Our Seahurst Park location provides a creative outdoor classroom space that includes the forest, stream and beach. The park offers incredible views of Puget Sound and the nearby children’s playground provides a great place to play or visit with other students and families before or after class! This location has a longer walk to the classroom from the parking lot which makes it more secluded and provides an opportunity to walk along the beach side and practice for kiddos to ride their bikes at drop-off and pick-up.
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 build piles and forts to play in. In the winter, students stay warm through active games, playing in the classroom climbing area and adventures exploring the incredible park features. During the spring, students tend to their classroom garden, visit tide pools on the beach and learn about the blooming plants during 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. Our teachers live nearby and appreciate ways to develop opportunities for students to learn about our surrounding neighborhoods and communities, and to build community connections and partnerships. We are incredibly grateful for our partnerships with the nearby Environmental Learning Center (ESC) and the Marine Technology Lab, both of which provide learning opportunities for our students. We have been fortunate to partner with our ESC friends and other local groups and programs in the community/outside of the classroom, too! With the foundation of a strong anti-bias curriculum, we aim to engage students in real-life, meaningful learning around social justice and equity, especially in ways that pertain to our classroom community.
Our outdoor classroom provides numerous learning opportunities and ample materials to inspire imagination and curiosity. Our students learn about healthy risk-taking and play, how to harvest herbs and make tea, and visit special park features like the extensive trails, forested areas and the beach. 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.
A short drive from Burien & Seatac, Tiny Trees at Seahurst Park is most accessible for families in Burien, Seatac, SW Seattle & White Center.
A big thank you to all of the City of Burien staff & community allies who have made this school possible.