The Benefit of Outdoor Classroom Signs

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in E-Course – Becoming a Natural Teacher, The Seedling BLOG | 6 comments

The Benefit of Outdoor Classroom Signs 

Create Literacy-Rich Outdoor Spaces Using Signs

What makes an Outdoor Classroom an Outdoor Classroom? What distinguishes an Outdoor Classroom from a simple garden with children in it?  The transformation begins with the use of Signs. There are many types of sign and lots of benefits to adding signs to your outdoor space. Signs can…

  1. demonstrate the life cycles of a butterfly ( This sign would be in the butterfly garden.)
  2. shows pictures of the parts of a butterfly (This sign would be in the butterfly garden)
  3. show plant and tree identification (Anywhere in the garden)
  4. can label types of gardens and educate visitors about the area
  5. can give friendly reminders (Nature at Work)
  6. inform what is growing when you don’t necessarily see it
  7. ask questions to the viewer
  8. label areas of study (decomposing log)
  9. share the rules of the area
  10. be inspirational quotes

Ann Foley is here today to share how she incorporated literacy into her Outdoor Classroom at the Christ Church Parish Day School’s in Hamilton, Massachusetts.

Anne notes, “We have new signage throughout our outdoor classroom. The chimes are a new addition from last fall. We constructed them from old and discarded wind chimes. A friend drilled holes in a piece of driftwood and we assembled it with rainbow colored parachute cord. It lives indoors during the winter but we couldn’t resist bring it out these past few glorious days. It is a happy spot for the children to play.


I love the choice of words….SPRINKLE, BLOOM & INVESTIGATE! I can see so many fun nature-based outdoor learning activities here!




 Every Outdoor Classroom should have a Little Free Library. I love this!



 Recycle, Reuse and make a MUD KITCHEN!

Always important to have a designated Gathering Place Outdoors. Thank you, Anne, for the tour of your Outdoor Classroom. I always learn something new when I see different Outdoor Classrooms.


What did you learn? How can you add Literacy to your Outdoor Classroom? We want to hear from you. Share your ideas and write a comment below. Do you have an Outdoor Classroom that you would like to share? Send in your pictures today to Victoria Hackett!

Happy Gardening!



  1. So far, I have drawn a plan of my yard to scale, and added some new areas- we have an existing music area, vegetable/flower garden,water tables, sand box, play house, picnic tables, and tipi made from tree branches. We have a small area next to a lawn swing where we relax and read. I am making places for a small native garden, loose parts building area, wall easels, a water wall, and a mud kitchen. I will tackle one project at a time, starting in March. I will send pictures as we make progress.

    • Hi Jeanne, Finding the right table for our outside classrom has been a challenge. I would love to see what you and other’s have. I am curious about your music space as well.

      • hi, Anne- I have an in-home family day care, so a small group of 6. We have a child size picnic table, a full size picnic table, and a coffee table in front of our lawn swing- all handmade of wood. I would actually like to have a square one without benches for a better work surface. Our music area a small 4’x4′ square building with a tin roof( for listening to the rain), a few metal objects on one outside wall for making sounds,(with more to come), wind chimes, wooden rings on a cord, and a few favorite rhythm instruments. I am planning to add more options this spring.

        • Thank you for your ideas. I love the idea of a coffee table as a surface. Also we have loads of wooden rings. They could certainly be re purposed for a different sound. I am looking forward to adding these new features.

  2. I have been working on a master plan for our outdoor classroom since the beginning of this class. I have plans for signs in our garden, for our music area, and mud kitchen. I also love the idea of the little free library, and the gathering spot. My grand-daughter attends a Montessori school here, that has so many outdoor features I dream of making for my children- I would have loved to go to a school like the ones people are creating now!

    • Do you have drawings or anything in your visual journal that you could share? It is fabulous what is happening! Can’t wait to watch the evolution through pictures.

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