Life Lab

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

“Help! I’m the New Garden Parent” – Online Lessons and Resources for Garden Educators

Recently, my friend who has become the "garden parent" for her son's school lamented to me, "I know how to garden, but what am I going to do with 10 kindergarteners in the garden?" There is a world of difference between gardening in your yard and gardening with a class of kids. Although not essential, gardening skills help, but having lesson plans and ideas about outdoor classroom management can create a garden educator who can bring learning to life in the garden.

 
All of the following can be found at our School Garden Resource page, but for the person wanting to get a quick start, I often share the following:
Of course the best resource is having a book in hand. Life Lab's Publication page lists our curriculum and activity guides. Most publication descriptions have sample activities to view, including one of my favorite activities Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other.

Now once you get the taste for teaching in the garden, you'll want to visit for a Garden Classroom Workshop….

 

More tips for browsing our website

Click around in the right hand column for blog content themes (Browse Posts) and other links to school garden content.
 
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This year's Slow Food Santa Cruz Edible Garden Tour highlights and benefits Watsonville School Gardens! 10 a.m on September 10th

The tour starts at H.A. Hyde Elementary the most impressive production school garden in the county!

Join the tour to explore programs that engage children and teachers in organic gardening, provide fresh nutritious snacks at recess, and share organic vegetable boxes with the families of participating students.

There will be an after-party and silent auction to raise funds for Slow Food Santa Cruz and the Watsonville school gardens starting at 2 p.m. at Elkhorn Slough Brewing!
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It is our last week of Garden Sprouts and Wildlands and Watering Cans day camps :( But we know the fun, tastes, songs, stories and magic of the outdoors will be waiting for everyone next summer.

Meanwhile we will be sharing nourishment and learning all school year with thousands of school children via field trips and school garden instruction.

Bring learning to life in the garden!
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Great Summer Workshop! A summer visit to Santa Cruz is even better when you attend a Growing Classroom Workshop. Gain some inspiration for your outdoor teaching at our 2-day intensive on garden-based learning. August 2-3 - great food, great people, great location, great garden, great workshop. Early bird registration ends 7/20 www.lifelab.org/for-educators/professional-development/gcworkshops/tgc/ ... See MoreSee Less

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Thanks @foodwhatfarm for the workday BLAST: deer fence up - check, field weeded and planted - done, signs painted - beautiful, perennials planted - love it! ... See MoreSee Less

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Rachel Pringle

Rachel PringleSenior Director of ProgramsEducation Outside

Life Lab has been the most innovative and relevant organization in this field. From providing the best curriculum to their cutting edge professional development, we have relied on Life Lab as our go to organization for support, ideas, and collaboration.

Erica Curry

Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps

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.

Sheila Bricken

Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary

Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.

Tara Neier

Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom

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.