Our Olympic Sculpture Park (OSP) location offers magnificent views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound, beaches with hidden tide pools and a garden of giant sculptures to explore. As a partnership with the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), this classroom has a strong focus on art and play-based education. Educators from SAM conduct monthly art workshops with our students, featuring works of art from SAM’s collection. Our classroom space is located on the North Terrace of Paccar Pavilion and teachers lead students on daily hikes throughout the park to features like Wake, Bunyon’s Chess and the Vivarium.
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. During the spring, students learn about the blooming plants in the park with the help of OSP’s onsite garden crew and visit OSP’s Pocket Beach to dig in the rocks and climb driftwood.
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. We are grateful for our SAM partnership and the opportunities we have to work with the museum’s resident teaching artists and garden staff.
Our outdoor classroom provides numerous learning opportunities and ample materials to inspire imagination and curiosity. 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.
This Tiny Trees Preschool is a collaboration with the Seattle Art Museum
A big thank you to all of the museum staff & community allies who have made this school possible.