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All is Good!

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…

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Treasures: A Nature Basket

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…

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Birding: American Kestrel

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…

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Window: A Room with a View

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

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Happy Holidays!

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…

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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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San Francisco East Bay: 10 Great Paved Trails for Stroller Walks, Runs and Kid Bike Rides

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…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

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…

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Solar Cooking Science: Melting Marshmallows

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…

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Organic Strawberry U-Pick: Swanton Berry Farm, Davenport

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……

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Geology for Kids: Crystal Mining Excavation Kit

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. …

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Fun with Magnets: Geomag

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…

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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…

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Fun! Great American Backyard Campout

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,…