Blog


Gratitude, Peace, and Building Resilience

On Peace, Gratitude, and Childhood At Big Circle, our daily community singing ritual, we’ve recently incorporated a Peace song, and this feels particularly relevant and important at this moment in the world. We want to take the opportunity to invite 

Building Lifelong Healthy Relationships with Food and Food Systems

What’s Growing This Week? This week at Big Circle we’ve focused on the foods that have been grown near or around us. (The vegetable-related puns we weave into our Big Circle Singing experience just can’t be beet…. From my head 

Wear Your Imagination: The Intersection of Creativity, Sustainability, and a Growth Mindset

Wear Your Imagination! The week of October 30-November 3rd is our annual Treehouse Learning Dress up Week, something we coin, “Wear Your Imagination!” Let’s get creative and wear interesting, creative, and thoughtful things all week long! (But always things that 

Hispanic Heritage Month, Indigenous People’s Day, and Identity: Person-First Language

We wanted to offer a few definitions to explore some relevant overlaps between Hispanic Heritage and Indigenous People’s Day (which each include systems of European colonization). We started with these definitions to explore concepts of identity and culture with the 

“Culturally Divisive” Topics, or Social-Emotional Learning as the Foundations of Democracy

This week, we received a great question from one of our parent feedback surveys that we thought would make an excellent blog post. The question was: How does Treehouse Learning teach socially or culturally divisive subjects? First, we don’t actually 

Halloween: Candy, Consumption, and Costumes (Oh My!)

Halloween at the end of the month is such an interesting cultural phenomenon in 2023 here in America!  Here is a blog post we wrote last year: The Culture of Costumes on Creative Learning Experiences – Treehouse Learning where we started with 

Water is Life: Everywhere the Water Flows, We Can Plant a Tree to Grow…

Our own backyard here in Boulder County is the direct connection to our approach to water at Treehouse Learning and as residents of the Front Range Water Shed. At the Western Edge of the county in an area now known 

Treehouse Learning wins Silver Colorado Green Business Network

The Colorado Green Business Network within CDPHE has recognized Treehouse Learning as a Silver-certified member! The program focuses on helping businesses across the state advance sustainability and reduce their environmental impact. By joining, businesses gain access to funding resources, a 

Tree Planting Party: Community Climate Action to Build Community

Treehouse Learning is hosting a community tree planting event on October 8th, 2023 from 2-5 pm! In collaboration with the Cool Boulder and The Tree Trust at the Play Boulder Foundation, we hope you will join us for a community-action climate event to learn something 

Treehouse Learning and Yale’s RULER Social-Emotional Curriculum

Treehouse Learning is offering Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence’s RULER Social Emotional Curriculum to support developmental objectives for social-emotional learning at Treehouse Learning, which we offer as part of an entire menu to support whole-person well-being and life-long positive 

Books, Books, Books, and How Children Learn to Read!

(Hint- learning to read is all about relationships, but reading isn’t actually a natural process!) A Simple View of Reading, and Complex Brain-Based Process Learning to read is a complex process that human beings have adapted to learn to do. 

Free Play, Mental Health and the Privilege of an “Overprotected Childhood”

At Treehouse Learning, we closely monitor research and insights related to play-based learning and other issues impacting the capacity for all children to thrive. In the context of our Whole Brain, Whole Person, Whole Planet perspective, we take a long-view 

Parenting (and Learning!) Beyond Power: Upcoming workshops with Jen Lumanlan for Parents and Teachers

Treehouse Learning has a mission to help the world thrive- and everything in it! We are guided by an educational philosophy of Whole Brain, Whole Person, and Whole Planet. This is why we are thrilled to partner with researcher, parenting 

Summer Camps at Treehouse Learning for K-3!

Treehouse Learning, a longtime leader in quality Early Childhood Education in Boulder County, is now offering weekly summer camp sessions for incoming 1st-3rd grade in our River Classroom, and for incoming kindergartners! Our 2023 camp sessions were a great success, 

Mixed Age Play, Social-Emotional Development and Bullies versus Leaders

While early childhood educators, families, and neighborhood play groups have long seen the benefits of mixed-age play, researcher Peter Gray weaves together the experiential with the data and research through his newest writing collaboration, Play Makes Us Human. This week’s 

Cultivating Flexibility & Resilience, and Adaptability

As parents and educators of young children, our role is to facilitate the “goldilocks” approach in supporting learning by ensuring that the challenges children experience are neither too daunting to overcome nor too easy. Challenges, resistance, and adversity lead to 

Pollinators: You Are Great! We Appreciate All You Pollinate!

