Last June 27 to July 1st we had the Jr. Gardening Camp where 15 kids attended every day. We also had 3 volunteers helping run the camp. It was a lot of fun but also kids learned to take care of the planet through different activities. Here are the lessons they learned:

Day 1– How to plant seeds and take care of plants. We grew “grass heads” on this day, which was a sort of DIY chia pet for the kids. We used a hot glue gun to glue eyes and noses on plastic cups, and the kids planted grass seeds so that when the grass grows, it’ll look like hair!

Day 2– How to use food scraps to make new plants. We showed the kids how to grow new plants from old ones such as potatoes, garlic, and celery, and the kids got to plant their own garlic in containers and take them home. We also painted water bottles for homemade watering cans.

Day 3– Why does spending time outdoors make me happy? We talked about how and why we feel good when we spend time outside, and how gardening can help improve our physical and mental wellbeing. To reinforce this, we painted canvases using leaves and flowers as paint brushes while listening to the bubbling of the creek for a “mindful activity”. We also talked about composting and how we need to take care of the earth, and we went hunting for worms on the back hill to put in our compost bin!

Day 4– The importance of pollinators. We discussed the importance and diversity of pollinators with special emphasis on bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. We worked through a workbook that taught the kids about which flowers attract which pollinators and why and watched a couple of videos about how bees make honey and the monarch butterfly’s migration journey to Mexico during the winter. We also watched a video that taught the Mayan legend of why hummingbirds were created. We then made our own hummingbird feeders using small mason jars and taught the kids how to make hummingbird nectar at home.

Day 5– How to harvest from your garden/fiesta. We talked about how to pick produce from the garden and wash it properly before eating. We then presented each kid with a certificate of completion for the camp and the badges they earned during the week. We then used the rest of the class for an ice cream party! The kids got to pick their flavor and toppings and then played in the creek until the parents picked them up. The kids also got a “juramento a la tierra” to reinforce everything we learned.