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Bliss… the BMX Park

When given the option of what to do, 9 times out of 10, my 5-year-old son will ask to go to the local BMX course to ride his bike.  Strangely, I just realized I haven’t written about this yet!!  We’ve been taking him to ride on the course since he was three years old.  At…

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Backyard Wildlife: Mourning Doves

For at least eight summers now, we’ve had a pair mourning dove  visiting our backyard.  Every year, they have a child.  Last year, my son and I were able to watch the parents teach the baby to fly.  So cute!  They showed up just a week ago with their child from this summer.  I’m sad…

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Butterflies, California Academy of Sciences

On Monday, my son and I enjoyed a fun visit to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.  It was our last outing before his first day of school.  I think the highlight of this visit was the baby ostriches!  So many, and so cute!!   My son also wanted to go into the Earthquake…

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Kindergarten…

Today was the first day of kindergarten.  A major life event for my boy…. starting school.  Sadness for me.  Five years we’ve spent together, hardly ever being apart. I can’t think of a better way to start the day than running off some energy in the school playground. But then it was time for the…

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Kids ‘n Carousels

What is it with kids and carousels?  I’ve given up trying to figure out what children love about them.  I only know they do. Does your child have a favorite?  Do you have a favorite memory of one from childhood?  Please share! *** Links to carousels in the San Francisco Bay Area Creativity Carousel, San…

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Outdoor Art: Marble Painting

My five-year-old isn’t much of a craft guy, but he does love to play and experiment with paint.  He’s usually up for art if it’s more process-oriented than result-oriented.  A favorite is painting with marbles. I like to do this activity outside, as the the marble, covered with paint, tends to jump out of the…

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Climbing the DNA Structure, Lawrence Hall of Science

No visit to the Lawrence Hall of Science  in Berkeley is complete without reserving some time to climb on the DNA sculpture out front.  We love museums, but after all that indoor time, it’s fun for kids to get outside and move their bodies.  This one is a favorite! Have you been to the Tony…

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Make Paper Airplanes!

I found a fun website that offers a bunch of different paper airplane designs available for free download (www.funpaperairplanes.com).   The site offers fifteen different designs, rated by difficulty level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, novelty).  Each design provides a template (ready for folding, and cutting, if necessary) and directions.  We decided to try out the “Condor”, a…

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Wow! Adventure Playground, Berkeley

Bored of the usual playground facilities?  Then check this one out! The Adventure Playground in Berkeley is a special place, unlike any other park we’ve experienced.  The structures are all built by children (with parental and staff supervision), using provided tools (hammers, nails, saws, and paint).  This place encourages serious creativity!  It’s best for kids…

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Hike and Seek! National Wildlife Federation

I just came across these great fundraising events being offered through the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).  They are not offering an event here in California, but I wanted to let the rest of you know about it, just in case there’s one located near you! Hike and Seek:  This is a 1-2 mile hike and…

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John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez

I’ve always loved this quote, and it’s one I experience each and every time I head out into nature.  For anyone who knows me, it should come as no surprise that John Muir, one of the greatest conservationists in history, is one of my heroes.  What is surprising, however, is that I’ve never visited the…

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Update… Backyard Squirrel

It’s been a few months since I last posted about the squirrel who visits our backyard.  He has not been successful at raiding the bird feeders since I last wrote, but he’s still thinking about it! Here’s my post from May … Backyard Wildlife… The Squirrel

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Tunnel Play, Blake Garden, Kensington

We visited the Blake Garden in Kensington (near Berkeley) this week with a group of friends.  This garden is not only lovely for adults, but is kid-heaven!  The children had a blast playing in this tunnel! My next post will be about the “Create with Nature Zone” at these gardens…  awesome!

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Swim in a Lake!

The weather is heating up here in the San Francisco East Bay.  Take a break from the local swimming pool, and cool off in a nearby lake instead. Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore has two swimming areas, East Beach and West Beach.  Swimming is free, but there is a $6.00/vehicle park entry fee. Is…

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Simple Outdoor Play: Take an Indoor Toy Outside

My son has a new favorite toy… an adorable stuffed animal he has named Foxy. Not only has my son slept with this plush every night since receiving it last week (a first for my child… he’s never shown interest in sleeping with a stuffed animal before), but the little guy has been traveling with…