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Forest School with Muddy Boots

We are Des Moines / West Central Iowa's leading fully outdoor forest school

Currently enrolling children ages 2yrs9mos - 8 years old.

Mixed-aged groups supporting all learners.

Fall 2023 Locations

Mornings from 9:30-12:00
Wednesdays at Jester Park in Granger

Tuesdays/Thursdays at Water Works Park in Des Moines

Wednesdays/Fridays at Walnut Woods in West Des Moines

Fall 2024 Locations

School year 2024-2025 schedule will be posted mid-January.

What is Forest School?

Forest school is an educational model that is child-centered, providing opportunities for personal growth and risk taking, developing confidence and self-esteem in learners through play and exploration in a natural setting.

What does an average Forest School day look like?

After students are dropped off they have time for free play as their peers arrive.  We come together as a large group for circle time, singing a song to start our time, and previewing our daily theme with questions or prompts.

Next we take a group hike.  Sometimes we cover a good distance, other times students get focused on something and we let them explore.  During the fall and winter months we explore game trails and are able to go off trail easily.  This has led to some exciting finds of bones and antlers!

After our hike we wash hands and have snack time.    We read a story or two during snack that relates to our theme or the outdoors.  When students are done with snack they have quiet time for their nature journal.  During the colder months we have warm tea together instead of our journaling time.

We finish the morning with our main activity or craft. Sometimes students make things that can be taken home, other times we are skill building with tools and items at the park.

Throughout the year we will have special days where we meet at an alternate location for fishing, creek stomping, or another enrichment activity.

Enrollment Options

One time registration fee: $50

Semester runs from August 30th 2023

to May 31st 2024

Monthly tuition

$245 for 2x week class

 Walnut Woods and Water Works locations

Please email us if interested in 1x a week at a Des Moines site.

$125 for 1x week class

Jester Park location only

$100 for 1x week class

Keuhn Conservation location only

Drop-in class: $30 depending on availability

Registration for drop-in is below.


Scroll below to register for spring drop-in dates and 2023/2024 school year through Sawyer

Parent Handbook

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