Pollinator Week: June 19th-23rd: As if we needed a reason to celebrate pollinators! Yay, Pollinator Week! We can’t stop thinking about how much we appreciate them! At Treehouse Learning, we sing about them at Big Circle, we plant foods for 

Treehouse Learning Welcomes Chickens!

Our flock has grown! This Spring Treehouse Learning welcomed 3 lovely feathered ladies into their new home (a custom-made coop down the back driveway). One is already laying eggs, and the other two pullets (or chickens under a year old) 

Thriving in Variable Conditions, and Increasing our Capacity to Cope

The principle of increasing our tolerance windows doesn’t just relate to uncomfortable weather! It also encompasses our capacity to notice, name, and validate (without judgment!) our feelings and emotions, including all of our Big Feelings. All emotions are teachers, and 

How to Support Environmental Literacy and a Whole-Planet Mindset at Home

At Treehouse Learning, we provide early care and education with the mission of helping the world thrive, and everything in it. We learn, practice, and establish lifelong patterns for caring for our whole brains and minds, our bodies, and the 

What does it look like to truly honor motherhood?

Once a year in May, a single day is supposedly set aside in our culture to honor and celebrate Mothers and the role of motherhood. To be a mother is simultaneously a marker of personal and social identity, a job 

Nature-Based Learning, and What’s So Great About Waneka Lake? 

At Treehouse Learning, we don’t take our beautiful location in Eastern Boulder County for granted! Especially our close proximity to Waneka Lake Park, an amazing wildlife gem nestled in the City of Lafayette. Not only do we get to borrow 

Building a Better World Through BIDES- Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Sustainability

At Treehouse Learning we have adopted a framework for the expression of our core values called BIDES, an acronym for Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Sustainability. This values framework encompasses our core values as an organization or at the staff 

Is Cheerful Dish-Washing a Reasonable or Necessary Parenting Goal?

How do we support capable, independent, empowered, and responsible children? In our last post, we wrote about how culture impacts our parenting and explored the intersection between Helicopter Parenting, Emotional Intelligence, and a context around household chores and who (and 

Confessions from a Helicopter Parent and A Magic Cleaning Fairy: How Culture Shapes Parenting

Are Helicopter Parents Lazy? Optimizing parental efficiency in a busy world, or just doing their best? Here’s a provocative article to consider about parenting styles with a different perspective on the so-called helicopter parent: Are Helicopter Parents Lazy? Is it 

Environmental Literacy and Nature-Based Learning

STEAM, Environmental Literacy, and Future Careers as Part of Early Childhood Education At Treehouse Learning, our curriculum integrates STEAM, as well as all academics, into nature-based learning. In fact, in our whole brain, whole person, whole planet approach, all learning 

Ways of Learning: Mixed-Age Classrooms

Mixed-age learning environments are all around us, and we naturally experience them from birth. Mixed-age setting provides a group atmosphere resembling family life more closely than the highly regimented institution of our schooling system. At home, at work, in families, 

Benefits of Mixed Age Groupings

Benefits for Older (or more skilled) children Leadership opportunities! Older children become natural leaders and models Older children benefit from the opportunity to give help, teach, explain concepts to younger children, model sharing behaviors, and show greater sensitivity to the 

Raising Lifelong Readers: School Readiness and Preparing for Lifelong Literacy

“If you cannot write well, you cannot think well, and if you cannot think well, others will do your thinking for you.” -George Orwell “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” – Frederick Douglass Our values and 

Boundaries, limits, and children’s challenging behavior within whole-person relationships

As parents and educators, we’ve been reflecting lately on parenting challenges we face in dealing with our children’s challenging behavior in a respectful and effective way that remains aligned with our values of supporting each child’s optimal whole-person development in 

Martin Luther King Jr Day, Building the World Want to See

Treehouse Learning will be closed this year in observance of Martin Luther King Jr Day, the first time we’ve ever closed in observance of this holiday. Why does this matter to Treehouse Learning? Quite simply, it’s part of who we 

