Las Trampas: Bollinger Creek Loop Trail

Looking for a great trail to hike with young kids in San Ramon?  At under two miles, with a variety of scenery, this is one of my favorites spots in the region for a quick escape into nature! Photos taken February 19th, 2014 *** Las Trampas Regional Wilderness, San Ramon, California I’ve written about this one before… Hike: Bollinger Creerk Trail, Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Continue reading Las Trampas: Bollinger Creek Loop Trail

Mamatography: Play in the Redwoods

Photos taken January 4th, 2014 Mather Redwood Grove, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley *** This post is part of the Mamatography 2014 Project with Diary of a First Child and Momma Jorje. We are taking (at least) a photo a day, a collage or a picture each week to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start … Continue reading Mamatography: Play in the Redwoods

Chaparral Loop Trail: Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

The Chaparral Loop Trail at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch is a great trail to hike with kids.  First, the trail starts at the Greathouse Visitor Center, which, alone would be a great destination for a family with kids.  The visitor center is located within the mountain!  After exploring the visitor center for a bit, head out onto the trail.  The trail is … Continue reading Chaparral Loop Trail: Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

Silent Saturday: Nature Journaling

“The most important thing we can teach our children is to observe well.” -Ernst Mayer, Evolutionary Biologist Learning about animal tracks and signs, and journaling their observations. *** An awesome, free, naturalist-led class! Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley *** Interested in learning more about nature journaling?  I highly recommend the book, Keeping a Nature Journal:  Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You, … Continue reading Silent Saturday: Nature Journaling

Climb on a Giant Tree! San Mateo Memorial Park

How often do kids get to climb on a really, really large tree? You’ll find the “largest tree” on the Sequoia Trail (at less than a mile long, the trail is perfect for young kids).  The trailhead is in the Tan Oak Picnic Area.  See trail description and hiking map here.. Sequoia Trail.  Note that the “largest tree” is the largest in the park, not … Continue reading Climb on a Giant Tree! San Mateo Memorial Park

Play! Blake Garden

Blake Garden in Kensington may be the best botanic garden in the Bay Area for nature play.  A favorite feature for my son is the Create-with-Nature Zone, which is stocked with sticks, rocks, flowers, and other nature items for kids to play and build with.  The second best feature here is the bamboo tunnel sculpture.  Next, fun at any garden or nature area… running around … Continue reading Play! Blake Garden

Photography for Kids: Fun with an iPhone

I enjoyed a fun walk around our neighborhood on Monday with my son, looking for signs of spring.  My son loves to take photos, but he’s become frustrated with the quality of the images he takes on the kid camera we gave him for his birthday last year.  He wants to be able to take photos close-up, and his camera simply doesn’t zoom in well.  … Continue reading Photography for Kids: Fun with an iPhone

The Calming Effect of Nature on Children

One of the great things about playing in nature is that bouts of exertion and excitement are often interspersed with quiet, contemplative time.  I don’t have to recommend these quiet moments… my five-year-old sits down and calms himself entirely on his own whenever he’s inspired by the beauty around him. I often wonder what he’s thinking, but I wouldn’t dare interrupt the magic of the … Continue reading The Calming Effect of Nature on Children

Explore the Tide Pools, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

When the tide is low, head out to the rocky, north end of Natural Bridges State Beach to explore the tide pools.  Look for sea stars, hermit crabs, sea anemones, sea urchins, and more.  So fun! For more information about Natural Bridges State Beach, visit the California State Parks website… http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=541 If you’re here between mid-October and mid-February, be sure to visit the Monarch Preserve, … Continue reading Explore the Tide Pools, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz