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Outdoor and Nature-Based Preschools in Seattle, the Eastside and South Sound

A growing movement of nature-oriented outdoor preschools takes off

Published on: August 10, 2022

Outdoor and Nature-Based Preschools in Seattle, the Eastside and South Sound

Chavitos Nature School
Chavitos Nature School

South Sound and Vashon Island

Nurture in Nature Preschool — Tacoma Nature Center

With Metro Parks Tacoma as its parent organization, Nurture in Nature offers multiple sessions each week for 3- and 4-year-olds and for 4- and 5-year-olds. Preschoolers spend at least an hour each day outside at this nature- and discovery-based program, which is located on 71 acres of land at the Tacoma Nature Center at Snake Lake.

Chavitos! Nature School — Tacoma

This bilingual school located on almost an acre of Native land is 100 percent outdoor nature immersion, with a child-driven approach based on discovery rather than a set curriculum. Chavitos! serves students ages 2–5 with morning, afternoon or full-day options.

Wind Gatherer Nature Program — Vashon Island

Children ages 4–6 spend the entire day outside in this place-based, nature immersion program.  Flowing with the seasons, this approach fosters self-reliance and community through compassionate communication, beach and woodland exploration, awareness skills, quiet time in nature, journaling and improvisational play.

Sticks ‘n Stones Preschool — Puyallup

At this small, home-based preschool, children ages 3–5 spend most of their time enjoying a play-based, emergent curriculum in the outdoor classroom, but come indoors for lunch and story time. The outdoor area is equipped with climbing structures, art and project areas, and covered areas to escape the weather. 

Editor's note: This article was first published in 2014 and updated most recently in August 2022.

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