I'm (finally) reading Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. Have you read it? Here are the Cliffs Notes: Get your kids outside! While Louv may seem like an extremist to some, there is no denying the benefits of being in nature. We are so lucky to be surrounded by national and state parks in the bay area...let's take advantage of them! These parks provide opportunities for exploration, education, and relaxation for you and your kids. And being in nature with the ones you love can be a wonderful bonding experience. Bring a pair of binoculars and look for birds and other wildlife. You can research what you might expect to find in the park you are visiting, and then turn it into a scavenger hunt where you check off the plants and animals you find on your trip. Check out the bay area parks on the California State Parks website. The National Parks Services site also has a map of parks in our area. Now go play with dirt.