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"We are committed to creating a seamless, whole child curriculum that moves between outdoor and indoor learning experiences with full utilization of our unique campus learning spaces."

- Villa Academy Outdoor Learning Committee


Preschool Outdoor Education

Our 31-acre campus is unique among schools in the Seattle area. Our diverse landscape includes grassy areas, a multi-purpose playfield, the school garden, orchards, deciduous and mixed forest areas, a wetland seep, riparian forest area bordering on Lake Washington, and waterfront access.

Preschool Gardens
Our preschool gardens are a living science lab, tended by students in our P3, P4, and P5 classes. Learn more>>

The Grotto 
Our historic Grotto, built in the 1930s and restored in 2015, is a secluded, shady stone structure surrounded by trees. It's the perfect spot for large and small group work as well as quiet reflection.

The Orchard
Our orchard is more than a collection of fruit-bearing trees; it is an alternative learning space for our preschoolers. Throughout the orchard, our older students have designed and built forts from fallen limbs and other natural items.

The Woods
Our 31-acre campus includes dozens of varieties of trees and shrubs, within distinct "zones". Our woods are an interactive learning space for a variety of purposes including science, math, and art.

The Sanctuary
The Sanctuary is a secluded open space surrounded by trees. A series of log benches provide a seating area.

The Lakefront
Our campus includes 600 feet of Lake Washington waterfront with a natural shore that includes native plants and nesting eagles.


Why Learn Outdoors?

  • Physical Benefits
    • Stimulating the senses
    • Decreasing stress
  • Cognitive Benefits
    • Increasing attention span
    • Creativity and problem solving (both academic and social-emotional learning)
  • Educational Benefits
    • Standards taught in a meaningful and retainable way
    • Authentic project-based learning
    • Ecological awareness
    • Seeds of stewardship
    • Connections to food and health (gardens)