Big Finn Hill Park – Kirkland / Bothell / Redmond
Teachers: Liz & Michelle
A hidden gem of King County Parks, full of towering trees & serene cedar groves, Big Finn Hill is an excellent location for a forest school. Modeled on the first outdoor preschools that started in Denmark, Sweden, & Norway over 50 years ago, forest schools use the natural environment as the third teacher. Daily, your little explorer will incorporate the awe and beauty of the natural landscape into their lessons, play, and activities. In fall they will collect fallen branches & leaves to build forts & castles, all while learning how to communicate and collaborate with their peers. In the winter your child will develop big muscles, and stay warm, by climbing and swinging between branches in our magical grove of low-hanging climbing trees (safely supervised). And in summer your little one will collect blackberries and salal berries to add to their snack, and to make art (blackberry Picasso? salal Monet?).
In our majestic classroom below the boughs of large western red cedar trees learning will come naturally. Together with a class of energetic peers, your young scholar will play with symbols, letters, and ideas, and build the social skills and resilience needed for a lifetime of success. They will play in a language rich environment, hearing and seeing words for the names of the trees, plants, and creatures that make the forest home. Their language and learning will be supported with plenty of books, sing-a-long songs, and small group story time. Numbers and symbols will be incorporated into daily play to build early math skills. To explore the world of science, and their theories, your child will plan their own experiments and share what they have learned with classmates through daily plan – do – review sessions.
Your child’s outdoor classroom is a 6 minute walk from the parking area at the Kirkland Lacrosse Center and secluded from the main trail and other users. Each day will start and end here with a schedule that includes plenty of child-directed play, social interaction, and excursion time in a learning rich environment. A fresh and healthy snack is included in the program & a new children’s playground (built 2016) is located at the parking area for your use before and after class. The classroom includes a private bathroom & hand washing station and easy access to the public picnic shelter in case of inclement weather.
*Session times and tuition rates for 2018-19 school year
AM Classroom | M-F, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm | Year Round | $699 (full price) or $499 (fin. assistance) a month*
PM Class | M, W & F | 1:00 – 4:30 pm | Year Round | $399 (full price) or $299 (fin. assistance) a month*
AM Class | M, W & F | 8:30 – 12:00 pm | Year Round | $450 (full price) or $350 (fin. assistance) a month*
AM Class | T & Th | 8:30 – 12:00 pm | Year Round | $350 (regular) or $299 (fin. assistance) a month*
* All programs have two prices, a full price and a financial assistance price. If you look at our full price tuition and think “I can’t afford that” then you most likely qualify for the financial assistance price. Learn more here.
** School is closed for one day a month for all staff training and professional development. A discount is included in the price. See 2017-18 school calendar for details.
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.