It's a New Year, so why not resolve to spend more time outdoors as a family? Get some exercise, explore Marin County's many parks and open space preserves, and learn about the natural wonders that can be found all around us. A fantastic and eye-opening way to get out and experience nature in Marin is to take part in one of the naturalist-led family outings offered by Marin County Parks.
The parks department's Nature for Kids outings take place at Marin's many open space areas, and feature a leisurely, kid-paced hike with plenty of opportunities to stop and explore along the way. The hikes are informal and unstructured, and perfect for kids of all ages, although they seem geared for kids ages 3 to 12.
Led by experienced and knowledgeable naturalists like David Herlocker, these hikes allow everyone in the family to get up-close-and-personal with insects, reptiles, spiders, birds, and other flora and fauna that call Marin home. The programs are really fascinating and will make you look at our open spaces in a completely different way.
It's Thanksgiving week, and since most Marin County schools give kids the entire week off, you'll probably be looking for ways to keep them occupied before and after Turkey Day. Here are our top 10 activities for families for Thanksgiving break:
Do you and your kids love a great story? Come to Marin Waldorf School on Tuesday afternoons for their new Storytelling Series!
Stories are presented by Marin Waldorf's preschool and kindergarten faculty, and take place in the school's warm and welcoming classrooms. Stories are appropriate for children ages 3 to 6. Best of all, this program is open to the public and free of charge!
Storytelling Series programs take place from 3:30 to 4 pm on the following Tuesdays: November 11 and December 16, 2014 and January 16, February 3, and March 24, 2015. Please arrive early, as stories begin promptly at 3:30 pm. The first story, on November 11, is A Caterpillar's Voice.
Marin Waldorf School is located at 755 Idylberry Road in the Lucas Valley–Marinwood area of San Rafael. To get there, take Highway 101 to the Lucas Valley Road exit and head west on Lucas Valley Road. Turn right onto Miller Creek Road, then left onto Idylberry Road. Marin Waldorf School will be on your left.
If you have a technology-minded kid who wants to explore the world of computers beyond just playing Minecraft and surfing the web, then check out the offerings from the MV Code Club, which just opened its second Marin location in Greebrae's Bon Air Center. Founded last year by Mill Valley software designer Douglas Tarr, MV Code Club offers boys and girls in 1st through 10th grade coding instruction in a fun and engaging environment.
This Saturday, April 26, put your imagination in gear and come to Oak View Nursery School for their second annual Touch a Truck event! At Touch a Truck, kids (and grownups, too) will get a chance to get behind the wheel of some amazing vehicles and rub elbows with their hometown heroes.
Come and explore and get behind the wheel of your favorite vehicles including a fire truck, dump truck, police car, school bus, tow truck, and even an Army Humvee. This year, they plan on having even more trucks than before! It will definitely be a day to remember.
Touch a Truck takes place from 9:30 am to noon. Admission is $5 per person, and kids under 1 are free. Baked goods and beverages will be available for sale. All proceeds from this event will fund special programing for Oak View Nursery School students.
This year we've resolved to spend more time outdoors as a family—to get some exercise, explore Marin County's many parks open space areas, and learn about the natural wonders all around us. A fantastic way to get out and experience nature in Marin is to take part in one of the naturalist-led family outings offered by Marin County Parks.
The Nature for Kids outings take place at Marin's open space preserves, and feature a leisurely, kid-paced hike with plenty of opportunities to stop and explore along the way. We recently took part in the Nature for Kids program at Novato's Deer Island Open Space Preserve led by Marin County Parks naturalists David Herlocker and Shannon Burke.
We all met at the Deer Island trailhead at 10 am, where David and Shannon explained a bit about the outing and gave each of the kids a small gift in the form of a neat little folding magnifying lens, something that would become useful later on in the hike. The Nature for Kids hikes are informal and unstructured, and perfect for kids of all ages. Our group of kids and parents hiked along the Deer Island Loop Trail, stopping to look when someone noticed something interesting along the way.
If you're a southern Marin parent looking for art and music classes for your children, check out the fall offerings at the Little Art Studio in Mill Valley. The Little Art Studio offers art and music classes designed for children ages 1 1/2 and up to explore art and music in an open, safe, and nurturing environment.
Current class offerings include Toddler Art, Afterschool Art, Music & Art, and Story & Art classes. The emphasis is on the creative process rather than the product, but the children always come away with incredible works of art! Small classes offer children a comfortable, age-appropriate atmosphere, while promoting cooperation and connections.
The Little Art Studio offers morning toddler classes and afterschool drop off classes on the weekdays. The studio is also available for art themed birthday parties and events on weekends!
Fall Session II runs from now through December 13, 2013. Classes run in six week sessions and flexible online scheduling is offered. All classes are $180 per session, $30 for drop-in.
Learn more and enroll online at www.thelittleartstudio.com. Drop-ins are welcome with 24-hour advance online registration, too. You can also call the studio at (415) 637-5340.
Parents and caregivers: bring the little ones ages birth to 24 months for some play time at San Rafael's Osher Marin JCC. Jymbabies, the JCC's new drop-in play program will host an open house on Tuesday, October 1 from 9:30 to 11 am.
Popular local family entertainer Miss Kitty will be performing, so it's sure to be a lot of fun!
Every Tuesday morning, Jymbabies offers little ones a soft indoor playground for climbing, crawling, sliding, bouncing in a bounce house, building, dancing, scooting and more. The JCC's on-site cafe will offer kid-friendly food and snacks.
As a special introduction, Jymbabies is free for the month of October, so be sure you check it out.
The Osher Marin JCC is located at 200 North San Pedro Road in San Rafael. For more information, call (415) 444-8000 or visit www.marinjcc.org/jymbabies.
This fall Tiburon's Ark Row Center for Enrichment Fun offers a wide range of fun and exciting classes for kids. Ark Row Center provides a warm, cozy, and nurturing environment for little ones, and specializes in providing quality children's programming where every child is considered unique.
For moms and kids, Ark Row Center offers their Move & Groove class on Thursdays from 3 to 3:45 pm. Moms with babies from 6 months to 1 year can make music together, learn dance rhythms, sing songs with puppets, and enjoy time with other moms and babies. They also have another class at 4 pm for ages 1-2 years.
Totally Toddlers offers 18-month to two-year-olds a chance to act like big kids and attend class without a parent. Toddlers can explore, make music, frolic in the parachute, dabble in paint and even cook some simple, kid-friendly recipes. Totally Toddlers takes place Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 am to noon.
Two-year-olds are clustered together in Twos Together, a specially designed class just for their age. They have an opportunity to make new friends, while enjoying exciting activities and projects. There's always music, movement, art, cooking, and fun! (Diapers are OK, too.)