YMCA summer camp is well underway and we hope your child is having a blast exploring and trying new things. At summer camps in Plainfield and Morris, children have the opportunity to try healthy foods grown in the Y’s very own garden and take home recipes to share with family and friends.
If you are looking to continue the fun at home this summer, you may want to consider these helpful tips as you and your child spend time developing your ‘green thumbs.’
Pick a Special Spot in the Garden
As you begin plotting out your family’s garden space, consider designating a special spot within the space that your child can explore and have fun without damaging nearby plants.
Let Your Child(ren) Choose their Plants
There are many decisions to make when starting a garden, such as selecting the fruits, vegetables, herbs and/or flowers you will grow. When determining what your family will plant, you may want to think about letting your child pick out what they’d like to grow.
Try this: When helping your child select plants, consider a theme such as a ‘pizza’ garden, which would consist of some of your family’s favorite pizza toppings and herbs.
Don’t forget about Herbs
Herbs are excellent choices for child-friendly gardens. They are often colorful and have interesting scents, which will make it exciting for your child to watch as they grow.
Be Mindful of Poisonous Plants
Poisonous plants can be tricky, as some of them do not look harmful. The rhubarb plant, for example, is commonly used in dessert recipes, but its leaves are especially toxic. While gardening with your child, you may want to stress the importance of not eating food from the garden unless they consult with an adult first.
If you have questions about the Y’s gardens or weekly camp recipes, visit the Y’s website or be sure to speak with your branch’s Youth and Family Director during your next visit.
To learn more about planting a child-friendly garden, check out this great article, courtesy of HGTV.com.