Big Circle + Brain Gym: A Whole Brain, Whole Person Invitation into a Joyful Day

Big Circle: More than just singing At its core, Big Circle is a sacred community gathering that invites our entire Treehouse Learning community of children, staff, parents, and other adults into an integrated place of positive, joyful energy. At Treehouse 

Learning With All Sides of the Brain: Brain Gym Cross Crawl

At Treehouse Learning, we support whole-person development and integration through intentional, respectful, and responsive experiences. We are a community of co-learners and believe that all learning optimally and spontaneously occurs in the context of whole-brain integration and activation, and when 

An Innovative Opportunity to Improve Workforce Retention in the Early Childcare Industry

As part of our $45K award for the CIRCLE Grant, our innovative and community-based initiatives to improve resilience, equity, and sustainability in early childcare environments are focused on addressing the systemic challenges of improving workforce retention, supporting workforce preparedness, and 

Community-Based Innovation to Reimagine Early Childhood Education in Action

In October 2022, Treehouse Learning was awarded a $45K competitive CIRCLE Grant to pursue and implement innovative solutions to make early childhood education more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable.  In partnership with the Colorado Department of Early Childhood, Early Milestones is 

Private Equity in Corporate Daycare Franchises, Versus Holistic, Community-based Early Childhood Education Experiences to Support Whole-Person Thriving

What Does a Thriving Community Look Like? Treehouse Learning exists to help humans thrive and co-create the kind of world we wish for our descendants to inherit. We are actively and deeply invested in shaping the future. No one on 

Champions for Children: Advocacy for Preschool, Universal PreK, and Childhood, and Protecting Playful Learning

Universal PreK in Colorado In the Fall of 2023, a new state law goes into effect that provides funding for up 15 hours per week (now expanded from the original 10 hours/week) for all 4-year-olds in Colorado to be eligible 

Building Strong Communities through Communal Singing: Music as Resistance and Resilience

This week we were struck by images coming out of Ukraine of the National Ukraine Philharmonic performing despite, or in spite of, recent Russian missile strikes to the power grid within a context of nearly a year of war and 

Treehouse Learning Wins Gold in Louisville Green Business Program

This week, Treehouse Learning was recognized by the City of Louisville as a Gold Level award winner for our participation in the Louisville Green Business Program. Treehouse Learning was recognized for our sustainability efforts in the area of energy efficiency, 

Finding Clarity Through Movements: Brain Buttons

Every morning at Treehouse Learning, we gather at Big Circle and begin our day with an intentional song of welcome centered around our values of a community anchored in inclusion, belonging, and the invitation to be part of something larger 

Water is Life: Whole-Brain Integration, Hydration, and Holistic Water Relationships

At Treehouse Learning, we begin our day with Big Circle, a community gathering in the Big Room for a whole-program morning routine embedding music, movement, play, and whole-brain learning opportunities via relationship and community. After our unique Treehouse Learning Welcome 

The Case for Increasing Pay for Early Childhood Educators

Take into consideration that educators shape every other profession. Let that sink in for a minute. Maybe read it again: Educators shape every single profession. Every profession or career path that adults choose to follow has been inspired, taught, and 

Quality Early Childhood Education In Action: Whole Person Integration Leads to Learning

Whole Person Development and Integration in Early Childhood Education: Why Brain Gym, and Why PACE? Over the next few weeks, we’ll settle into a comfortable pace to dive into a deeper understanding of PACE, the doorway into whole-brain integration and 

The Culture of Costumes on Creative Learning Experiences

Here we are in the glorious week of parenting between Halloween and Daylight Savings. The time change is certainly a double whammy on top of a week full of extra stimulation, extra sugar, and extra activities- all of which probably 

Employer Flexibility, Community Health, and Illness in Early Childcare Centers

As parents, we all worry when our child is sick, and we all wish for them to be healthy and experience wellness. As working parents, it is also clearly inconvenient (to us) when our children! In fact, while some parents 

Community Partnerships and Family Engagement in Quality Early Childhood Educational Experiences

Treehouse Learning exists in a vibrant and dynamic community with a rich history. Nestled at the base of the foothills with a stunning panoramic view of the mountains, Treehouse Learning is located within the ancestral homelands of Arapaho, Cheyenne, and 

Integration: Relationship-Based Interactions Shape Brain Development

Children enter the world with not-yet-developed brains! In fact, research shows that our prefrontal cortex isn’t fully developed until we’re approaching 25-30 years old (something car rental companies have known for ages!) The ability of growing humans to regulate our 

Preschool vs. Kindergarten; and, You’re Never Going to Make Your Child’s Hair Grow Any Faster!

