Roots Nature School

Now Enrolling Ages 3 – 7

roots outdoor education

nature-based learning

At Roots, early learners engage with their surroundings and are immersed in nature. Our place-based curriculum follows the flow of the seasons with the study of local ecology and seasonal changes. At the same time, we learn the importance of taking care of this place, its creatures, and each other. Our approach encourages the development of executive functioning skills that will contribute to a student’s success in future academic and personal endeavors.

our roots

In 2016, while sisters Emily and Ren drove across the country, a dream was born to open an outdoor preschool in the forests of western Washington. Now the dream has come true, and the sisters are proud founders of Roots Outdoor Education. As avid backpackers, backcountry skiers, and mountain bikers, Emily and Ren, along with Emily’s partner Mike (and their dog Murphy), are excited to share their love for the great outdoors with the next generation.


In our mixed-age classes, teachers follow the child’s lead. Our highly experienced teachers support the children’s learning through stories, games, foraging, animal tracking, songs, bushcraft, journaling, gardening, cooking, and handcrafts—and of course, by allowing plenty of time for unstructured free play…because play is the work of children. By modeling and cultivating a respectful and collaborative school culture, where children are safe and know they are valued, we support children’s abilities to voice their questions about the world, to take risks, and to support others in their investigations. We are growing a foundation for community learning in each child and a generation of confident and compassionate critical thinkers.

Ages 3 – 5


September – June M-F nature immersion, emergent curriculum preschool


Ages 5 – 7


September – June MWF child-led, unit-based, small group nature immersion to accompany alternative elementary education

Ages 4 – 10


June – August M-F day camps with varying nature and interest-based themes


program reviews


“My child has blossomed at Roots. When he started, he was on the path to becoming a full time couch potato. It was a battle to get him out of the house with his family.

With Em and Ren, he has found his role as an outdoorsman and a leader. He is excited to go to Roots everyday and eagerly suits up in full rain gear in anticipation of the fun to come.

We have tried various preschools in the Snoqualmie Valley and can fully endorse Roots for their authentic joy, kindness, adventure and the real growth that they foster in the kids. 10/10. I’d like to enroll myself.”




“From the moment we pulled into this amazing property, we knew our kids were about to have a truly unique and immersive experience. There were no tears at drop-off, as they were already off exploring the area before we even unpacked.

The activities and challenges that the staff offered were unlike anything we could replicate in the city. It was taking them back to the way kids were raised 30 years ago, but with a contemporary touch.

We were amazed to hear the stories of accomplishments and recognized that with some supportive encouragement from people other than their parents, our kids were able to expand their skills and potential. And as soon as they hopped in the car to go home, the first question was, “When do we get to go back?!” which is the ultimate mark of success.

Thank you, Emily and Ren, for putting together this incredible program and space!”




“Ren and Emily began nannying for us ten years ago, and we have to say that hiring them was the best decision we ever made for our girls.

These ladies are passionate about child development and committed to their own education as well as the education and success of the children with whom they work. Their energy, creativity, kindness, patience, flexibility, and zest for life make them two of the most phenomenal women in the industry.

In choosing Roots, you can be assured that your child will be valued as a unique individual and will gain confidence and a sense of self, all while connecting to the world and having fun.”