Life Lab

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

Category : Lessons & Activities

Mapas de Sonido

Mapas de Sonido Vamos a crear un mapa de los sonidos que escuchas a tu alrededor. Mayores de 5 años si trabaja con un adulto; 8+ si los niños trabajan de forma independiente; 5-10 minutos. Esta actividad es una excelente manera de hacer que los niños entren en [...]

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Sound Map


Sound Maps

Sound Maps Let’s create a map of the sounds you hear around you! Age 5+ if working with an adult; 8+ if kids are working independently; 5-10 minutes. This activity is a great way to get kids into their senses, slow down and listen to the world around them. All [...]

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Sound Map


Licuado de Suelo

Licuado de Suelo Descubra la composición de un suelo que recolecta, agitándolo en un frasco con agua y viendo cómo se asientan las capas de partículas del suelo. Edad 5+; 10 minutos, luego 24 horas de espera, luego 10-15 minutos. ¿El suelo cerca de su casa es [...]

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Soil Shake from http://www.spiritwoodnaturalbuilding.com


Soil Shake

Soil SHake Discover the makeup of a soil you collect, by shaking it in a jar with water and seeing how the layers of soil particles settle out. Age 5+; 10 minutes, then 24 hours wait, then 10-15 minutes. Is the soil near your home a clay-heavy soil? Or a sandy soi [...]

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Soil Shake from http://www.spiritwoodnaturalbuilding.com


Sábana Sacudida

Sábana SacudidaUse una sábana para explorar la cantidad de vida que puede vivir en un arbusto. Edades 5+, 15+ minutos ¿Qué uso tiene una sábana vieja en un jardín? ¡Es una maravillosa herramienta de exploración para examinar la gran cantidad de vida que pue [...]

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Sheet Shake


Gifts from the Garden Webinar

Gifts from the Garden Webinar Learn to make nature-based crafts. Create your own holiday gifts. Life Lab staff will share tried and true crafts that we make in our youth garden programs. View the Webinar Recording View Instruction Handout View The Book of Ga [...]

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Pedacitos de ArcoÍris

Pedacitos de ArcoÍris Explora tu jardín o un espacio abierto cercano a tu casa en busca de todos los colores del arcoíris. Utiliza muestras de pintura u otras tarjetitas de color como guía. Edad: mayores de 2 años Duración: ~ 15 min. El exterior está lleno [...]

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Semillas Voladoras

Semillas Voladoras Crea un modelo de una semilla que planea en el aire y observa cómo vuela! Edad: 5 años en adelante. Duración: ~ 30 min. o más. Una Sámara es un tipo de fruto que rodea a una semilla, la cual tiene un ala aplanada hecha de un tejido parecido [...]

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Flying Seed Simulator


Pulseras de Cinta

Pulseras de CintaHaz una pulsera decorativa con cinta adhesiva y objetos que encuentres. Edad: 3 años en adelante. Duración: ~ 15 min. Esta es la actividad al aire libre favorita de mi hija porque le permite buscar cosas, ser creativa y, como ella dice, "¡hacer a [...]

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tape bracelet


Sopa de Piedra

Sopa de PiedraHaz una sopa riquísima con lo que tengas a la mano. ¡Es mejor cuando cada miembro de la familia aporta un ingrediente diferente a la olla, e incluso mejor cuando se cuenta la historia de ‘Sopa de Piedra’ antes de comenzar a cocinar! Para ninxs con e [...]

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Stone Soup


Mi Jardín Pequeño

Mi Jardín Pequeño Diseñe su propio mini huerto comestible con galletas saladas, hummus y verduras y hierbas frescas. Edad 6+ ~ 30 min Esta es nuestra receta favorita del jardín porque es divertida, inspira la creatividad, ¡y anima a lxs niñxs a probar nueva [...]

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Tiny Garden Cracker


Everyone Needs a Rock

Everyone Needs a Rock Kids use their senses to explore and identify rocks, Ages 2+, 15 min+ Start by asking your kids, “If you lost your favorite possession, what would you do to try and find it? What senses would you use?” Discuss what senses can be helpful t [...]

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My Rock


Paper Pots

Paper Pots Make paper pots with your kids and learn about reusing newspaper to help your garden grow! Ages 5+, 30 min+ Reuse newspaper to help get your seeds started in a pot you can make at home with your kids.  There is no need to go out and buy small pots when [...]

