School Director
Karen Kohler
13881 Tustin E Dr #35 Tustin, CA 92780  ·  714-913-6051
Creative Journeys WS Openings Now!

A Reggio-inspired in home child care with an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education
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Welcome to Creative Journeys WS! I offer an innovative and affordable concept in childcare and preschool education. Creative Journeys provides a unique environment for learning and in-home licensed childcare for ages 2-5. I believe children are already natural scientists and builders, curious at how things work and why. My nature-inspired childcare program blends valuable aspects of early childhood education such as the constructivist approach of Reggio Emilia. This approach is based on the notion that learning is expressed through the use of “The Hundred Languages of Children” or means of expression, self-constructed knowledge and meaningful relationships with others.

I see children as competent, strong, inventive and full of ideas. I provide opportunities for learning, exploration, creativity, and self-expression based on the idea that children have the interest and the potential to construct their own knowledge and to respectfully support children throughout the exciting journey of self-discovery.

Developing intellectual skills such as reasoning, analyzing, predicting, questioning, and creativity is paramount in preparing children for kindergarten and beyond. Through exploration and play, early connections are formed with principles in science, technology, reading, relationships, ecology, engineering, art, music and mathematics while connecting with the California Preschool Learning Foundations and Framework, and the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP).  The Preschool Learning Foundations and Framework focuses on four main domains: social- emotional development, language and literacy, English language development, and mathematics.

My curriculum allows me to scaffold the learning, like building a sculpture — in this case of a human being. It also allows to build a deeper connection with each child, taking each child to the next step, and provide greater opportunities in challenging each child. In that sense it’s a very personalized education.

While fostering this inspiring learning environment, I artfully integrates daily routines that ensure the health, safety and comfort of all children. This also provides a measure of predictability, which is crucial to the children’s emotional and psychological well-being and provides a solid base for kindergarten readiness. At Creative Journeys, I am turning Early Childhood Education and Childcare Inside Out and the possibilities are endless!

Check out this article on Reggio Inspired Learning. and Come discover how nurture meets nature with hands-on learning at our preschool!


Join the Creative Journeys community in four easy steps:

1. Explore my website

I’ve provided information about my philosophies and offerings to help you decide if my program may be right for your family. Please note that ALL children must be immunized or have an ME by their physician to be enrolled in our program.

2. Tour the school

Come see what makes Creative Journeys unique. Please schedule a tour by filling out the “Schedule Tour” form.

3. Submit an Enrollment Application

If you would like to enroll, please submit an application at – Please note that we require tours for all prospective families. Do not submit an application if you have not toured.

4. Enroll

After reviewing your application, I’ll send an enrollment invitation. Upon accepting your invitation, you’ll pay your deposit (usually equal to one month’s tuition), fill out enrollment documents and review my Parent Handbook.

Other Programs

Discover Preschool

Our goal in the _Discover Preschool _Class is to nurture curiosity, strengthen resiliency, and cultivate appreciation for the world around us so that young minds can thrive. This class is designed where children ages 2-3 years old can develop a love for learning and get a taste for preschool! We include: ABC’s, number concepts, science, prewriting and writing skills, physical and large motor skills, interpersonal skills, art, music & movement and social and emotional skills. We work on potty training too!

Discover Preschool meets on Tuesdays and Thursday 8:30 - 12pm on a ongoing basis and includes an organic snack.


Creative Journeys is tucked away in a tree-lined neighborhood of Tustin Ranch Village, in the Tustin Axiom APARTMENT HOME complex just off El Camino Real. The community itself is very family friendly and just minutes from the South Coast Plaza, John Wayne Airport, City of Orange, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Irvine / Tustin Marketplace, and Newport beach. We are easily accessible from the I-5, I-405, CA 55, 133, 261, 73 and 241. We utilize our community playground, and neighboring public parks. Pine Tree Park and Camino Real Park offer different experiences and adventures!

About Our School

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.“ - Fred Donaldson, Ph.D.

I believe that all children are very unique and special in their own way. I promote social, emotional, intellectual and physical development through a play and inquiry based curriculum.

At Creative Journeys children will have the opportunity to engage in individual and group project work. The process for supporting an in-depth study in the classroom begins by identifying an interest of the child(ren) and then weaving learning domains (social, emotional, physical and cognitive) around that particular interest.

I am a 5 Star facility that cares for children 2 - 6 years of age. I offer the same programs and services as a larger daycare facility, but in a home environment that is both familiar and less intimidating for young children.

Snacks and Meals

Creative Journeys prepares and serves breakfast, lunch, and two snacks daily. Much, but not all the food served at Creative Journeys for children is organic.

Parent Involvement

Parents and family members (18 years of age or older) are welcome to volunteer in the classroom. If this is not possible due to work schedules, we understand. Please discuss volunteer opportunities with Creative Journeys if you are interested.

Our Approach to Discipline

We believe in using positivity and praise to foster healthy behaviors and a healthy learning environment. Our goals include teaching children self-control and respect for themselves and others. Our constructive techniques include redirection, anticipation, modeling, natural consequences, elimination of potential problems, and teaching children to resolve conflicts on their own in an appropriate manner.

Outdoor Play

Exposure to nature is a large component of our philosophy at Creative Journeys. We have a covered patio that children will use daily for extended learning in Science, Teachnology Engineering Art and Math. With the knowledge that time in nature is beneficial to our well-being, I use the neighborhood playgrounds for outdoor time daily to build on gross/ fine motor skills, social-emotional, and intellectual health.

House Pets

As an allergy alert: We have 2 dogs that live in the home but will not be in contact with the children.

Our Teachers

Karen Kohler

Director and Head Teacher, Creative Journeys.

Throughout her childhood, Ms. Karen enjoyed playing games that involved teaching and caring for others and always had a strong inclination to be nurturing toward others. When applying for college and contemplating degrees to pursue, it was obvious - she needed to use her past educational experiences to better advocate for young children so they are given every chance to thrive. This has led her to currently pursue a Master’s degree in Education and Instruction from UCLA.

Ms. Karen currently holds 36 Units in Early Childhood education classes from City College of San Francisco, and 9 units Administration of Early Childhood Programs from UCLA extension. Ms. Karen has extensive experience in Educational Consulting, Teacher Mentoring, Instructional Leadership, and Curriculum Development.

“30 years of educational experiences, paired with my time working alongside amazing educators, reflective directors and creative children, has shaped my ever-evolving philosophy as an educator. I believe that children deserve high-quality early childhood experiences, which shape their approaches to learning throughout their lives. My mission as an early childhood educator at CJW is to provide every opportunity for children to explore, interpret, reflect, question, wonder, find joy and build relationships. As the director/ Head Teacher, my role is to create a space and an atmosphere of joyful connections. Connection between children, between educators, between families, connections to projects and inquiry, connection to nature and the experiences of each child.”

I look forward to partnering with the children and families that choose to embark on this wonderful journey of growth and experience with Creative Journeys.

We are a proud member of the Wonderschool network.

Wonderschool is a group of early childhood programs that combine the quality standards of the best child care centers with the warmth of an in-home program in your neighborhood.

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