Ages 4-6

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays  12:30 pm – 4 pm.

The Sunflower class is for children ages 4 to 6. Their parents take turns helping in the classroom roughly once every 3 weeks.  The Sunflower class spends most of each day outdoors to explore nature’s classroom. They spend 45 to 60 minutes indoors each day.


Early childhood is the time when children learn self-confidence and problem solving. When they learn outdoors, they find a sense of awe and wonder for nature. Students learn to question their world, make observations, and seek understanding.

Through storytelling, songs, nature journals, art projects, hikes, and working in the garden, students naturally fall in love with learning and view themselves as active agents in their own education.

All the activities of the class are experienced through the lens of a 4 to 6 year old. Although many students were in the same classroom one year prior, they are now able to celebrate greater fine motor ability and more significant dramatic play.

Songs, storytelling, and puppets are the tools we use to spark young imaginations. Our classroom is a gentle and safe environment for nurturing creative expressions, social interactions, and practical life skills.

Sunflowers focus on building confidence and strengthening relationships. In the Sunflower class, the teacher, assistant teacher and parent helper encourage children to develop their play in groups, thereby enhancing their socialization skills.

At this developmental stage, group play is more complex and incorporates more children. As their attention spans increase, Sunflowers stay with activities for longer periods of time, discovering new ways to use the same materials that were available the previous year. Art projects require greater concentration and coordination. Outdoor play takes on new dimensions as the children develop their physical and problem-solving skills. They become more aware of the world around them and their place in it.


Sunflowers are supported and encouraged on an individual basis when they initiate interests in reading, writing and math. Writing and sounding out letters becomes meaningful, for example, when children want to write notes to their parents or make a sign for their railroad or spaceship. Math is also organic as children build with blocks and discuss which ones are longer and how many there are. They figure out how to make a marble roll faster with a steeper ramp. They read stories to their dolls when they play house. The teacher actively engages and encourages each child as they show readiness.

By the end of the year, Sunflowers blossom into confident, well-rounded, curious children.

Our Sunflower class offers 1:4 ratio with a teacher, teacher assistant and parent helper, allowing us to offer more individual attention.

Woodhaven is a unique program. Your child’s success hinges on their comfort while learning and playing outdoors in all sorts of weather. It is important to send children to school in all-weather gear. We do have covered space for extreme weather and use indoor bathrooms.

Please visit our Outdoor Education Resources page for more information on gear and outdoor education

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©2015 Woodhaven School - 8470 SW Oleson Rd. - Portland, OR 97223 - Phone: (503) 520 -0807 -

Woodhaven does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, or ethnic origin.
We welcome diversity and have taught many preschool students learning English as their second language.