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I recently took our two and three-year-old daughters to a free trial class of Tinkergarten, an outdoor learning experience for kids, and we had a blast! I had heard of Tinkergarten before but wasn’t really familiar with it, so I was excited to see that there was a free trial class available near us.
At the free trial class, it didn’t take long for me to see how wonderful Tinkergarten is. In a nutshell, kids are able to develop valuable skills while exploring and learning through play outside.
Our usually shy kids in classroom settings, warmed up within minutes and participated the whole time! This was a big deal! The environment really encouraged exploration and learning through play, and I was really impressed with the whole class from start to finish.
When we arrived at the local park, the kids were given buckets that they used to begin collecting interesting things they found in nature. We were in an area with trees and a creek nearby, so the kids found plenty of leaves, rocks, bugs, toads, sticks, and more. Once everyone arrived and the collecting was done, we sat on a tarp and sang an opening song. The leader read a story, Stone Soup, and then discussed the main activity, which corresponded with the book.
The kids then spent the majority of the time creating their soup. They poured the provided water into large pots, gathered things around the tree grove to put in the pots, and used their imaginations to create their “delicious” soup. All of the kids participated by pouring, gathering, stirring, and more.
It seemed like such a simple activity, but it really did promote teamwork, sharing, creative thinking, imaginative play, and problem solving. The kids got dirt on their hands and mud on their boots, evidence of participation and exploration.
After the main activity, the kids washed their hands in a bowl of water, and then we headed back to the tarp. We talked about the activity, the kids ate their snacks, and we sang a closing song.
One wonderful thing about Tinkergarten is the involvement of parents. Parents stay at the class and share in the experience. Even in just one class, I learned tips on how to better encourage my kids to explore, use their imaginations, and problem solve just by observing the interactions of the leader with the kids.
We’ve taken our kids to preschool, music classes, dance, and more, and I have never seen the kind of participation, involvement, and comfort from my kids on day one at any class like I saw at Tinkergarten.
They made friends and had a blast. My oldest daughter said she couldn’t wait to go again and see her new friends that she had made.
Given the great experience we had at the free trial class, I decided to sign up our kids for an eight-week session. We can’t wait for the next class!
If you’re considering signing up for a Tinkergarten class, I have a coupon code to share with you! Simply click here to copy the code and use it at checkout for 15 dollars off. Yay! Oh, and siblings receive 30 percent off the cost of the season, too! Learn more here.