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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…

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Outdoor Play: Lightsaber Battle

My son asked for one thing from Santa this year… a lightsaber.  A blue lightsaber, to be exact, so he could be just like Luke Skywalker.  Santa must’ve thought two lightsabers might be more fun, as, in addition to the blue lightsaber, he also brought a red one (like the one Darth Vader uses).  Doesn’t…

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Burning holiday energy…

Oh, my, is my five-year-old excited about Christmas tomorrow.  He can’t sit still, and he’s been acting super whacky.  It’s been raining and cold here in the Bay Area for days, and our outdoor adventures have been limited this past week because I’ve been sick (I still have a horrible cough).  Between his cabin fever…

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Building Forts! Adventure Playground, Berkeley

The Adventure Playground in Berkeley… the only place I know in the San Francisco Bay Area where kids are encouraged to get creative with saws, hammers & nails, and paints to build forts.  And play on their creations!  Photos from our school field trip to the playground yesterday… For more information, check out this post…

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Too hot…

We met friends this afternoon for playtime at Alamo Creek Park in Dublin, but it was way too hot to play (over 100F).  My son started off enthusiastically, but quickly wilted.  The ducks had the right idea. But we won’t complain.  It’s supposed to cool down into the 70’s by Thursday.  How’d we manage the…

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Scrambling: Fun on the Rocks

I wish more city parks had rock structures like these for kids to scramble on.  The following photos were taken earlier this week at Emerald Glen Park in Dublin, California.  The boulders challenge kids in a way the regular play structures don’t.  In order to climb these rocks, children have to use their minds to…

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Go Climb a Tree

We’re lucky to have a couple parks nearby that have great trees for climbing.  The kids are drawn as much to playing on these trees as to the man-made play structures in the parks.  This one is in Kolb Park in Dublin.  Our other favorite climbing tree is in Shannon Park, also in Dublin. Do…

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Climbing the Wall…

An awesome way to burn some kid energy is to head out for some  rock climbing… park style. For a list of our favorite parks in the San Francisco East Bay with fun rock wall features, see my post… Outdoor Climbing Walls. Photos taken at Val Vista Park, Pleasanton.

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Scooters at the Skate Park (Val Vista, Pleasanton)

Simple park play… ride scooters at the skate park! We like to go when the park is quiet, when the big kid skateboarders aren’t there.  And safety always comes first.. notice my son has on a helmet and both elbow and knee pads. Photos from our outing yesterday to Val Vista Community Park in Pleasanton,…

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Simple Outdoor Play: Go to the Park

Need a bit of healthy, energy-expending outdoor time for your child(ren), but not sure what to do? Keep it simple. Go to the park. Any park. Just let them run around. Bring a bike or a scooter, and let them ride. Bring some balls, and kick them around. Climb on the play structures. Swing on…

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Outdoor Climbing Walls

Climbing has become a new passion for my son in recent weeks. I signed him up for some classes at a local climbing gym this month, and, with only three lessons so far, I’m surprised at how much his climbing has improved. He would be ecstatic if we could go to the gym every day,…

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Rock Climbing: At the Park

When we feel the need for a touch of Yosemite, but can’t get away for the weekend, we head, believe it or not, to our local park.  Emerald Glen Park in Dublin has a great faux granite rock climbing area.  Check out this picture.  Doesn’t it look like the Sierras? Kids seem to especially enjoy…