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Apr 14, 2023

Seed Packet SEL

The “Flourish Me” worksheet allow students to illustrate what conditions allow them to thrive as they grow and develop. The photos below offer a preview, but download the PDF and print your own classroom set or upload to a digital platform. Students will recognize that they likely flourish under different conditions than their peers, though… 

May 27, 2022

Lessons from the Garden

I am often amazed at how many life lessons we can learn from observing the garden and how plants communicate their needs. Consider these three unexpected ways that students may relate to plants. 1. Let’s start with boundaries. I have struggled with setting boundaries in the past. I was worried about upsetting someone or letting others… 

Mar 27, 2022

Write, Rip, Grow

I recently came across this quote by Sigmund Freud, “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” Some of those uglier ways that unexpressed emotions come forth can be acting out, depression and even physical symptoms, like a tummy ache or a headache. However, expressing our emotions can… 

Feb 16, 2022


The last few years have brought about a new or intensified feeling in many people, including children: the feeling of anxiety. Being outside and connecting with nature can help alleviate anxiety. Grounding techniques can also help to control symptoms of anxiety by turning attention away from stressors and refocusing on the present. This grounding technique,… 

Jan 19, 2022

Nature Bracelets

Winter can be an interesting time in the garden, though the leaves have fallen and there usually isn’t much growing in the garden at this time. It can still be a great time for discovery. One of my favorite discovery activities in the garden or outdoor classroom is making nature bracelets. Each student is given… 

Dec 13, 2021

Winter Sound Maps

While I love the holiday season, December always seems so hectic and rushed; it can take its toll on me. The same can be true for students this time of year, with holiday excitement can also come anxiety. This month’s SEL activity, Winter Sound Maps, is a great way to slow down, pause to connect… 

Dec 6, 2021

Fall-themed Nature Mandalas

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year with cool crisp mornings and sunny warm afternoons. It is also a time when the garden is winding down for the season and it can be difficult to plan outdoor activities during the colder months. Nature mandalas are one way to connect with nature year-round… 

Oct 14, 2021

Go and See (SEL)

Go and See is a great activity for using observational skills and moving from place to place. One person volunteers to move ahead while the rest of the group counts down from 10; when the group gets to 0, the volunteer stops, looks around, and finds something special or interesting to share with the rest… 

Sep 23, 2021

Social Emotional Learning Primer

Doug and I spent the month of June delivering workshops on Social Emotional Learning in the Garden.  The more I prepared for these workshops the more I realized how beneficial the garden can be to social and emotional development.  I started by spending some time just figuring out what is meant by SEL. According to…