Imagine being outside, mid-day, on a stiflingly hot and sunny late July day in Colorado. Now imagine spending the same time outside in the same hot weather, but this time you’re wearing snow boots, a down-puffer jacket, mittens, and a 

Hispanic Heritage Month: Migrant Farm Work and Quality Early Childhood Education Experiences

Guest Blogger Post: Treehouse Learning edu-carer Candice M. writes about a side of Hispanic culture not always acknowledged within early childhood education programs: migrant work, food systems, and the impact of migrant work on quality early childhood learning experiences. Candice 

Creative Arts in Quality Early Childhood Education: Vulnerability, Intelligence, Resilience, and Whole-Person Learning and Development

What does a young child’s painting project have to do with helping humans thrive and creating the kind of world we want to see? Everything! All possible and impossible things begin first with imagination. We believe our world needs creative 

Play-Based Movement with a Purpose! Beyond Exercise: Joyful Learning for Whole-Person Development

Do humans need exercise to be healthy? Not exactly!  Children were designed by nature to move and wired to learn through playful movement. Far more than any exercise regime, children simply need invitations and opportunities to playfully move, with abundant 

Wired by Nature- How outside playtime optimizes whole-person development

The research is clear and overwhelming that children were designed by nature to benefit from immersion and experiences in nature. Ample outdoor time for children functions effectively as a multivitamin for our brains, bodies, and souls.  In his seminal work, 

Sexual Abuse Prevention Strategies, Systemic Change, and Caregiving Needs

In our work with young children, we are actively engaged in creating a world where sexual abuse doesn’t exist! Today, however, it is still an unfortunate reality that gender-based violence, including sexual abuse of children, exists within systemic power structures 

Spatial Awarenss, Objects in Space, and Gendered-Play

Playful learning and intentional, play-based learning experiences are the foundational cornerstones for whole-person development and supporting humans to thrive. Our role as adults in the lives of young children is to empower them to build the skills, knowledge, experience, and 

Not Just Lunch- Mealtime as Curriculum

In a quality early childhood education program, mealtime is in itself a curriculum that supports our objective of whole-person development. While the quality and nutritional value of the food itself is one essential component to children’s well-being, so too is 

The Importance of Early Childhood Experiences on Brain Development

Never in a lifetime does a human brain develop as rapidly as the period of birth- 5 years old. When we think about investment in early childhood education, we usually think in terms of financial returns, with research supporting a 

Consent Culture + Body Safe Policies for Sexual Abuse Prevention

At Treehouse Learning, the purpose of our sexual abuse prevention and body safe policies is to create a culture of consent and bodily safety based on trust and respect. While not all children will be sexually abused, all children are 

Celebrating a Visionary of Play: Dr. Nancy L. Benson | Aug. 23, 1948 – Aug. 11, 2012

Ten years ago, on August 11, 2012, Treehouse Learning founder and visionary, Dr. Nancy L. Benson, laughed her last laugh and smiled her last smile and her human body ceased to live and breathe. Her legacy at Treehouse Learning endures, 

Music and Movement as Curriculum: Starting our Day with Singing!

Our founder, Dr. Nancy Benson, created a unique Treehouse Learning ritual called Big Circle. At 8:45 each morning, infant-kindergarten classrooms would gather as a community in the Big Room to welcome each other in songs, movement, counting, connecting and belonging. 

Transition Times and Relationship Rituals

Transitions, by definition, require a whole lot of change! The rhythm of our yearly calendar places our biggest poing of transition to the start of our Fall Program, where many of our children move to new rooms next door, down 

Environment as Curriculum: How Our Spaces Invite Whole-Person Learning Experiences

Environment as Curriculum and invitation to engage with the world:  At Treehouse Learning, we value caring for ourselves, one another, and the world around us. This shows up in the ways we care for ourselves, other people and things, and 

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