconnect kids with nature and the outdoors. On the 4th Saturday of every June, thousands of families will head outdoors for a night of … Continue reading Fun! Great American Backyard Campout

Create-With-Nature Earth Day Celebration: Beach Labyrinth

Photos of the labyrinth created in the sand, from the Create-With-Nature Earth Day Celebration, 2013, at Stinson Beach, California.  Usually, these are made for meditation, but that’s not how my five-year-old used it.  He had so much fun running around and around and around the winding path.  Either way, the design was appropriate for the celebration… I read somewhere that the Hopi considered labyrinths to … Continue reading Create-With-Nature Earth Day Celebration: Beach Labyrinth

Three Classic Backyard Games: Fun For Kids and Adults

It can be tough to find outdoor games that are truly fun for both children and adults.  Here are three of our family favorites….  Croquet, Bocce, and Cornhole.  My brother and his wife always have these games set up when they have parties at their home.  So fun! Croquet I grew up playing Croquet in the backyard of the home I grew up in.  It … Continue reading Three Classic Backyard Games: Fun For Kids and Adults

Observe: Insect Activity

What cool insect, arachnid (spider), or mollusk (snail) activity can you find around your yard? Has your child watched a spider spin a web? How about ants marching along on a mission? What about a snail eating a plant? Give your child the time and space to observe these small creatures in their natural environment… your back yard. Here’s my five-year-old, completely fascinated, watching a … Continue reading Observe: Insect Activity

Rainy Day Fun: Snail Watching

After a night of rain, my son usually rushes outside to see if any snails came out.  He found this one yesterday morning on our front walkway.  He crouched there and watched it for about fifteen minutes, then rushed inside to tell me all the cute things the snail did. Photos taken March 28th, 2013 You may also enjoy this post:  Search for Snails Continue reading Rainy Day Fun: Snail Watching

Thank you! Top 25 Outdoorsy Moms 2013

Thank you to everyone who put in votes for me in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Outdoorsy Moms 2013 contest.  The contest ended today, and I’m in the top twenty-five!  Thank you, thank you, thank you! There were so many wonderful nature-loving mom-bloggers entered in the contest.  Here are my favorites (in no particular order).  I love what all these moms are doing to … Continue reading Thank you! Top 25 Outdoorsy Moms 2013