About

Photo by Rocky Grimes

AT TINY TREES PRESCHOOL, WE PLAY TO LEARN

We offer a gleefully muddy childhood: one full of play, exploration, and wonder outdoors.

Yes, you heard that right! Tiny Trees is all-outdoors. We partner with public parks to create class spaces that offer children more than the traditional classroom.

The best part is we offer this joyful education to all families, with an equitable approach to financial assistance and a commitment to inclusive, anti-bias practices. Tiny Trees Preschool is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

PURPOSE


We strive to create safe and affirming outdoor spaces that support children’s physical, emotional and intellectual development.

Our founding vision is to create a community where all children have access to high quality education and develop the social, emotional and academic skills needed to thrive in school and life. Our vision has also expanded to become an anti-racist organization that helps children and families feel a sense of belonging in nature by increasing access to meaningful outdoor learning that is child-centered, grounded in community and culturally responsive.

PHILOSOPHY


We believe that children are strong, capable and full of potential. Children learn through play, and nature -whether in the cracks of a sidewalk or in the deep woods, provides an amazing platform for that learning. We implement an anti-bias curriculum in our outdoor classrooms; a proactive approach to helping children to build a more equitable, just world through their interactions with one another. Students and teachers will engage in dialogue in celebration of difference and be challenged to think critically about how they treat one another.

EDUCATIONAL APPROACH


To meet our goals we use a celebrated, evidence based curriculum called High Scope. We chose it because:

1) It has a strong evidence base (they ran the first study on preschool learning 50 yrs ago – the perry preschool project).

2) The City of Seattle recommends it as a standard of quality for their preschool program.

3) It works outdoors. The model is dependent on the quality of the interaction between the teacher and student not props, prepared worksheets or ipads.

High Scope provides a framework for how we deliver high quality education. Nature, our students, our educators, and the community around us provides the filler. Teachers construct opportunities for children based on their needs, interests, and what’s happening in nature. It is the ultimate emergent curriculum.

We aim to measure our quality the Preschool Quality Assessment (PQA) and the Guidelines for Excellence for Early Childhood Environmental Education Programs. We are in partnership with the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) to develop additional standards for outdoor preschools.

Our teachers track student progress by documenting their daily experiences and using reflective practices to support them. Our observations are based on the teaching strategies gold system, which offers developmental milestones and learning objectives. We use these tools to make sure we are meeting the individual need of every student, wherever they are in their learning progression.

We welcome all children and families. Read our non-discrimination policy here.