Into The Woods Playschool

Who we are

We are Tallahassee’s first forest school. We believe that children, especially those between the ages of 3 and 5, learn best through direct experience with the natural world. We give children the time and space to do their work which is PLAY! In return, nature will work on your children physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Our curriculum is child-led and hands on. Children will explore, take risks, build, make observations….and along the way they will build strong relationships which each other and the earth, develop a passion for learning and gain skills necessary to get them ready for the years of schooling ahead of them.

Guiding Principles

  • Unstructured play for long, uninterrupted periods of time

  • Safe environment which welcomes appropriate risk-taking

  • Seasonally based, thematic learning units

  • Place-based emphasis

  • Reflective opportunities for children and teachers to inspire wonder and awe

  • Communal emphasis with respect and compassion for all earth’s inhabitants at the center

  • All weather immersion

  • Sensorial, exploratory learning

  • Child-directed, play-based environment

  • Knowledgeable staff in the areas of child development, naturalist studies, and wellness

  • Low student to teacher ratio

All children ages 3-5 are welcome

Our preschool takes a holistic approach that supports children mentally, emotionally, and physically. Children will have opportunities for hands-on experiences that are sure to help them develop confidence, self-esteem, and environmental stewardship.

The School

Into the Woods Playschool is located on the property of Unity Eastside church. There are 24 acres of natural Florida landscape. There are three outdoor areas for us to explore. Behind the school is a fenced area with a sandbox, play equipment and children’s garden. There is a larger playground under a beautiful oak tree. The outdoor classroom in the woods includes a mud kitchen, a mound and lots of loose parts for creating and exploring. The property also includes pecan trees, blueberry bushes, a pear tree and lots of native plants. If you are lucky you may even see deer, turkeys, rabbits and many other bird species.

Gabrielle Johnston


Gabrielle is the founder of Into the Woods Playschool. She is a Tallahassee native who loves to be outside exploring nature with her family. She has a BS in Environmental Science, a MAT in Teaching, and has over 15 years of experience working with children. She is an advocate of play and wants to help spread awareness that children learn best through play. She is passionate about education and feels every child deserves a childhood full of exploration and muddy toes.  Gabrielle is also a certified forest school teacher and preschool director.

Sadie Ragans


Sadie has been living in Tallahassee for 6 years and has fallen in love with all this community has to offer. She has been advocating for and working with children with a variety of abilities for 14 years. She is passionate about listening to and following the lead of children while being a safe, encouraging, and supportive guide. She feels she is at her very best when communing with nature with her family. Sadie also enjoys cross stitching, reading, researching Twice Exceptional children, beekeeping, and spending long days on the family farm. Sadie is also a certified forest school teacher.


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Into the Woods Playschool C02LE0067

8551 Buck Lake Rd. Tallahassee, FL 32317



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