Life Lab Academic Content Standards Database

October 29th, 2014

Click to Access Life Lab's Standards Database then sign in as a guest.

View all our resources for connecting garden-based learning to the new content standards.


See examples of how we bring content standards to life at the Life Lab Garden Classroom.


The Growing Classroom Standards Database

We are thrilled by the guiding principles behind the new science standards, which integrate content, practices, and cross-cutting concepts to ensure that science education is meaningful, engaging, … [Read More →]

New Edition of The Growing Classroom!

September 10th, 2014

A brand new edition of our most popular garden and nutrition activity guide is hot off the presses! The 4th Edition of The Growing Classroom includes new and updated hands-on activities to bring learning to life for elementary school students. There is a new chapter on Healthy Eating, an expanded resource section on Cooking with Kids, over 25 student lab sheets for experiments, and more. The 480 pages of science, math, [Read More →]

Fall 2013 Newsletter

September 18th, 2013

View our September 2013 Newsletter
View newsletter archives

Program Updates
Meet Faith – Support our Work 
Summer Accomplishments
Announcing the National School Garden Network
The Top Ten of Farm- and Garden-Based Education

Garden Tips and Educator Resources

Root View Cups
Detergent Bottle Watering Cans
Recipe: Sunny Green Bean Pate
Coming Soon: Common Core Standards Database
Upcoming Events
Workshops and Webinar
Friends of the UCSC Farm and Garden Events… [Read More →]

The Fine Art of Flower Pounding – Making Floral Prints Video

July 9th, 2013

Here's a great art activity to do with flower petals. Download this lesson and some others from The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Activities to Get Outside, Dirty and Having Fun!

View more activities in our easy garden activity video playlist.

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Spring 2013 Newsletter

May 17th, 2013

View The May 2013 Garden Times – Life Lab's Newsletter

Program Updates
What We Have Been Up To Since Our Last Newsletter
Meet our Senior Program Associate – Amber Turpin and her baby Hazel
Update on the California School Garden Training Program
California FoodCorps Update
Vote on the Top Ten of Garden-based Learning
FoodWhat Teens Bring Learning to the Farmers' Market
Life Lab in the Press
End of the School … [

December 2012 Life Lab Newsletter

December 20th, 2012


LIfe Lab Newsletter December 2012

You don't want to miss our December 2012 Newsletter.

In This Issue

Garden Tips and Educator Resources
Planting Fruits Trees and Vines in School Gardens
Sustaining School Gardens – Funding Garden Coordinators
Book Review: Our School Garden!
Recipe: Honey Seed Snacks
10% Off All Life Lab Publications

Program Updates
What We Have Been Up To Since Our Last Newsletter
Welcome New Staff – Audries and Alex
Update on … [

Our Newest Publication

September 1st, 2012

The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids[

Summer 2012 Newsletter

August 20th, 2012


Summer 2012 Newsletter

You don't want to miss our Summer 2012 Newsletter.

In This Issue

Garden Tips and Educator Resources
Seed Saving Resources and Video
Growing Questions – Inquiry in the Garden
Teaching at a Farmer's Market
Recipes: Zucchini Baba Ganoush and More
Discount on K-12 Sustainability Education Certificate – Citizen Science

Program Updates
What We Have Been Up To Since Our Last Newsletter
Thank You, Gail!
Update on the … [

Bookshop Santa Cruz – Family Book Talk July 15th @ 4pm

June 29th, 2012

bsc logo horizontal
gardening projects
Family Book Talk & Demonstration
Sunday, July 15th @ 4pm

The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids

We hope you'll join us when Whitney Cohen and John Fisher share their book, tips, and love of gardening at Bookshop Santa Cruz.
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2012 ~ Family Gardening Book

February 29th, 2012

Order Now

View front and back cover[

2012 Winter Newsletter

February 15th, 2012

The Life Lab Garden Times

You don't want to miss our Winter 2012 Newsletter.

