Cedarsong’s Forest Kindergarten was recently honored to receive the Washington State Green School Leader Award for Excellence 


(for ages 2-6 years old)

An entirely outdoor preschool

located on Vashon Island, Washington, USA

We are currently full for the 2017-2018 school year. Contact our office to request an application for the 2018-2019 school year.

Cedarsong® Nature School opened the first U.S. Forest Kindergarten based on the German model of waldkindergartens, distinguished by its commitment to 100% outdoor time and complete nature immersion, child-driven flow learning, child-inspired emergent curriculum, place-based focus, inquiry-based teaching style and authentic play. Nature Immersion is defined as “unstructured free time in nature resulting in an intimate, deep and personal connection to the natural world”.

Over the last two decade, Erin Kenny has refined the German model and developed THE CEDARSONG WAY® teaching method. One of the cornerstones of this unique method is that there is no pre-determined curriculum. Rather, lesson plans flow organically each day from what nature presents and from children’s interests. The goal is to tap into the children’s sense of wonder about nature while teaching basic environmental and natural science principles in the field. Teachers’ roles are as mentors and guides, actively modeling curiosity and engagement in nature while allowing children’s interests to lead the day.

Cedarsong Nature School’s philosophy is that children need to spend a large portion of their day outdoors to get the stimulation and natural learning experiences they are born to crave. We believe that hands-on experiential learning is the best educational approach for children. Being outdoors provides them with not only fresh air, it encourages imaginative play, creativity, hand-eye coordination, balance, physical strength and mental clarity. When children’s natural curiosity is encouraged, learning flows organically from stimuli encountered in the outdoors.

Remember: This is an entirely  outdoor program – make sure both you and your child are okay with that!  The Cedarsong Forest  Kindergarten program is designed by internationally recognized expert Erin Kenny, who has spent two decades developing nature programs for children. Classes sizes are small, with a 4:1 child to teacher ratio.mud_stomp Children bring their own food which is supplemented by wild seasonal foraged foods.

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten operates Monday through Friday, 9am-1pm throughout the school year. Families do not have to enroll for a minimum number of days per week but can choose which days they want to enroll their child(ren) in for the school year. Tuition is $180 per month for each 4 hour class per week. Detailed enrollment information can be found on this website’s Enrollment page.

As a school of inclusion, we accept up to two children diagnosed with high functioning autism, sensory processing disorder or ADHD in all of our classes.


“I wanted to share a story about my 3 year old son and his friend that fascinated and moved me. My son was playing with a 3 year old friend who doesn’t go to Cedarsong. They were in some grass and my son wanted to teach his friend how to play the (Cedarsong memory) game “What’s Missing”. While my son was preparing the items for the game, his friend noticed a little mushroom growing out of the grass and said, “look, a mushroom!” very excitedly. My son immediately came over and looked at the mushroom. And after a very brief pause, the friend stomped on the small mushroom. My son’s eyes grew wide and he started to tear up, clearly distraught. He said to his friend, “No don’t do that! It’s a living being!” It moved me. Thank you for Cedarsong and thank you for instilling such precious and rare values in our children.” – parent of a 2017-2018 forest kindergarten student

“We are thrilled with the quality of the experience and education our son is receiving at Cedarsong’s forest kindergarten.  We had the opportunity to see the tail end of a “mud investigation” lesson where the students collectively researched the different types of mud in the landscape around them. It was so clear in this one lesson-the scientific inquiry, differentiated instruction, discovery learning, emotion coaching, teamwork, vocabulary building, emergent curriculum, and sheer fun the kids were having was top notch.  My mom who had been a classroom teacher k-5 for over 35 years (and very protective of her grandson’s education) noted she was “highly impressed.” So kudos for all of the great work you are doing.” – parent of a 2015-2016 forest kindergarten student