Make your own school forest signs

Professional made sign

professional made sign showing trail map

  • You will need to provide text and design. When ordering signs, consider:
    • Material - Aluminum lasts several years; plastic only a couple years. Signs may also be coated to withstand the elements.
    • Attachments - A sign company will ask where to add any pre-drilled holes. Will you attach signs to wood or metal posts? You can also attach signs to large trees.
    • Color – Make sure the text contrasts well with the background (e.g., black-on-white). Sample color contrast checker. If using school colors, provide the CYMK or RGB values. Ask for fade-proof ink.

School-made signs

wooden trail sign with trail map attached.

  • Ask your district sign shop to create and install signs and posts if you have one.
  • Ask the shop class to create and install posts of treated wood or metal throughout your school forest.
  • Classes, scouts, volunteers can make wood-routed signs.
  • Children can paint designs and text on wood or acrylic paint on treated lumber, which can be mounted on posts. Use stencils if you like. Treat the final sign with a weatherproof sealant.

Teachable moments using signs

  • Children’s poems, artwork, story text, etc. can be laminated and stapled to wooden T-posts. This works great for storywalks too.
  • Hang numbers on a selected trees. Then use these numbered trees to organize students outdoors.
  • Find four trees located along each of the cardinal directions. Then hang signs “north, south, east, west” and teach about navigation.

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