top of page



​Yuka Johnson

Certified Early Childhood Educator

During the pandemic, I decided to create a soothing and magical place for families with young children to play and learn in my backyard sanctuary. I was born and raised in Japan, and I am fluent in Japanese. I focus my curriculum on opening engagement and interest in diversity and inclusion. My Early Childhood Education Teacher's certificate was earned from Diablo Valley College.

Prior to becoming an Early Childhood educator, I was an elite artistic swimming coach. I decided to change my career and go back to school when my son was two. I had an amazing opportunity to be a student teacher at the Children's Center while my son was in the program and that is how I fell in love with play-based education. I believe that healthy play supports a path toward healthy adulthood.

My personal favorite area at The Oak Tree Playhouse is the "Free Art" area. I honor the process of children's art rather than the end products.  I love providing different types of natural and re-usable materials that children can paint, glue and create with.  I am not afraid to get dirty and be in the moment with your child/children.


I fell in love with play-based education


My Philosophy

The class is based on my strong passion for play-based education. I believe that children learn and are able to engage more deeply when they lead their own exploration(free play) rather than through teacher-led activities. Children are supported with developmentally appropriate activities by having respectful, nurturing and inclusive environment.


The class environment is nature-enriched and carefully designed to be a "third teacher" to usher children to select natural materials that interest them.  We let nature be the powerful teacher, show children how to engage with our community and share gratitude. We use “open ended” materials (such as blocks, leaves, dried floral, dirt, acorns etc.) to provide more opportunities for children to foster creativity and imagination. Our goal to help children engage in critical thinking, problem-solving and feel the joy of exploration.  


We foster diversity and welcome all families with open arms. We showcase this through literature, art activities, and a wide range of rich play materials. 

Coginitive Development

Imagination - Mathematics - Problem Solving

 Creativity - Critical Thinking

Building blocks

 Lining up and sorting materials
Mud kitchen
Pretend play 

Social/Emotional Development

Self-Management - Social Awareness
Relationship Building -Decision Making

Working together

Group activities
Story time
Theater/pretend play

Physical Development

 Gross and Fine Motor Skills - Balance - Strength
Spatial Awareness

Digging in the dirt



Linguistic​ Development

Language Acquisition - Auditory Memory

Singing songs

Reading books

Role playing

Fingerplay songs
Guided activites

Class Goals

The Oak Tree Playhouse | Martinez | Bay Area | Early Education | Play Based | Outdoor Class | Toddler
bottom of page