Growing up in New Hampshire I spent countless hours exploring the little wooded area and stream behind my house. As I got older the area I explored got a little bigger (white water rafting in the Grand Canyon, hiking a volcano in Guatemala and skiing in British Columbia are a few highlights) but no matter where I am nature is always my happy place. Now that I am back living in New Hampshire and a mom to two wild boys we love to explore the beaches, woods and mountains in and around the seacoast. Outside their wild feels a little less wild! I have witnessed first hand what a positive impact free play outside has on their (and my own!) mood, sleep and development. I am beyond excited to bring Tinkergarten to our amazing community so we can all get out and explore together!
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Currently Kathleen isn't holding weekly sessions, but we have sessions available any day, any time with another leader.
Currently Kathleen isn't holding a free session, but you can try for free any day, any time with another leader.
Want to do Tinkergarten with other families in your community this summer? See what classes are available near you!
Our play-based outdoor curriculum guides parents on how to support an active, engaging, outdoor learning lifestyle for their family. Through an expert-led, on-demand and self-guided curriculum, we make purposeful outdoor play doable for every family.
It’s such a beautiful and fun curriculum, and my kids play a lot with ideas that stem from their weekly class! I also love the inclusive and diverse approach. It’s golden!
I liked how this was suitable for all ages. My oldest son loved the science of it all: "why is that happening?" "What will happen when?" And my younger son loved mixing and making a mess!
Having a simple curriculum to follow has not only helped us know how to start, but it has gotten us playing outdoors more than usual. That feels so good for our family.
The kids can't stop talking about it! They particularly love the songs and sharing their nature treasures.
Tinkergarten teaches me how to set up play for my kids and encourage their imaginations. I had no idea our front yard could be such a wonderland.
My son loves seeing his Leader each week. He jumps right into the activities after class. We're going on over 2 hours straight of independent play!
Tinkergarten combines a live session facilitated by a certified (and amazing) Tinkergarten Leader with an At-Home Guide that parents and caregivers can use to keep kids playing and learning outdoors all week long. The program, which is designed by education experts, engages children in play-based activities that foster a sense of joy and wonder, all while developing essential skills.
Each live session follows a structure that includes community building, songs, movement, learning about nature, guided play time, and a closing community share time. We also have tools families can use to upload photos of the play that continues at home between live class sessions so Leaders and the whole class community can celebrate your child and family's play!
Every Tinkergarten lesson is designed to inspire open-ended exploration and play through which kids actively engage in imagining, exploring, and/or problem solving.
While each lesson is designed by Tinkergarten and guided by a trained Leader, the children decide how to play in response to the lesson's play scenario, and the children's interests play the leading role in shaping the way play unfolds. To kids, it's pure and joyful fun.
Our program is designed to be done outside. Families can enjoy the weekly virtual classes wherever is most convenient, whether outside or inside, and then continue the outdoor play all week long with the help of their At-Home Guide!
Starting in the Summer of 2021 in select locations, we will reintroduce the option for members to experience the live class component in person in a local green space.
At Tinkergarten, we refer to adults as 'Guides' — and we support you as you support your child's unique learning process. Here's how:
It's Easy to Support Your Kids
Each week before your class you will be notified by email what few household materials kids will need for the live session.
You'll also get access to a weekly At-Home Guide with a read-aloud and three easy activities to do during the week after the live session to keep the learning going at home!
Adults are most welcome to participate alongside their children during live sessions. Tinkergarten classes are designed to support kids and adults in playful learning together.
If you do plan to step away during class, try to be available at the start and end of the session so kids are set up and you are set up for the week after class. If online, make sure you practice using Zoom with your child beforehand, too.
Adults Learn at Tinkergarten Too! Each week, we’ll provide you with resources that help you learn more about how kids learn through outdoor play—actionable insights that you can put to use every day!
Our Camp Tinkergarten At-Home curriculum includes 11 core lessons, each with a different camp-related theme. The lessons are designed to support kids at developing a wide range of skills with a special focus on communication skills. Each week’s lesson includes a live play session, three at-home activities, a creature-of-the-week, a related video read aloud and more.
Download a Curriculum Overview to read more about each lesson and the household materials kids need to have on hand for the live session each week. Watch this 2-minute video to see how the program works!