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Samara Seeds – Make a Flying Seed Model

Samara Seeds Create a physical model of a seed that soars and watch how it flies! Ages 5+, 30 min+ A samara is a type of fruit surrounding a seed in which a flattened wing of papery tissue develops, allowing the wind to carry the seed away from the parent plant. T [...]

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Flying Seed Simulator


Playing Human Camera

Playing Human CameraPretend to be cameras and photographers and you and your kids will see the garden in a whole new light. Ages 2+, 15 min+ Head outside and show your child how you will guide her safely and then have her close her eyes.  Tell her, “Now I’m the [...]

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Flower Bling

Flower BlingCreate nature-inspired jewelry using fresh flowers and fishing line. 30 min, Ages 5+ Spring and summer is a great time to create beautiful necklaces, bracelets or crowns made out of flowers found in nature and some 40 pound gauge fishing line.  Flowers [...]

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Family Walks

Family Walks Easy low-prep ideas to get kids out exploring nature on a walk. Ages 2+, 15 min+ Family walks have become a daily occurrence for us recently and we have found some creative ways to explore our natural surroundings. Giving kids a sense of purpose or ju [...]

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Family Walk


Rainbow Chips

Rainbow Chips Explore your yard or nearby outdoor space for all the colors of the rainbow. Use paint samples or other color chips as a guide. 15+ minutes, Ages 2+ The outdoors are full of vibrant colors but we don’t always take the time to look closely at just [...]

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Card Hike

Card Hike Send kids out on a hike to complete fun, nature-inspired tasks along the way. Ages 2+, 15 min+ Sometimes our kids need a little extra motivation to get out and get hiking and this is a great activity to add a little spark.  Before we head out, I make so [...]

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Card Hike


Nature Journaling

Nature JournalingKids create their own garden journals and use them to record observations of nature in the garden, through drawing, writing, and painting. Journaling brings literacy, art, and creativity into the outdoors and can be used as a one time activity or as an [...]

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Garden Journal


Wheat Heads

Wheat HeadsMake and decorate a planter with faces that will grow wheat hair you’ll be able to make fun haircuts to. Ages 5+, ~ 30min Looking for an activity that involves reusable material, gardening, and craft-making? Wheat heads is a favorite activity in which [...]

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Wheat Heads


Rock Painting

Rock PaintingFind some rocks and paint beautiful designs, creatures and other nature-inspired themes on your rocks. Ages 2+, 30 min Add a pop of color to your garden or window sill or create a pet you don’t need to take care of! All you need for this activity is [...]

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Painted Stones


Sheet Shake

Sheet ShakeUse a sheet to explore just how much life can live in a backyard bush or shrub. Ages 5+, 15+ minutes What use does an old bed sheet have in a garden?  It’s a wonderful exploration tool for examining the wondrous amounts of life that a single bush can [...]

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Sheet Shake


Six Seed Trail Mix

Six Seed Trail Mix Make a good snack while thinking about plant parts, especially seeds, and perhaps doing some seed math in the process! 20 minutes, Ages 5+ A variety of edible seeds, roasted or raw, such as:  Pumpkin seeds Sunflower seeds Almonds W [...]

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Seed Mix


Citrus Salsa

Citrus Salsa Delicious winter/spring salsa that will keep you returning to the salsa bowl! 30 min, Ages 5+ 4 cups peeled & finely chopped citrus fruit (oranges, grapefruit, mandarins) ½ cup finely chopped onion ¾ cup loosely packed chopped cilantro (sm [...]

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Citrus Salsa


Pesto Green Sauce

Pesto Green Sauce A mouth-watering dip/spread/sauce full of flavor! 20 minutes, Ages 5+ Classic Basil Pesto: 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed ½ cup grated parmesan cheese ½ cup olive oil 6 T. pine nuts or walnuts 4 garlic cloves Place all t [...]

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Green Sauce


Herbed Flat Bread

Herbed Flat Bread Use any fresh herbs you have on hand or in your garden to add flavor to a delicious whole grain flatbread. Mold the bread into any fun shape you want! 90 minutes, Ages 5+ 1 Tablespoon yeast 1 teaspoon of sugar  2 cups warm water 2 teas [...]

