at home summer camp for kids

Summer Camp – In the Garden

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!

garden summer camp lesson plan

Summer Camp – In the Garden – Day One

Listen to Diary of a Worm online or click here to order your copy from Amazon.


Bug Investigation

Head out to the garden, park or forest and investigate the world below our feet.


  • Shovel
  • 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

Listen to Hey, Little Ant online or click here to order a copy from Amazon.

Song – The Ants go Marching


Create Your Own Insect

insect art card

Print these insect cards HERE and use them to create your own insect art.

Play-Dough Insects

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.

insect art card


  • Rock of various sizes
  • Shells
  • Twigs
  • Flowers
  • Leaves
  • Bark


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.


Mud Kitchen

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

Dirt Investigation

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

Video – Cat in the Hat – Flutter by Butterfly

This video explores the amazing migration of the monarch butterfly.


Flower Painting

There are so many ways to paint beautiful flowers. Here are some of my favorite flower painting activities.

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

Video – Sci Show Kids – Worms are Wonderful

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.

summer camp in the 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.

Exploring Seeds

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.

seed sort
summer camp in the garden
sorting garden seeds

Flower Dissection

Explore the parts of a flower with this Flower Dissection activity from Sugar Spice and Glitter. Get your copy of this Flower Dissection printable HERE.


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

You may also like...