Wheel Days and Tour de Parklandia

Riding on Wheels Days at HFP

A couple of big days are coming up at HFP. We’ll take over the parking lot on scooters, bikes, and wagons, erecting the traffic cones to make it clear this space belongs to us! Just as the trees are bursting with flowers, confident preschoolers are bursting with energy. Offering gross motor physical challenges is one playful way to positively channel that energy. Wheel Days honor those who pedal to school or enjoy biking for weekend recreation, while giving those who are newer to the thrill of pedal power a chance to practice. We’ll exercise, provide riding challenges and learn bike safety.

The wheels theme extends throughout our morning together. During circle, we’ll sing wheel songs, and we’ll snack on wheel-shaped crackers, oranges, and bananas. We’ll provide wheel-themed craft activities and sharing books about bike riding, wheel chairs and an annual favorite, “Gretchen, the Bicycle Dog”– a true story about a dachshund who  ” loses the use of her back legs after an accident but triumphs over her disability with the help of a set of wheels.” We’ll engage all five senses as we jumpstart summer with this joyful outdoor adventure.


Riding at Tour de Parklandia

We’re excited to announce another cycling event that one special HFP alumnus and her family have started. “Tour de Parklandia , For the Love of Parks” is a day of riding to and playing at parks all around Southeast Portland. Eric Noon, Tour facilitator, told us recently how daughter Aviella came upon the idea.

From what we can recall, she’s always been inclined to be on wheels. From the Baby Jogger (many miles as we never had a stroller), Burley trailer, balance bike and then onto pedal bikes. As we were fortunate enough to ride to her preschools (EFC & HFP) she felt like biking was essential transportation & enjoyment. So we’ve become accustomed to riding everywhere in and around the neighborhood. With all the riding between parks for meet-ups, play dates, gardening, classes and the like, the idea sprouted up that we should host a ride with friends. And the natural choice to tour was parks. Aviella and her inclusive spirit wanted to invite everybody and the ride evolved from seven parks the first year, then eight parks and now nine parks this year. We like to have music, raffle, snacks, safety meeting and lots of fun with familiar faces and parks. Looking forward to touring around the parks again real soon. Hope you and yours can join.

Aviella’s “Tour de Parklandia, For the Love of Parks” will take place THIS SUNDAY, May 7th, at 12pm, starting at Sewallcrest City Park at SE 31st Ave & SE Market St, Portland, Oregon 97214. HFP and friends are invited to join. Let’s ride! 

9 Reasons You Need to Be at Hoopla! – HFP’s Costume Party Benefit

Circus Cascadia     Teacher Susan with HFP parents

On April 8th, HFP will host the party of the year at Oaks Park Dance Pavilion. Hoopla! will include a massive array of home-made dishes and desserts, versatile entertainment for the kids, a beer and wine bar, and a silent auction with outstanding gifts and services.

  1. It’s a Party

    We’ll have food, prizes, entertainment, beverage, costumes, circus-practice, music, and merriment.

  2. Your friends will be there

    Including HFP alumni and everyone’s favorite preschool teacher!

  3. It’s like Halloween in April

    Who can resist? Kids and adults alike come adorned in their favorite costumes.

  4. Support local businesses

    Donations all collected from Portland or Oregon businesses.

  5. FOOD

    So much home-made goodness and more dessert than you could hope for.

  6. The silent auction

    Check below for a sneak peak at some of the auction items.

  7. Big bang for your buck

    A $5 suggested donation per adult (kids are FREE) will get you dinner and entertainment for the entire family.

  8. Memories

    It’s one of those events your family will remember for years to come.

  9. Support HFP’s commitment to fair financing.

    Hoopla! fundraising efforts fuel our tuition assistance program, our sliding fee tuition scale (allowing families to pay according to their means) and a competitive teacher salary/benefits package.

The party of the year will be held at Oaks Park Dance Pavilion, April 8th, 4-7pm. $5 suggested donation per adult, kids are FREE.



  1. 5 rider package to Lumberyard Indoor Bike Park
  2. Two-night trip to the coast at an Airbnb!
  3. One on One parent coaching
  4. Massages
  5. Chocolate. So much.
  6. Raffle – $5/ticket to win a rafting trip with Blue Sky rafting or Timbers tickets

Three Games to Beat the Stir-Crazies During the Icy Weather

Does this extreme weather have you feeling cooped up?  Here are three simple activities to infuse playfulness into your home:

1. What’s Missing? Memory Game (2 or more players)

  • Find things in your house that are easy to carry. (Ie slotted spoon, toy car, key chain, crayon, small stuffed animal)
  • Put them on a table or floor space.
  • Look at each item and agree on what to call it.
  • Cover items with a piece of large fabric.
  • One player reaches under the fabric and sneakily removes one item without revealing what they moved.
  • Uncover the remaining items and guess which item is missing.
  • If the guesser has no idea what is missing, offer hints.

*Variation: Gather items of the same color or items that all start with the same letter.

2. Mystery Message Scavenger Hunt (2 or more players)

  • Write a single sentence message on a piece of paper.
  • Cut the paper so that each word is on a a separate piece.
  • Hide those pieces of paper around a room or your entire living space.
  • Find the papers and assemble the message.

3. Hideout

  • Get out some sheets and pillows.
  • Take apart your couch.
  • Hang sheets over the arms of the couch or nearby chairs/tables.

It’s amazing how simply having a cozy/underneath hideaway space delights young ones.
Familiar activities suddenly take on a new thrill: books, puzzles,  and drawing can be more fun when inside the mysterious nook.

