Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

In the Life Lab Garden Classroom, we consider a good sign to be one that
you don’t have to repair year after year … unless, of course, you want
sign making to be a project for your students year after year.

If making signs year after year, or having the flexibility of changing signs often is desirable, consider making blank signs with chalkboard paint (available at hardware stores). Paint on a smooth surface of wood or plexiglass. You can use chalk paint pens if you want the sign lettering to last longer than normal chalk. Here are ideas on how to make a weatherproof outdoor chalkboard

By labeling the plants in their garden, kids learn about them and make
the connections between the foods they eat and the plants growing
in the garden. Adults also learn a lot from garden signs. Here in the
Garden Classroom, parents, teachers, and others often say, “Wow I never
knew artichokes could get that big,” or “Kohlrabi sure is crazy looking!”
Labeling herbs often encourages folks to smell them, as if they were just
checking to make sure that the mint smells minty. Interpretive signs can
also enrich the educational potential of your garden.

Where you put your sign matters. Signs that face the sun will fade much faster than those turned away from the sun. Is your sign post in an area that is often wet? If so, consider rot resistant posts like plastic lumber or metal. Setting wooden posts in concrete can extend the life of a post considerably. And, of course, your target audience is an important. Make sure to install your signs at kid’s eye level so they can read them.

Signs don’t have to cost much, and most can be made with reused materials, as you can see in the photo gallery of school garden signs from across the nation. You can also check out these school garden sign photos from the DC area.

Life Lab Garden Sign Designs

If you are looking for more professional signs, check out our garden sign designs. These can be ordered on metal or vinyl. We have had success ordering aluminum and vinyl signs online from Printastic and also from our local sign shops.

Here are some of our favorite garden signs in our gallery:

  • Redwood Elementary in Ft. Bragg has individual letter stakes. Kids find each letter and stake in the word.
  • At the Garden of Eating, an Early Childhood Education Center in Novato, laminated velcro signs have pictographs instructing kids what they can eat or do with the plants.
  • In Life Lab’s Garden Classroom, we have a Tree o’ Tunes sign that we painted onto a discarded piece of plexiglass. The post made from branches added a nice touch.

One last sign resource we like is Never Tear paper. You can print
or photocopy onto this plastic-like paper, which is much more fade
resistant that normal paper that has been laminated. If you have
digital images that you want made into signs, it is a good way to go.
And, wouldn’t you know, there is a site called
waterproofpaper.com

 

The Garden Signs Album is one of our many school garden photo galleries.

garden signs

View Garden Sign Album

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

Become a Life Lab Certified Gardener! ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒปBased on the success of our first four cohorts of Life Lab-Certified Garden Educators, we are excited to announce that registration is now open for individuals to register and be part of our fifth cohort starting January 23rd, 2023! Weโ€™ve put together a series of 4 on-line courses that will guide and support educators in becoming a Life Lab-Certified School Garden Educator. Upon successful completion of the 4 courses, participants will receive a certificate and the distinction of being a Life Lab-Certified Garden Educator. Each course will last 4 weeks long and include 4 synchronous meetings, at-home work, and a unique coaching model. The total commitment for the full series is 16 weeks. Check out our website for more information! Registration for the full certification series is now open. Please share with others who are looking for ideas and inspiration in the garden! There are 24 spots available and we sold out in our last 4 certification series. We hope you can join us!Life Lab offers a limited number of course fee reductions based on need and anticipated impact. To apply for financial assistance, follow the link below. Scholarship applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis between now and December 1st, 2022 or until all funds have been awarded.

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Thanks Shmuel! and all those that joined the Starlight workday.

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7 months ago

Life Lab

www.lifelab.org/jobs Full-time Bilingual Garden Educators at PVUSD School Gardens and Summer Program Staff at Garden Classroom on UCSC Farm

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7 months ago

Life Lab

Full-time Career and Summer Staff Positions in @pajarovalleyusd school gardens and the Life Lab Garden Classroom. On the @ucscagroecology farm @ucsc @pvusdschoolfood lifeLab.org/jobs

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7 months ago

Life Lab

We are so glad to be a part of this yearโ€™s Growing School Gardens Summit! 415 attendees from 45 states across the US, representing 6,000+ school gardens serving more than 2.5 million students. Here we go!!

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9 months ago

Life Lab

Rainbow Chips ๐Ÿ“—๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿ“™๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ…In this lesson students introduce themselves, create group agreements, listen to a story about a rainbow, and then go on a search for different colors in order to begin to form a personal connection with the #gardenclassroom .Also, we just wanted to show this really awesome squash gradience ๐Ÿ˜„#gardenbasededucation #NGSS #scienceinthegarden #schoolgarden #NGSGintheGarden

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9 months ago

Life Lab

Food Factories ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿฅ—๐Ÿ˜‹In this lesson, students find leaves with holes in them and then construct explanations for what might havecaused those holes. They listen to a story book and add further possible explanations for the holes. Thenthey explore the garden to prepare to engage in argument from evidence about which explanation for these holes seems the most plausible. Finally, they relate this concept to plants that humans eat.#NGSGintheGarden #NGSS #gardenbasededucation

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Stock up your Garden Classroom

Life Lab provides truly inspiring training. Their breadth of experience, joy for teaching, and commitment to sharing knowledge highlight the best practices in food and garden education.
Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps
Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.
Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary
Terry had another awesome two weeks at Life Lab. I think he learns more there than in any other part of his year. School is great, but he’s passionate (and often dogmatic) about what he learns there.
Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom
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