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“Lettuce” Make Summer “Grape” for Your Kids!

As you know, COVID-19 brought new, unexpected challenges to every mom. All the hikes in the world or baths without interruptions don’t seem to help with stress as much as they used to. 

My husband and I juggled trying to teach three kids, do housework (seriously, how is there so much laundry?), all while trying to work (more than!) full-time jobs from home. And approximately 15 minutes after our drive-thru 6th grade graduation it hit me: summer break. I suddenly panicked at the thought of not having the dependability of 9 AM Zoom calls with teachers and that precious 1 hour when my kids were completely occupied and I wasn’t “Mrs. Teacher Mom”. Without playgrounds or sleepovers with friends, without events like Artown or venues like water parks safe enough for the family… what will summer look like? Not to mention, when the safety of our normal summer activities are still in question, it’s hard to imagine what our stress levels will look like. 

Hopefully, I can offer some help from Urban Roots, a local nonprofit that works to change the way kids eat and learn. We’re offering a few safe activities for you and your kiddos… 

The first is Reno’s Urban Roots Festival: A Digital Celebration of Art, Food and Roots on June 27. This digital festival will feature gardening tips and activities the whole family can participate in, songs from some of our favorite Reno musicians, and cooking demonstrations from the area’s top chefs. Plus—Melissa Joan Hart will be “hosting!” Maybe it won’t mean much to our littles (unless they can identify the Mom in Netflix’ No Good Nick, which mine can!), but I’m willing to bet you remember the OG Sabrina and the know-it-all Clarissa very well!

I know my family will have our dancing shoes—and our gardening trowels—at the ready! My oldest gets to listen to amazing music and my two youngest get to learn new recipes to cook with mom! (We even sing while cooking, much to my 16-year-old’s dismay.) It’s a great, family-friendly event to give us a break from the COVID-craziness.

The second is a replacement for summer camp, since many of them have been cancelled. Urban Roots made the difficult decision of canceling camps this year, since registration numbers continued to dwindle and implementing every safety measure suggested by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were cost-prohibitive for us.

Even after the fun of our Festival, the loss of summer camps will be hard. Kids get so many benefits from camp. They gain essential social skills, they build self-esteem, and they get to unplug from the world for a little bit (I think we could all use a little less screen time right now).

While we will not be in-person this year, we will still offer fun experiences. We’re introducing summer camp in a box options! Ironically, it’s one of the perfect ways to feel less boxed in while social distancing. Boxes will include materials and instructions for themed activities and crafts, along with how-to videos from our Education Team. 

Still need more to do with the kids? Don’t worry! Urban Roots is also offering Sustainable Harvest Bags for moms looking to have delicious, healthy meals for the whole family.  Hopefully, it’ll combat my 11-year-old’s quarantine baking obsession; it has not been helping mine or my husband’s waistlines. You get three to five different veggies growing right in our garden, plus recipes so you can use them effectively.  Kids get to learn their food doesn’t just come from the grocery store, and moms get to finally cook with the store’s most elusive veggies.

No matter what changes your family has made to your summer plans, I hope Urban Roots makes social distancing a little easier with our Roots Festival, our at-home camp, and even some farm fresh veggies!  Remember, our garden isn’t closed this Summer.  Just a little more spread out.


This post was submitted by Fayth Ross, executive director of Urban Roots


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