Summer Camp Recap: My First Garden
Jul 09

Summer Camp Recap: My First Garden

By Erica Jackson, Intern, Phipps Science Education and Research

Summer Camp Recap - is our weekly seasonal segment featuring our summer camp programs. This is the place for camp parents to find pictures of their campers in action and see all the fun things we did all week. It’s also a great place for educators to pick up craft, story and lesson ideas for their own early childhood programs!

My First Garden

Last week, 12 growing gardeners planted herbs, searched for insects, and painted with vegetables in our Little Sprouts’ My First Garden camp. Campers explored the conservatory to see all of the unique plants growing at Phipps and got creative in the classroom with plant-themed songs, games, and crafts.

Day 1: For our first day of camp, Little Sprouts got an up close look at different parts of plants, from the roots to the petals. Campers learned that plants can come in many different colors as well as shapes, and found some huge circles (giant water lilies) and triangular stems (papyrus) in the conservatory. We finished off the day by planting some delicious basil to take home.

Day 2: Tuesday was all about the beginning stage of a plant’s life- the seed. Little Sprouts poked through our seed collection, dissected seeds, and even got to hold the largest seed of all - the coconut! Next, campers made seed friends out of grass seed and then ended the day in the conservatory looking for spores (another type of plant part) and butterflies.

Day 3: ‘Plants You Can Eat’ was the theme for Wednesday. Not only did we plant an edible plant (lettuce), we also used veggies to create colorful camp T-shirts. Up in Phipps’s edible garden, we met Farmer Mike and found lots of tasty fruits and vegetables.

Day 4: On Thursday, we wrapped up the week by talking about a very important part of any garden- the critters! Campers held Red Wiggler worms and made bird feeders to attract birds to their own backyards. Outside, Little Sprouts searched for dragonflies, potato bugs, and fish before heading up to the Discovery Garden.

For more pictures from this week's camp, please visit the Science Education and Research Facebook page here!

Here are some book suggestions from the week:

Inch by Inch-The Garden Song by David Mallett

A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston & Sylvia Long

Some Smug Slug by Pamela Duncan Edwards

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

Plants Feed Me by Lizzy Rockwell

Homegrown Science - Critter Trap!

Observe the bugs in your own backyard by setting out bait traps overnight. Place halved potatoes and overripe fruits under bushes or spray sugar water on a plant and see what you can attract. Set up an experiment to test which foods are best at attracting different bugs.

Photographs taken by Phipps Science Education staff.