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Love Flat Bread


Making an Olla

Making an Olla Use terra cotta pots to create a homemade Olla. 30 min, Ages 5+ Ollas (pronounced “oy-yahs”) are unglazed clay/terra-cotta pots with a bottle or tapered shape that are buried in the ground with the top/neck exposed above the soil surface and [...]

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Pressed Flower Card

Pressed Flower Card Use flowers, leaves and some heavy books to create natural art on a card. 1 hr, Ages 5+ This activity will inspire observation and appreciation of nature while also making a beautiful craft. Start by encouraging kids to observe the plants arou [...]

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Pressed Leaves and Flowers


Leafy Water Play

Leafy Water PlayExploring waters' wondrous properties by observing beads of water on different leaves. 15+ minutes, Ages 2+ Let's explore waters' wondrous properties! I watched two kids pass beads of water back and forth on nasturtium leaves. Their curiosity of wa [...]

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Nasturtium Cup


Spider Web Hunt

Spider Web Hunt Search for sneaky spider webs. Using a spray bottle with water, spray gently and watch the web design come alive. ~30 minute, Ages 2+ A kid once asked me, "What do spider homes look like?" So together we set off on an adventure to find out. We fir [...]

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Spider Webs


Soft Pretzels

Soft Pretzels Twist soft dough into your own designs and enjoy a hearty treat. 60 - 90 Minutes, Ages 2+ 1 package active dry yeast (.25 ounce or roughly 2 teaspoons) 2 T. sugar 1 1/8 teaspoons salt 1 1/2 cups warm water 4 cups all-purpose flour (Life [...]

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Pretzels


Veggie Roll-Ups

Veggie Roll-Ups Roll up your favorite veggies and dip or spread and slice to create yummy veggie art! 20 minutes Ages 4+ Fresh vegetables from the garden (Just about anything you have to harvest can work here. Nice raw options include beets, carrots, green beans [...]

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Eating Veggie RollUp


Sun Tea

Sun Tea Make a refreshing garden tea with the power of the sun! 15 minutes prep. Ages 2+ 1 large glass jar with lid 1 handful of fresh or dried mint leaves or other suitable plants, or a combination (examples: lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint, chamomile, ros [...]

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Sunny Sun Tea


Kale Smash

Kale Smash Kids of all ages can tear kale leaves and massage the kale along with avocado and lemon to make this tasty treat! Ages 4+ 30 minutes 2 bunches of Kale, such as Dino, Red Russian, etc., torn into bite sized pieces 2 Avocados 4 Tbsp. of Lime or Le [...]

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Smashing Kale


Honey Seed Snacks

Honey Seed SnacksRemember to thank the bees when you enjoy these honey and seed treats! Lots of fun for little hands to shape these into balls… or moon shapes… or worms! Ages 2+ 30+ minutes ½ cup carob or cocoa powder½ cup honey½ cup peanut butter or almond [...]

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Honey Seed Snacks


Seed Spheres

Seed Spheres Make spheres out of mud and native flower seeds. Dry them in the sun, and then toss them out to fill an area with native flowers. Ages 5+. ~30-45 min Materials: A bowl, pail or bucket you don’t mind getting dirty A trowel A full watering c [...]

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Seed Spheres Fun


Garden Frittata

Garden Frittata A perfect spring meal using fresh or dried herbs, greens and other veggies you may have on hand Ages 5+. ~60 min 2-3 cups pre-cooked vegetables (could include garlic, onion, chard, kale, spinach, artichoke hearts, peppers, zucchini, potato, brocco [...]

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Frittata


Garden Green Smoothies

Garden Green Smoothie Blend some fresh greens and fresh or frozen fruit to make a yummy smoothie, and toast to the garden! Ages 2+. ~30 min 5 chard leaves, stems removed and coarsely chopped (or torn) or 1 cup of spinach leaves 1 cup water 1 cup plain yogur [...]

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Green Smoothie


Stone Soup

Stone SoupMake a delicious soup using what you have on hand. Best when each family member contributes a different ingredient to the pot, and even better when the Stone Soup story is told to kick off the cooking! Ages 5+ ~60 min+ 8 cups veggie broth 3/4 cup dried l [...]

