About Us

Hearts in the Garden

One of the children renamed our school “Hearts in the Garden”.

There are a lot of hearts here ~ flower hearts, body hearts, giving hearts.

Our long term project this year started when we found a full coyote skeleton on a hike. This investigation has morphed into explorations of bones, organs including hearts and much more. Through this work the children have come to understand their own anatomy. When a parent came to show the children a model heart from his office, one child asked, “Why are hearts in our bodies and shapes? It doesn’t look like a real heart.” Listening to children try to make connections through a project-based learning approach is the basis of our work.

We are a family childcare preschool that opened in 2012 with the purpose of creating an arts and nature-based school with an emergent curriculum for children. We are fortunate to be located in West Petaluma, CA on a beautiful spacious country property. Even more fortunate to have three buildings (main house, art studio and music studio) plus multiple outdoor covered ‘classrooms’, planting gardens, fruit and climbing trees and surrounded by the sounds of farm animals. Having this wide range of spaces, textures and the natural world is a unique learning canvas for children.

Together, we bring over 35 years of directing, training and teaching experience to our work with children. Our approach is to come into close relationship with each child where they are as individuals. We are experienced, creative-minded teachers with backgrounds and training in the arts, nature-based education, theory, psychology and frameworks. With these solid foundations, we are able to focus on children’s individual and group social and emotional needs — the most important aspects for healthy brain development.

Arts in the Garden is magical. The teachers are positive, gentle, intuitive and compassionate with the children. The environment is welcoming and beautiful with creative activities and explorations tucked behind every corner. My son has blossomed attending Arts in the Garden and is beyond ready for kindergarten. As soon as I walked into Arts in the Garden I thought, this is where my children belong.

~ From an Arts in the Garden Parent