We’re still here, getting out and about as much as we always have. All is good! I’ve simply been preoccupied lately with getting my piano studio up and running and looking for a new house. Here are a few photos of the cool things we saw on our walk today near our home in the Dublin hills. Tomorrow I’ll post more California Poppy photos! Photos … Continue reading All is Good!
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
I’ve been spending a lot of time at home lately with my son, who’s now sick with his third cold (flu?) in four weeks. Today we had to get out for some fresh air. At around lunchtime, we heard our local Great Horned Owl hoo-hooing. I know it isn’t a typical night-time owl walk, but we headed out in search of the owl anyways. We … Continue reading Birding: American Kestrel
My son has been home sick for several days. We’ve been looking out the window a lot. Here’s what we’ve been seeing (all photos taken from inside our home, through our back window)… Photos taken January 13th and 14th, 2014 WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Window Continue reading Window: A Room with a View
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
As I enter 2014, I feel the need to answer the question, “Why do I blog?” When I created “A Nature Mom”, my vision was clear. My goal was to inspire other families to get outside and play. I already had created a real-life social Meetup group, Nature Time! The Bay Area Outdoor Playgroup, a parenting club I envisioned would bring families together, playing outside … Continue reading The Importance of Outdoor Time: Why I Blog
Instead of writing about our outdoor activities this month, I’ve been focusing on simply being present to the moment, soaking up the warmth of the season, despite the cold we experienced earlier in the month. If you don’t hear from me much in the next few weeks, simply know I’m out there, enjoying nature and the outdoors with my family and friends. For now, I … Continue reading Happy Holidays!
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…
Playing at the Exploratorium, San Francisco, November 2nd, 2013 *** WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Eerie Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Eerie
Today we attended our favorite festival of the season… the Harvest Festival at Ardenwood Historic Farm. The annual ritual if picking our popping corn for the year is more fun than going to the pumpkin patch! Harvest Festival Ardenwood Historic Farm, Fremont, California October 12th, 2013 Continue reading Ardenwood Historic Farm: Harvest Festival 2013
Fun outing with my Nature Time! playgroup! Redwood Regional Park, Oakland Photos taken October 28th, 2013 Continue reading Nature Time: Redwood Bike Ride
As someone who’s concerned about the environment and the future health of our world, I try to live in a way that limits my impact on our Earth. As a mom, this way of living extends to my family and how I run our household. Plus, as a parent, I want to ensure I’m providing my child with the healthiest environment possible. Questions new parents … Continue reading Greenopedia: A Source for Practical Ideas, Tips and Advice for Sustainable Living
The San Francisco East Bay has an abundance of paved trails, all excellent for stroller walks, runs and bike rides with the kids. Here are ten of my favorites! Nimitz Way, Inspiration Point, Tilden Regional Park: This was a favorite of ours during our stroller-walking days. The trail over rolling hills begins at the Inspiration Point parking lot, on Wildcat Canyon Road (between Orinda and … Continue reading San Francisco East Bay: 10 Great Paved Trails for Stroller Walks, Runs and Kid Bike Rides
Post-Hike Relaxation.. Hike: Mono Pass, Yosemite Continue reading Silent Saturday: Chillin’ at the Campsite
Visiting the Grandparents Photos taken July 7th, 2013 Continue reading Summer Fun: Swimming!
We visited my parents this weekend, who still live in the home where I was raised. Whenever we visit, my son likes to play with my old childhood toys. This one is a classic, the Fisher-Price “Play Family Sesame Street”. I loved this set! This will clearly date me, but this toy was only produced from 1975 to 1979. Watching my 6-year-old play with the … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic
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
My favorite companions? My husband and son! Hint: If you ever want to have Glacier Point in Yosemite all to yourself, visit while it’s raining… *** WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable
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
Gotta love freshly picked organic strawberries!! And it’s all the more fun when we pick the berries ourselves. Strawberry picking at Swanton Berry Farm has become a beloved June tradition for us. Interested in going? The actual picking season (and location) varies slightly each year, so check the Swanton Berry Farm website for current details… U-Pick. This year (2013), the strawberry u-pick is located at … Continue reading Organic Strawberry U-Pick: Swanton Berry Farm, Davenport
I often wonder what he’s thinking… *** WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes *** You may also enjoy: The Calming Effect of Nature on Children Continue reading This Beautiful World Through His Eyes
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
Post-Hike Treat, Yosemite Valley Photos taken May 27th, 2013 Continue reading Silent Saturday: Bliss
We’ve used some fun magnet science kits in the past, but the way my son likes to play with magnets best is through building toys. We have three different kinds… Magna-Tiles, Magformers, and Geomag. I credit my son’s strong understanding of geometric shapes to playing with these magnetic toys. Geomag building kits come with magnetic rods and steel balls that can be combined to build … Continue reading Fun with Magnets: Geomag
Photo taken May 22nd, 2013 Central Park, San Ramon For more parks in the area with water features, see… Ten Fun East Bay Parks with Free Water Play Structures Continue reading It’s That Time! Water Play!
Did you know there’s a volcano right here in the San Francisco East Bay? Yep, Round Top, a volcano so long extinct that it’s now lying on its side, is located in Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve in the Berkeley Hills. On Sunday, I enjoyed a fun Mother’s Day hike around the Round Top Loop Trail with my husband and son. For being such a short … Continue reading Sibley: A Volcano, A Labyrinth, & Gorgeous Views
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
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
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
Photo taken April 13th, 2013 Continue reading Fun! Rope Swing