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Stone Soup


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1 week ago

Readers To Eaters

Great opportunity for young beekeepers! 🐝🐝 Check out Bee Grant from Whole Kids Foundation in partnership with The Bee Cause Project.Both WKF and BCP have been wonderful partners in promoting bee education and food literacy. See• WFK "World of Honey Bees," wonderful resource including Bee Activity Box featuring The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter. bit.ly/3h5SEb4• BCP Q&A with BEE author/illustrator Shabazz Larkin on #creativity #mindfulness & how we can take steps to care for the earth. bit.ly/3AoptJmGreat sharing for September #FoodLiteracyMonth and October National #FarmToSchoolMonth! ..#Bees #Pollinators #BeeEducation #BeeGarden #SaveTheBees #GiveBeesAChance #SchoolGarden #GardenEducation #OutdoorEducation #EnvironmentalEducation #ClimateEducation #FarmToSchool #AITC #AgClassroom #AgLiteracy #ScienceEducation #STEM #STEAM #FoodLiteracy #FoodEducation National Farm to School NetworkNational Agriculture in the ClassroomAmerican Farm Bureau Foundation for AgricultureJunior Master Gardener ProgramThe American Horticultural Society FoodCorps Common Threads Farm Center for Ecoliteracy Life LabThe Edible Schoolyard Project Edible Schoolyard NYCBzzt! Bee grant applications are now open! If you are interested in receiving an educational beehive or support for bee programming at your school or organization, apply for our bee grant in partnership with The Bee Cause Project. Learn more and register for our 9/15 webinar at: bit.ly/3DDfkL3

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4 weeks ago

Save Our Shores

Annual Coastal Cleanup is just around the corner and we are still looking for site captains for 7 of our region’s sites. This is a tremendous opportunity to join the region’s biggest annual volunteer effort to help protect our life-giving waters! For teens who are willing to partner with a parent or guardian, it’s also a fabulous way to practice leadership skills while earning community service credits!Ready to join us as a site captain? Sign up at docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfEoLUWDzybzQ_iUyKQhCetuywE8eKlnmZSi6neKIjdBHLSgQ/viewformWant to volunteer on Sept 18? Sign up at docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScdrSlrMTFOR7PBuGjwmSxx0DItsoctuloI5EI7eisRx8H6jw/viewformFriends of Santa Cruz State Parks Santa Cruz County Bank KindPeoples California State Parks Foundation California State Parks Kayak Connection Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center – Unofficial Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Monterey Bay Aquarium FishWise Seafood Watch Surfrider Foundation Santa Cruz Chapter The Bird School Project Life Lab Santa Cruz County Office of Education City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Lookout Santa Cruz County of Santa Cruz Aqua Safaris Scuba Center Live Like Coco Good Times Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Sentinel KAZU 90.3 Return of the Natives Restoration Education Project Santa Cruz State Junior Lifeguards

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4 weeks ago

Life Lab

🌱 We only have 2 spots left in our School Garden Educator Certification Program! 🌱 Sign-up today for the entire series of courses on our website. Our first course, Building Connections in the Garden, starts with asynchronous work on September 1st and our first synchronous session will be on Wednesday, September 8th from 3:30 – 5:00 PST. You may continue to sign up through August 31st or until all spots are filled. Upon 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 approximately 4 weeks long and include 4 synchronous meetings, at-home work, and a unique coaching model tailored to each individual’s needs.lifelab.org/educator-certification-program/💚 We look forward to working with you!💚

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1 month ago

Nikki Patterson

Beautiful way to end this spontaneous day. Thank you Don💐 Thank you Life Lab Thank you UCSC CASFS Farm and Thank you Matthew Raiford#grateful #Interconnections #bressnnyam #blackfarmers #heritagefarm #yeschef #badass #organicgardening @bookshopsc ❤️

