Beyond a Garden: QBG Turns Into A Classroom, Kitchen, AND Playground for Kids as They Plant, Learn, and Play

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Beyond a Garden: QBG Turns Into A Classroom, Kitchen, AND Playground for Kids as They Plant, Learn, and Play

Summer is a very busy time for the participants of our Children’s Garden, Garden Buds, Forest Explorers, and Junior Naturalists programs! At Queens Botanical Garden, when “class is in session,” so are planting, learning, and playing.

In July and August, our Children’s Garden program welcomed nearly 100 children in four sessions: Urban Critters, Art in the Garden, Kitchen & Beyond, and the Incredible Seed. The children, ages four through ten, seeded, cultivated, and harvested in our vegetable garden; investigated beetles, bees, and butterflies in the Rose Garden; cooked with fresh crops; painted with natural materials—all while having loads of fun!

Garden Buds, our popular series for children ages two and three with a caregiver, allowed children to fully enjoy the summer blooms as well as the delicious produce in the Garden. It’s always so joyous watching our little gardeners get their hands dirty—some digging and picking for the first time!
Our six-week summer Forest Explorers program for children ages two through six is rooted in traditional methods of the Forest School model. Children deepen their relationship with earth through open play in a forested section of the Garden; making community connections through mealtime and tool-sharing; going on guided explorations of the Garden; and working on various nature-themed art projects.

The oldest students, our Junior Naturalists—ages 11 through 14—participated in all sorts of wonderful science-rich activities. They worked with QBG’s horticulture team to build a trail on site, helped maintain QBG’s one-acre farm, and created part of a plant-based exhibit for our Art Gallery. They went on three off-site trips to the Queens Museum, Queens Zoo, and New York Hall of Science, ending their summer experience with a fun overnight campout on QBG grounds.

Kids programming offers hands-on discovery for children ages two through fourteen. We encourage families to join us throughout the seasons to see all the wonderful elements of our Garden throughout the entire year. To learn more about, and sign up for, our autumn offerings, go to queensbotanical.org/kidsprograms.

Some of our favorite memories with our participants in kids programs this summer: