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

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

Silent Saturday: Trail Through Time, Rock City, Mount Diablo

Photos from a hike in Mount Diablo State Park earlier this week with my Nature Time playgroup. We hiked a section of the Trail Through Time, from the Rock City parking lot to (and up) Sentinel Rock, allowing the kids to climb and play on and in the limestone rock structures and caves as much as they wanted.  Kid-heaven!! For more information about Mount Diablo … Continue reading Silent Saturday: Trail Through Time, Rock City, Mount Diablo

Going on a Bug Hunt

While my husband was warming up for his bike race on Saturday (see post here… Cyclo-Cross, Monterey Style), my son recommended we follow one of the nearby trails and go bug hunting.  Excellent idea!  We keep exploration tools (bug viewer, magnifying glass) with us at all times, so we’re ready to go whenever inspiration strikes. Photos taken on Saturday, September 22nd, on the frisbee golf … Continue reading Going on a Bug Hunt

Create With Nature Zone, Blake Garden, Kensington

Take a child out into nature, and what are they naturally drawn to play with?  It’s pretty universal… sticks and rocks.  So this is the perfect playground for a child… an area filled with sticks and rocks, inviting the child to stack, build, and create.  Imaginations went wild this day.  In additional to the simple joys of stacking and weaving, a few of the items … Continue reading Create With Nature Zone, Blake Garden, Kensington

Create-With-Nature Pathway

While visiting Redwood Regional Park in Oakland yesterday morning, I made a fun discovery. We were meeting friends for some nature playtime, and they were running a half hour late.  While waiting, my son was having fun riding his bike up and down the paved path while I was strolling along behind him, enjoying this lovely park. That’s when I noticed this sign at the … Continue reading Create-With-Nature Pathway

Kids ‘n Cameras: Five Tips for Introducing Children to Photography

Just in the past few months, my son has become interested in cameras and photography.  Both my husband and I are into photography, so he sees us using our cameras a lot.  He loves to sit on my lap and watch me while I’m reviewing photos on our computer.  He adores the images of the animals, flowers, family, and friends, I capture with my camera.  … Continue reading Kids ‘n Cameras: Five Tips for Introducing Children to Photography

My Childhood Play… My Love of Nature

This is the backyard of my childhood home.  These are the places I played as a child, building forts, climbing trees, scaling mountains, running from dinosaurs, becoming a world explorer, digging like an archaeologist, wading in the creek, catching crawdads, watching frogs lay eggs, and observing the development of pollywogs.  This was the play of a child falling in love with nature. Are you a … Continue reading My Childhood Play… My Love of Nature

Sticky post

First Time Camping with Kids? 5 Tips!

It’s that time of year when parents with young children are beginning to plan that very first camp trip with their young child.  Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve read a ton of articles about camping with kids.  What can possible be added to the discussion?  I have a few extra tips for that very first overnight camp trip specific to camping with … Continue reading First Time Camping with Kids? 5 Tips!

Hiking and Playing, Coyote Hills, Fremont

If you read my post yesterday, you know we attended the Nectar Garden Fun Day at Coyote Hills Regional Park on Monday.  I invited friends from my Nature Time! playgroup to attend with us, and the kids had a great time running around and playing after they were done with the butterfly activities.  A favorite for kid-play is the large grass field in front of … Continue reading Hiking and Playing, Coyote Hills, Fremont

Nature Time! Hike, Dublin Hills

We kicked off our Memorial Day weekend with a great hike with friends from our Nature Time! playgroup.  The kids had fun on the trail, playing in the tall grass, and stopping to check out insects (mostly stink bugs).  The weather  was breezy and cool, but the children didn’t seem to notice.  It makes me so happy to see a pack of kids running joyfully … Continue reading Nature Time! Hike, Dublin Hills