Here’s to finding playful ways to connect regardless of the weather.

Photo credit

Top photo: Personal Creations, license info here

Bottom photo: David B. Gleason, license info here


We Know Kindness, Inclusion & Love. HFP at the Women’s March on Portland.

HFP parent at women's march in Portland, OR

I was proud to carry a sign, claiming half of my heritage. Muslims are becoming increasingly vilified, scapegoated, and stereotyped  in this country, emboldened by top-down rhetoric. I wanted people to see a person, that for all intents and purposes, looks an awful lot like white privileged class, but who in fact stands to be a victim of Islamophobia. Stereotypes are wrong, hurtful and divisive. By claiming my heritage, in the face of animosity, I’m personalizing the stereotype, and sharing the vulnerability that my family and I stand to be hurt by the onslaught of anti-Muslim propaganda. – Mitra Anoushiravani, HFP President.

Kindness, inclusion and love are at the the core of the best early childhood curriculum.  Early childhood educators teach relationship-building, problem solving and respect. We teach that every classmate is valuable and we make space for varying perspectives, expressions and experiences.  We hold compassion and respect as the foundation for all learning.

Sadly, these basic practices affirming our shared humanity are grossly lacking in the current national leadership. So, when I was invited to speak at the Women’s March Pre-Rally for Children and Families, I knew that I would mirror what I teach in the classroom:


Some people say hateful messages.
Sometimes people say hurtful things to people who seem “different.”
But we know, those messages are wrong.
ALL people are important. ALL people belong. ALL people are equal.

Sometimes people say that boys are more important than girls.
But we know, girls are as important as anybody.

Sometimes people say hurtful messages about gender. They tell us we can either be a boy, and act one way, or a girl, and act a completely different way.
But we know, there are many, many ways to be human.

Sometimes people tease and say mean things about being gay or lesbian.
But we know, loving people is a good thing, no matter if you love someone who is the same sex as you, or not.

Sometimes people say that people with dark skin, or black skin, don’t matter as much as people with light skin or white skin.
But we know, Black Lives Matter.

Sometimes people say that immigrants and refugees don’t belong.
They say immigrants and refugees should leave.
But we know, immigrants and refugees belong and we welcome them.

Sometimes people say mean things about people who are Muslim or Jewish.
But we know, that people who are Muslim or Jewish are good people, just like everybody else.

Sometimes people say hurtful things about people with disabilities.
But we know, there are many good ways to be human.

Sometimes people say mean things about people who have little or no money.
But we know, the amount of money someone has– has nothing to do with how important they are.

We have good minds. We think well.
We have strong hearts. We love deeply.
We have powerful voices. We can use our words.

When someone says or does something that is hurtful or mean,
We can say: “No,” “Stop,” or “That’s not fair.”


We know: ALL people are important. ALL people belong. ALL people are equal.

Throughout sharing this speech, I had the privilege of  leading the crowd in three chants: “Black Lives Matter.” “I’m strong. I’m loud. I make my family proud.” “LOVE, not hate. THAT is what makes us great.” Thousands of protesters cheered in solidarity, reminding us that there are millions in agreement with valuing and protecting our shared humanity.

Thanks to Families for Peaceful Protest for orchestrating an entertaining and inspiring rally.

Photos below are of HFP students, parents, alumni, Love 4 Urban Art dancers and participants for “Blank Like A Girl” empowerment piece.
         Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses, closeup and outdoor      




Hawthorne Family Playschool’s Open House is Around the Corner!


We are having an Open House! Join us Saturday February 11th, 10am-12pm to check out HFP and meet our members.

Stop in, play, tour and…

  • Meet other co-op parents and play-schoolers
  • Learn how parents are involved at HFP
  • Chat with our Membership Director
  • Collect/fill out an application
  • Visit and play in our play yard
Quiz: How do you know you should come to Hawthorne Family Playschool’s open house?

Would you like to…

  1. Strengthen your parenting skills?
  2. Connect with other like-minded families?
  3. Nourish your family’s connection to nature?
  4. Create a more just and caring society?
  5. Learn alongside your child?

Would you like your child to…

  1. Foster strong friendships with children and adults?
  2. Love learning and going to school?
  3. Deepen their connection to nature?
  4. Learn to notice and celebrate differences, along with similarities?
  5. Connect with the nutritious food they prepare and eat?
  6. Play outdoors in a stunning nature-scape play yard, rain or shine?
  7. Grow more confident, caring and invested in everything they do?
Quiz results: If you answered, “yes” to any of the above, our program might be the right fit for your family!

For school hours, ages, and tuition information, click here!

HFP is located at 2828 SE Stephens St. in Portland. See you there!

HFP’s practice combines philosophy with action.

In an age in which teachers are pressured to teach academics, stripping learning from any meaningful context, HFP’s practice values play at the heart of our curriculum.

In an age in which face-to-face time diminishes along with the increase of screen time, we nourish children’s social learning as we assist them in gaining skills to build valuable relationships.

In an age of extreme individualism, we believe in the value of a caring and engaged learning community.

In an age in which parents of young children are exhausted and isolated, we bring families together for meaningful work, social engagement and support.

In an age of oppression– in which some people are valued yet many are not– we seek non-sexist, multicultural and anti-bias learning experiences through conversations, activities and materials that celebrate diversity and honor a range of people, cultures and experiences.

At a time when there’s a growing awareness of the disregard for our planet, we take seriously our role as stewards of the earth, nurturing children’s connections to the natural world.

HFP safeguards childhood so children may learn joyfully.