Our Cougar Mountain Park location offers endless acres of big mossy trees, extensive streams and trails, hidden waterfalls and excellent bird watching. This is our largest park and its diverse habitats provide ample learning opportunities. Although the classroom is secluded, it is just a 7 minute walk from the parking area. This classroom includes a beautiful shelter generously built by King County Parks and Recreation which offers a permanent dry space for wet days, and a a gutter system that leads to a rain barrel for water play.
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. In the winter, students stay warm through active games and adventures exploring the incredible park features. 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. During spring, students notice and learn about new plants in their classroom and during their hikes.
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. We develop opportunities for students to learn about our surrounding neighborhoods and communities, and to build community connections and partnerships.
Our outdoor classroom provides numerous learning opportunities and ample materials to inspire imagination and curiosity. Students learn how to harvest herbs and make tea, see frogs in the stream, and enjoy special park features like the extensive trails and lush forest areas. 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 I-90 and 10 from I-405, Pick up and drop off for Cougar Mountain is at the Red Town Trailhead Parking lot. Approximate location – 7 minute walk from trailhead parking area.
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.