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1 month ago

Philip Lee

Good read during summer zucchini season! See Booklist review of LAS CALABACITAS DE ZORA, translated from Zora’s Zucchini: "By story’s end, Zora has learned the importance of growing, harvesting, and, above all, sharing food. [Anna] Raff’s appealing watercolor illustrations are soft and inviting, and an author’s note explains the ‘Donate, Preserve, Share’ concepts behind growing gardens. The translation’s well-chosen Spanish is simple to read aloud in a classroom or storytelling setting." bit.ly/3jWFZcGWe’re thrilled that LAS CALABACITAS DE ZORA audiobook is out this spring from Live Oak Media!Come hear author Katherine Pryor discuss ZORA and connecting food & literacy, on Big Green‘s webinar, along with Marie Dennan, BG’s Memphis program manager, and Micheál Newman-Brooks, program manager of school gardens with Chicago Public Schools. 8/18 @ 1PM ET / 10AM PT. Free register@ bit.ly/2XuQsV3Get zucchini recipes, food swap ideas@ bit.ly/3xx996Z..#SpanishChildrensBooks #Zucchini #SummerReading #SummerGardening #KidsGardening #SchoolGarden #BackToSchool #GardenEducation #FoodSwap #FoodWaste #FarmToSchool #AgClassroom #AgLiteracy #AITCThe Edible Schoolyard Project Edible Schoolyard NYCSlow Food USA School Garden Network Green Bronx Machine Life Lab Common Threads Farm Center for Ecoliteracy

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2 months ago

Philip Lee

See Our School Garden! author Rick Swann present on connecting school garden & literacy on 8/10, last of the Food Literacy Summer Author Series from Clemson Extension School & Community Gardening and South Carolina Farm to School Also presenting will be Tracy Miskelly at SC Ag in the Classroom. Register at bit.ly/3C2WjkyRick is a former Seattle school librarian. His work researching on creating a garden for his school led to his poems for OUR SCHOOL GARDEN! See discussion guides on OUR SCHOOL GARDEN from The Bee Cause Project Book Club. bit.ly/3rU2D7URead more about the Summer Author seriest: "Clemson Extension launches author series aimed at improving food literacy for SC youth." bit.ly/2Vlzc3A..#Poetry #FoodPoetry #FoundPoem #SchoolGarden #GardenEducation #SummerReading #SummerLearning #FarmToSchool #AgClassroomJunior Master Gardener ProgramSlow Food USA School Garden Network Common Threads Farm Life Lab FoodCorps

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Magical seeds are being planted at Starlight Elementary in Watsonville that will blossom into a garden and teaching kitchen where students will learn, grow & thrive. Community Foundation staff was thrilled to visit the site last week, meet with partners, and learn more about the project (a recipient of a 2021 community grant. (Pictured from left to right: Judit Camacho, Jennifer Holm, Michelle Rodriguez, Hilary Bryant, Kevin Heuer, Jackie Medina, Don Burgett, Francisco Estrada, & Julie Edwards)with:Emeril Lagasse Foundation Life Lab Community Health Trust of Pajaro ValleyPajaro Valley Unified School District

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2 months ago

Readers To Eaters

Happy National Urban Beekeeping Day! See info on urban bees from Detroit Hives. Good day to share The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter. See author/illustrator Shabazz Larkin read the book for PBSThirteen WNET New York with wonderful message at the end on how to take care of bees, our environment, and ourselves! bit.ly/32LQ0S0..#nationalurbanbeekeepingday #urbanbees #beekeepers #beeeducation #savethebees #givebeesachance #pollinators #pollination #farmtoschool #agclassroom #agliteracy #AITC #summerlearning #summerreading National Agriculture in the ClassroomMichigan Agriculture in the Classroom New York Agriculture in the ClassroomWisconsin Ag in the Classroom ProgramEdible Schoolyard NYC The Edible Schoolyard Project Life Lab Big Green Common Threads Farm Slow Food USA School Garden Network

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3 months ago

Life Lab

¡Estamos emocionados de anunciar la versión en Español del curso GRATIS aclamado, Enseñando en el Aula de la Naturaleza! Conéctese con otros educadores y desarrolle nuevas estrategias y maneras de ver el aula al aire libre. Es una gran oportunidad tanto para educadores nuevos a la enseñanza al aire libre y educación basada en el jardín como para los más experimentados en esta práctica. Lea más y registrese aquí: wischoolgardens.org/EAN-curso/Wisconsin School Garden Network _________________________________We are excited to announce a Spanish language version of the acclaimed FREE course, Teaching in Nature’s Classroom! Connect with educators and develop new strategies and ways of seeing the outdoor classroom. A great opportunity for educators new to outdoor and garden-based learning, as well as educators who are experienced in the field. Learn more and register here wischoolgardens.org/EAN-curso/Wisconsin School Garden Network

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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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