Cedarsong’s Forest Kindergarten was recently honored to receive the Washington State Green School Leader Award for Excellence
CEDARSONG® FOREST KINDERGARTEN
(for ages 2-6 years old)
An entirely outdoor preschool
located on Vashon Island, Washington, USA
Cedarsong Nature School opened the first U.S. Forest Kindergarten based on the German model of Waldkindergartens, distinguished by its commitment to total nature immersion, interest-led flow learning, 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 years, we have 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 Nature Immersion expert Erin Kenny, who has spent two decades developing nature programs for children. Classes sizes are small, with a 4:1 student:teacher ratio. Organic snacks are served, supplemented with wild seasonal foraged foods.
Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten operates Monday through Friday, 9am-1pm throughout the school year. Families have the option of choosing whichever day(s) of the week they want to enroll; choosing a start time of 9am or 10am; and choosing a three or four hour class length, depending on availability. Tuition is based on number of class hours per week: 3 hour classes are $150 per month; and 4 hour classes are $180 per month. Detailed enrollment information can be found on this website’s Enrollment page.
We accept up to two high functioning autism spectrum, SPD or ADHD diagnosed children in each of our classes.
“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.” – currently enrolled family at Cedarsong’s forest kindergarten