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.


Building Community Through Play, Song and Popsicles

Families kick-off the school year with the Popsicle Social. This is an opportunity to mingle with new and old friends,

DSC_8300 DSC_8290

to play outside & to sing together before school officially starts.Children get a bird’s eye view of the festivities below.


Digging bulldozers, baking pizzas and pies. The outdoor sandbox offers endless opportunities for sensory exploration and imaginary play.

DSC_8259 DSC_8252

Singing together about peace, friends, northwest wildlife and more!


DSC_8266 DSC_8269

We end the evening with delicious fruit juice popsicles. Yummy and refreshing.

DSC_8271 DSC_8276

DSC_8287 DSC_8292

Thanks to everyone for investing the time together. We are looking forward to the year ahead.

  • Photos by Michelle Lamanet.

Intern Student Values Her Experience at HFP

By Yijia Li, Chinese International Student at Lewis and Clark College

I had a wonderful time interning at Hawthorne Family Playschool! When I first walked into the classroom, everyone seemed really nice and welcoming, which helped me to ease my worriedness. I had no experience with kids previously, and I was nervous about making mistakes. However, the atmosphere at HFP was supportive and lovely that I’m so glad I had the opportunity to participate. Teacher Susan helped and instructed me about what I could do to help with the class, and that made me feel like I was doing something useful and really being part of the school.


I learned and grew from my time at HFP. At first I was shyer about supervising kids with activities and I was even nervous about my English skill in terms of reading books to them. But I gradually became more confident and could read books to a small group of children and supervise them doing activities. I was really happy I could use my art skill to help out the class too, which was fun for me to do some drawing that I had been too busy to do.

I’m going to miss everyone from HFP. It has been a precious experience, and I’m thankful for the time I played with the kids. I really think HFP serves as a great example of how essential play is in terms of children’s growth, which I didn’t realize before this experience. Because from where I’m from, academic takes the lead in children’s lives and people do not prove the importance of play. I feel lucky to find out it by now so that I could be a better parent in the future and have a better influence with kids



Macleay Park Field Trip


Way back in March our classes bundled up and headed to one of Portland’s oldest parks, Macleay Park. We climbed the hill along Balch Creek and noticed the new plants unfolding, the creek full and raging, and the animals exploring the warming weather.





An HFP parent shared this story:

We had a great time hiking Macleay Park. There was a warm spring rain pelting down, but L kept taking her hood off. When I asked her if she wanted to put it back on because her hair was getting wet, she replied, “Nope, because I’m a Nature Girl!” She continued on her hike, identifying ferns and cedar trees, soaking and delighted. Another magical HFP moment.





Now Enrolling for Fall 2014!

HFP is now enrolling children aged 3-5 for Fall 2014!


Hawthorne Family Playschool is a play-based cooperative preschool in Southeast Portland. Families are deeply invested in the community and are proud of this school. We’re excited to open the doors for new children and families in the fall.

We offer:

Intimate class size for individualized attention. (14 students with teacher, 2 parents, and often college intern students)

Highly experienced, educated, passionate teacher with 24 years of experience and Masters coursework in Human Development.

Thoughtful and equitable financing (sliding scale tuition, tuition assistance, thoughtful fundraising, fairly compensating our teacher)

A focus on nurturing connections to nature (children are outdoors daily, we have a lush nature playscape instead of a manufactured/static play yard, we collect items from the natural world and use them indoors, we take field trips to natural settings and farms)

Please contact our Membership Chair for more information and to schedule a tour!