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Chavitos students and teacher


The links below help illuminate the philosophy and theories behind our Nature Immersion philosophy.

  • Children & Nature Network
  • The Movement to Restore Children's Play from the New York Time
  • Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills by Alix Spiegel on NPR


  • Seattle's Childrens Playgarden: The PlayGarden was founded in 2002 on the core principles of Adventure Play, Garden to Table and Full Inclusion the PlayGarden was designed to be a safe, supportive, accessible and innovative place for children of all abilities to play.
  • Natural Start Alliance: A network of people and organizations that believe that all young children need frequent opportunities to experience, learn from, and care for nature and the environment through high-quality education. The Alliance, a project of the North American Association for Environmental Education, serves as a backbone organization to focus and amplify the collective impact of the people and organizations that share this common vision.
  • Braided Seeds:A Black-experience-centered org removing barriers to the outdoors for BIPOC. Braided Seeds provides opportunities for rest, restoration and reconnection to the land, especially for communities of color through increasing access, knowledge, and opportunities to outdoor recreation and food sovereignty.
  • Tacoma Tree Foundation : This is a nonprofit organization with a community-based approach to growing the urban forest. Their mission is to educate, empower, and support community members in neighborhood-based greening. Together we can grow a greener, healthier, and more connected Great Tacoma area!
  • Local Color Farm and Fiber: Owned and operated by Emily Tzeng and Brian Love. They grow food, flowers and fiber. They live and farm in the Puyallup River Valley of Washington and are excited to be growing fresh vegetables, heritage breed lamb, and naturally dyed fibers for your family. 
  • Zestful Gardens: Providing organic vegetables, fruits, meat and eggs to Tacoma and surrounding areas through its CSA program and at Tacoma farmers markets.  They offer a wide variety of fresh and delivious seasonal produce. Over 80 different varrieites are grown including heirloom varieties.  
  • Rose Island Farm: An Indigenous family-owned farm in southeast Tacoma. They prioritize and center people of culture and all of their Indigenous relatives.  Located in the territory of the Puyallup Indian Tribe and their coastal Salish relatives, they lovingly grow and care for herbs, foods and create herbal supports. These supports are for the Tahoma Indian Center and local BIPOC relatives.  Melissa hosts community classes at the farm and provides safe space for Black and Indigenous community and families. 

Recommended Books

The Last Child in the Woods

by Richard Louv, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, ©2005

Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life

by Richard Louv, ©2016

Growing Up Wild – Exploring Nature with Young Children

by The Council For Environmental Education, ©2009

A Child’s Work – the importance of fantasy play

by Vivian Gussin Paley, University of Chicago Press, ©2004

Place-Based Education

by David Sobel, The Orion Society, ©2004

Braiding Sweet Grass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, ©2013

Hunt, Gather, Parent by Michaeleen Doucleff  

Grow Wild ©2021 and Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman ©2021

Ancestral skills resources

I recommend the Swedish Mora knife for children. With finger guard and smaller handle. You can keep it sharp with regular kitchen knife sharpener. Amazon sells it here.

Books on whittling:

Rageweed forge. Find the website here

Help to teach about the moon cycles:

Kids Moon from Wilder Child. Helps you have nature-connected parenting. Sign up is done once a year in December.  

Indigenous Education Resources


Tips for Teaching about Native Peoples: An article from the Burke Museum on how to use respectful strategies for teaching about the indigenous tribes.  


Since Time Immemorial: Found on the OSPI website. In 2015, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 5433 modifying the original 2005 legislation, now requiring the Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State or other tribally-developed curriculum be taught in all schools. The use of the Since Time Immemorial curriculum has been endorsed by all 29 federally recognized tribes. The lessons are broken down into different age groups making it easy to find appropriate lessons for your child's age.


How to honor native land: A video of acknowledging the native land and the four directions.   It's so important to give thanks to the land and to the original habitants and stewards of the land.  


Wow in the World

Sparkle Stories


Chavitos Nature Program

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