We will get our hands dirty as we explore everything in the garden. So many learning opportunities can be found whenever you dig deep in the soil, hunt for bugs and investigate plants. Get ready for making mud pies, hanging with creepy crawly things, and learning about what makes our garden grow!
Summer Camp – In the Garden – Day One
Head out to the garden, park or forest and investigate the world below our feet.
- Magnifying Glass
- Bug Catcher
- Ultimate Bugopedia – this book will keep kids busy all summer, as they explore the backyard for new specimens to learn about.
Let’s go on a bug hunt!
- Look under rocks and logs for insects.
- Grab a scoop of soil and spread it out on a big sheet of paper. Then use your magnifying glass to search the soil for bugs.
- Gently place the insects into your bug catcher or plastic container and use the bug encyclopedia to identify the bugs.
- After you identify your bugs, carefully return them to the soil.
Diary of a…
After reading Diary of a Worm, print off a copy of Diary of a… HERE and create your own comic book. You can pretend to be a different insect, or you can create a comic from your point of view.
My kindergartener’s book is called Diary of a Butterfly! This great opportunity to practice writing and researching facts about the main character.
What has eight legs that kids love to eat? Spider Crackers!
- Spread peanut butter or cream cheese on cracker rounds.
- Place four pretzel sticks on each side of the body.
- Then place a cracker on top and enjoy!
Summer Camp – In the Garden – Day Two
Song – The Ants go Marching
Create Your Own Insect
Print these insect cards HERE and use them to create your own insect art.
Use art supplies and play dough to create colorful an interesting bugs!
- Play-Doh – I love this no-cook play-dough recipe from Tinkerlab
- Art supplies – pipe cleaners, google eyes, foam craft sheets, cardboard, glitter beads & buttons.
- Clay or play-dough tools
- Create body parts for insects using the play-dough
- Use various art materials for legs, eyes, wings, etc
- Try adding details and designs to your bugs with clay tools
Insect Art with Nature
Search your yard or park for materials to create these beautiful nature bugs.
- Rock of various sizes
Use the insect art cards for inspiration or create your own insects from your imagination.
Make the childhood classic Ants on a Log for snack today! You can let the kids get creative with different spreads and ants to add to the top.
Some yummy options:
- almond butter and chocolate chips
- cream cheese and blueberries
- Nutella and strawberries
- strawberry cream cheese and chocolate chips
- cheese spread and carrots
Summer Camp – In the Garden – Day Three
Podcast – Soil – Can You Dig It
In this Brains-On podcast, you’ll find out how soil helps plants grow and learn about all of the little organisms hidden in the soil and why they are so important.
Get ready to get messy! Clothes will be caked in mud, hands will be dirty, and a bath will be necessary, but your kids will love making mud pies in a mud kitchen! Gather old kitchen tools, cups, bowls and of course mud and let the creativity begin!
Inspiration for Mud Kitchen Fun
Investigate the layers of the Earth with this Sediment Jar activity from Raising Lifelong Learners.
Every kid loves making dirt cups to eat. The traditional recipe calls for chocolate pudding, but we decided to make a dirt cup sundae with chocolate ice cream and crushed up chocolate cookies.
- chocolate ice cream
- Oreos or any chocolate cookies broken into small pieces
- gummy worms
- whipped topping – mix with a little green food coloring for grass
In a clear cup, alternate layers of chocolate ice cream and crushed cookies. Then top with green whipped cream and place your worms on top!
Summer Camp – In the Garden –Day Four
This video explores the amazing migration of the monarch butterfly.
There are so many ways to paint beautiful flowers. Here are some of my favorite flower painting activities.
- Watercolor Flowers from Projects with Kids
Bug Movement Activities
Get moving like our garden friends today! Print these Bug Action Cards HERE for a fun bug movement game. You can also play a game of bug charades. Do your best impersonation of an insect and have someone guess who you are!
Here’s a twist on the camp classic –Bug Juice from Thrifty Fun.
Summer Camp – In the Garden –Day 5
Learn about what makes earth worms so helpful with this great video.
Planting a Garden
Grab some soil and seeds packets and let your kids plant their own garden.
This Garden Root Viewer is a great way for kids to learn about how different vegetables grow. It includes everything you need to grow a mini garden at home.
Let the kids explore the different seeds in the seed packets. A fun activity is to take a few seeds out of each packet and let them guess what seed goes with each seed packet.
Learn about the edible parts of a plant at snack time.
- Choose one from each group and put on a plate
- Let your child guess what part of the plant they are eating