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Outdoor and Nature-Based Preschools in Seattle, the Eastside and Tacoma

A growing movement of nature-oriented outdoor preschools takes off

Published on: September 10, 2018

Outdoor and Nature-Based Preschools in Seattle, the Eastside and Tacoma

Nature play groups

You’ve twirled and sang at parent-child movement classes, but have you thought about joining a parent-child nature exploration group?

It’s great for putting outdoor time on your schedule, and it’s a real plus to have help making your discovery time memorable. There are numerous options around the Sound, from set parent-child classes to outdoor preschools and regular outdoor playgroups to one-time outdoor classes.

Start your own search with, a resource for research with a movement directory showing family nature clubs organized by location.

If your kids aren't quite preschool age, check out Hike It Baby, an online platform that helps parents organize and lead hikes and nature activities for families with babies and kids.

Some of the outdoor preschools in our area have parent-child classes, too:

  • Many parents are always part of Bothell's Fox in the Forest’s preschool class.
  • The UW Botanic Gardens offers Family Nature Classes at the Washington Park Arboretum.
  • MudSkippers Outdoor Preschool in Shoreline has a has a Lil' Mudskippers parent/child group for ages 2–4.
  • Seward Park Audubon Center has Tales & Trails classes on Saturdays. 
  • Brightwater Center in Woodinville (run by Islandwood) has some programming for parents and kids.
  • The Seattle Parks Department also offers parent-child outdoor activities at many city parks. Check their catalogs for information. 
  • Tiny Treks also offers parent-child weekly outdoor programs for parents and their 20-month to 5-year-old children and classes for homeschooled children aged 5–11 years. 
  • Wetland Waddlers meets at the Mercer Slough in Bellevue on Saturday mornings. Each two-hour class includes art, play and story time designed around a seasonal theme.

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