In This Issue

Garden Tips and Lessons
Lesson – Six Seed Trail Mix
Making Garden Signs – Tips and Photos
Lesson Packet – Feeling Fine With Fresh Foods
Recipe – Winter Squash Teacakes 

Program Updates
2011 Program Highlights 
Announcing the California School Garden Training Program
Sharing Adventures With Others
"Food, What?!" Photo-of-the-Month – Sign Up
Meet Our Outreach Director – … [

Feeling Fine with Fresh Foods Lesson Packet

February 2nd, 2012

Feeling Fine Teacher PacketFeeling Fine With Fresh Foods

Lesson packet from our Feeling Fine with Fresh Foods Field Trip.

Our winter field trip helps students make the important connection between their health and the foods they choose. Classes explore our Garden Classroom and the UCSC Farm, and activities prepare students to make informed decisions about what they eat.

Download the pre/post visit lesson packet (25 pages) for 3rd-5th grades which includes:

  • Stone Soup
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Things Haven’t Changed Much

January 18th, 2012

Life Lab Newsletter Fall 2006In 1996 Life Lab was a 17 year old organization. Now at the ripe old age of 33 it is fun to look back at what we were sharing during our wild teen years.

Really not much has changed. Well, except the hairdos, computers and a few other things, but all in all school gardens were based on the same concepts as today. Sun, soil, water and air mixed with … [Read More →]

Six Seed Trail Mix

January 2nd, 2012

Seed Card

A great extension to a seed study lesson. Make a trail mix of edible seeds while students practice math skills. While eating your trail mix discuss all the ways we eat seeds and grains. Download seed cards and lesson.[Read More →]

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

November 1st, 2011

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 [Read More →]

Garden Scavenger Hunts

August 13th, 2011

Many teachers break large groups of students into smaller groups in order to facilitate meaningful learning opportunities in the garden. By designing some activities that a small, supervised group of students can accomplish independently, teachers are able to divide their classes and engage small groups, one at a time, in in-depth scientific investigations while other students experience a more self-directed approach to learning. Toward this end, over the years we … [Read More →]

Camp Chicks!, Photos, and Recipes

August 10th, 2011
Day Camps 2011
Click to View Album

Our summer day camps are coming to a close. Foggy mornings and sunny afternoons have framed great days of exploration, harvest, cooking, crafts, farm chores, and fresh-fruit-pop-sucking-story-time.

Two chicks were born during camp, one is a unique Frizzle chick! Only about 1/4 of Frizzle offspring actually get the curly frizzled feathers and this chick is fantasically frizzled.

Expanded sessions of Garden Sprouts were … [

How Do You Say “Rake” In Spanish? – Spanish Language Garden Resources

July 28th, 2011

Over the years we have been asked, "Do you have any garden-based education resources in Spanish?"

Here's a nice collection of resources for teaching and working in school and community gardens with Spanish speakers:


For Garden-Based Educators

For Agricultural Production and Market Gardeners


Garden-Based Education Resources

The Life Lab Science K-5 Curriculum is a garden-based science curriculum which is in written in English with Spanish language handouts, parent [Read More →]

Garden Signs

June 27th, 2010

Purchased designs come as PDF download digital files. We do not sell the physical signs themselves, just a digital design.

With the digital files you will be able to print and laminate your own signs or get them printed in a more professional manner. Purchased sign designs are downloadable as PDF's once you complete your sale. Adobe Illustrator files may also be requested and will be sent on a disk … [Read More →]

Curricula & Activity Guides

June 27th, 2010

Update: We have cross-mapped our Growing Classroom activities to relevant Next Generation Science and Common Core Math and Language Arts content standards, and also mapped our Sowing the Seeds of Wonder activities to California's Preschool Learning Foundations. Learn more about Common Core and Next Generation in the Garden.

Please note that if you wish to receive your order within the next 10 days, please contact our office at 831-459-2001

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June 17th, 2010

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Learn other ways to stay in touch with Life Lab.

