Our Big Finn Hill location offers towering trees and extensive hiking trails. Students love the great climbing area, and often enjoy eagle sightings. Although the classroom is secluded, it is just a 6 minute walk from the parking area at the Kirkland Lacrosse Center. The nearby children’s playground (built in 2016) provides a great place to play or visit with other students and families before or after class!
Several principles that guide our work include building a sense of curiosity and wonder, cultivating civic engagement and stewardship, and using natural materials. We are immersed in the changes from season to season. In the fall, students count colorful tree leaves and collect fallen tree branches to build forts to play in. In the winter, students stay warm through active games and adventures exploring special park features. The incredible cedar grove, with low-hanging trees, is perfect for swinging and climbing! Nature activates students’ curiosity and imagination, and our educators structure healthy risk-taking and risky play opportunities using the natural materials and spaces in the park. Students welcome spring as they notice and learn about new plants. A popular spring activity includes collecting blackberries and salal berries to make art in the classroom.
At Tiny Trees, we use a Place-Based Learning (PBL) approach to developing curriculum. Through observation and activities, students develop a knowledge and appreciation of the plants and animals in our shared spaces. Our teachers work to scaffold students’ understanding of stewardship, connection to place and human impact on nature. Our teachers seek out ways to engage families, develop community relationships, and foster opportunities for students to learn about our surrounding neighborhoods and communities. We are grateful for our connections and partnerships, like our relationship with the nearby Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance.
Our outdoor classroom provides numerous learning opportunities and ample materials to inspire imagination and curiosity. Our students learn how to harvest herbs and make tea, and visit special park features like the beloved cedar grove. Students conduct their own experiments, hear and share stories, play with quantities and numbers, and engage with symbols, letters and ideas. Using the evidence-based HighScope curriculum as our framework, our teachers construct their daily plans by focusing on activities that strengthen students’ skills and lessons that align with students’ interests. To learn more about our programming, curriculum and tools that support our work, please visit our Curriculum Page.
An 8 minute drive from WA-522 and 10 from I-405, Tiny Trees at Big Finn Hill Park is most accessible for families in the Kirkland, North Bellevue, Lake Forest Park, Woodinville & Bothell area. Classroom is a 10 minute walk from Henry David Thoreau elementary school.
This Tiny Trees Preschool is a partnership with King County Parks.
A big thank you to all of the King County staff & community allies who have made this school possible.