“Awesome”… “Wow!”…

Quotes from my son while viewing the solar eclipse last evening at the Lawrence Hall of Science in the Berkeley hills… I figure he’ll be seventeen for the next solar eclipse… have to experience these moments while we can!! Related articles 40 Awesome Photos Of The Solar Eclipse (buzzfeed.com) Trans-Pacific ‘ring of fire’ eclipse wows sky-gazers – AsiaOne (asiaone.com) ‘Ring of Fire’ Eclipse Wows (newser.com) Continue reading “Awesome”… “Wow!”…

Fossils, Flowers, and Fun! Dublin Hills

I thought we’d head to a museum today, but my son asked if we could go hiking instead.  Great!  When I asked him where he wanted to go hiking, he said, “Dublin Hills!”  I liked that answer, as the official trail head (Donlon Point Staging Area) is only a few miles from our home.  Easy! For those of you who may not know, I have … Continue reading Fossils, Flowers, and Fun! Dublin Hills

Spring Nature Activities!

I’m always on the lookout for fun things to do with my son. Today I came across the Spring 2012 Nature Rocks Spring Activity Guide, which is filled with tons of fun nature activities. Coincidentally, it includes a couple activities I recently recommended (take favorite toys outside and do messy art activities outside), but also includes the following (and much more): Ideas for exploring nature … Continue reading Spring Nature Activities!

Nature Play, Roberts Regional Park, Oakland

One of our favorite parks for play is Roberts Regional Park in the Oakland Hills.  This park, nestled in the redwoods, has something for everyone.  First, if you have a child, the play structure here is among the best in the Bay Area (and it’s barrier free / wheelchair accessible).  But other than that, the park has a variety of hiking trails, a baseball field, … Continue reading Nature Play, Roberts Regional Park, Oakland

Look for Lizards

As the weather has been warming up, we’ve been seeing more and more lizards on our walks.  I believe these little guys (they are about 3-5 inches long) are Western Fence Lizards.  We have them all over the place here in the East Bay. Maybe your child(ren) would like to go on a walk to search for lizards?  We usually find them soaking up the … Continue reading Look for Lizards

Family Hike, Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve, Oakland

After several days stuck home due to sickness, my husband, son, and I headed out today for a short hike through the Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve in the Oakland Hills.  The 1.7 mile Huckleberry Path seemed about the right distance, and I’ve heard from many sources that it’s a great hike to do with a kid.  Another bonus?  The trail is also mostly in the … Continue reading Family Hike, Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve, Oakland

Urbia Adventures: Exploring Nature in San Francisco

A friend recently told me about some fun-looking educational treasure hunting booklets created and sold through the Urbia Adventure League. These booklets were created based upon the concept of letterboxing (which I wrote about last week), but add so much more. Each booklet has at least ten pages packed full of information and activities designed to provide the child (family or class) with a two-hour … Continue reading Urbia Adventures: Exploring Nature in San Francisco

Nature Walk, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland

My favorite spot in the San Francisco East Bay to take kids for a nature walk is Redwood Regional Park, but, for a variety of reasons, we haven’t visited the park for a few months.   We had a break in the rain late this week, so we headed to the park for a walk and some playtime with friends.  As has been happening lately, … Continue reading Nature Walk, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland

Letterboxing: The Search for the Gingerbread Man

I’m happy to report that our first letterboxing experience was (mostly) a success.  For our first outing, I wanted to do a search that was, 1) relatively easy, and 2) close to home.  After searching on letterboxing.org for boxes hidden in Dublin, California, I was glad to find there was a box hidden in Dublin Heritage Park, the park nearest to our home.  Plus I … Continue reading Letterboxing: The Search for the Gingerbread Man

Letterboxing: Getting Ready for the Hunt

Letterboxing has been around forever (well, at least, a few hundred years), but I just learned about it within the past year.  Though I’ve been interested in trying it out with my son, it somehow seemed a bit overwhelming just to get started.  But now I’m ready to begin.  If you’re new to letterboxing, like I am, I’m going to provide you with the basic … Continue reading Letterboxing: Getting Ready for the Hunt