Newsletter Archives  

Winter 2015
Program Updates  
2014 Organizational Highlights
We Didi It!
Top 10 Webinars
Become a FoodCorps Service Member
Garden Tips and Educator Resources
Recipe: Curry Winter Squash Soup
Lesson: Lighthouse – Communication Skills
Garden Tip: Outdoor Classroom Management
Upcoming Events
Life Lab Spring Benefit Brunch – Save the Date
Upcoming Workshops and … [

Life Lab Store

April 25th, 2010

Please note that if you wish to receive your order within the next 10 days, please contact our office at 831-459-2001 or 831-459-3833 to speak to someone before completing your order, so that we can confirm how quickly we can fulfill and ship your order. We are occasionally out of stock on items, and our fulfillment staff work part-time. Thanks!

Life Lab's first book, The Growing Classroom was published

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Free Garden Science Exploration Units

February 26th, 2010

Created with lessons from the K-5 Life Lab Science Curriculum and The Growing Classroom our Science Exploration Units are garden themed and aligned to the California State Science Standards.

These units have 6 lessons each and are available as a PDF download or purchased as a set of four from our store

Download the following units:

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New Publications for Families and Pre-school Educators

February 23rd, 2010

Our two new publications will help get families and wee-ones exploring the garden!

Sowing the Seeds of Wonder – Discovering the Garden in Early Childhood Education
Through hands-on activities preschool-age children will engage all of their senses as they discover the joys of gardening. Sowing the Seeds of Wonder is an educator guidebook that provides insight and lessons for educators to help students develop a lifelong connection to the outdoors. Lessons guide young students to … [Read More →]

The Garden, A Master Teacher – An Essay

January 14th, 2010

In our responses to the editor of The Atlantic we ask that they publish The Garden,  A Master Teacher written by a Life Lab Camp parent Kristen Berhan.

Kristen writes:
One of the complex questions I have been living is the question of education. This is a question that has grown within me from my own education in the public school system and now ripens as I have the

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The Garden, A Master Teacher

March 23rd, 2009

Printable version with references (PDF)

When I was a child and the world seemed grim I had a place that I would go to and find myself again. I think, or hope, that most of us had such a place. Mine was deep in what I remember as a thick forest behind my home (though I later saw it was only a small grove of trees!). In that forest … [Read More →]

A Life Lab Garden Is…

May 14th, 2008

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The Power of School Gardens

June 11th, 2007

This presentation was created as an introduction to CSGN’s Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden Workshop. It can be downloaded, along with other CSYSG workshop materials at:[Read More →]

2007 ~ The Growing Classroom New Edition!

January 24th, 2007

This new edition of The Growing Classroom is pulished by our friends at the National Gardening Association and help to bring a fresh look and needed revisions to one of the be garden-based learning publications in print.… [Read More →]

1994 ~ 4th-5th Grade Science Curriculum

December 31st, 1994

Videodiscovery publishes 4th and 5th grade Life Lab Science Curriculum.… [Read More →]

1992 ~ Life Lab Science Curriculum

January 2nd, 1992

Videodiscovery publishes Kindergarten – Third grade science curriculum. This curriculum is disseminated throughout the country training 10s of thousands of educators.

< --Life Lab Science Laser Disc Cover[

1986 ~ The Growing Classroom Goes National

January 3rd, 1986

Addison-Wesley and Life Lab enter into a publishing agreement. The Growing Classroom is promoted and sold across the country.… [Read More →]

1982 ~ The Growing Classroom: Garden-Based Science and Nutrition Curriculum

March 6th, 1982

Life Lab self publishes the first version of The Growing Classroom Activity Guide and creates workshops which are conducted for 10 schools in Santa Cruz County. Life Lab garners its first science award, The WSTA Center of Excellence. Staff start attending regional and national conferences with The Growing Classroom Activity Guide.[Read More →]