Get outside & learn

Outdoor classes where kids learn through play.
Not in Virginia?
Not in Virginia?
Tinkergarten® provides high quality early childhood learning in the healthiest classroom of all—the outdoors. Families connect with trained leaders in their local community for play-based kids classes that help develop core life skills, all while having fun!
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“Is TODAY a Tinkergarten day?”
“It's the first time he's ever asked to keep taking a class once it was over.”
Molly testimonial  Molly, Mother of a 4-year old

Why Join Tinkergarten?

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Skill-Based Curriculum

Tinkergarten is not a typical kids’ class—we learn through play. We share ideas with educational frameworks like Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio Emilia, but we’re much more. We use technology to help leaders deliver expert designed curriculum that adapts to region and season, is age appropriate, and spans a broad range of skills. Activities progressively build week after week, season after season.

“The classes are so well-thought-out and organized without being rigid.”
– Kate, Mom to a 3 year old
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Outside is healthier

Tinkergarten parents are not anti-tech. Our kids get ample screen time, too. Isn’t our greatest gift, then, to balance that time with healthy, rejuvenating, and developmentally stimulating time outdoors?

“She’ll get plenty of time with the iPad soon. At her age, being outside just seems right.”
– Rachael, Mom to an 18-month-old
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Let them Play, like we did

Our classes bring back something that seems to be lost on this new generation — something that was a most influential part of our own childhoods — free time to play and tinker outdoors.

“My youngest was more independent in this class than any other we’ve taken.”
– Julie, Mom to a 3-year-old
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Prepare them

Kids develop self-regulation, problem solving, persistence, curiosity and more through well-designed play-based activities. At Tinkergarten, we think independent exploration, hands-on creation, risk taking, and getting dirty achieve far greater things than worksheets at the local tutoring center.

“I've learned to see his play as learning. Amazing!”
– Jon, Dad of a 2-year-old
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It takes a Village

The most critical social development happens in the first 5 years. Tinkergarten is purposefully designed to bring kids and parents together with other families, and allow moms, dads, and caregivers to bond with their child more meaningfully.

“He lost himself at Tinkergarten, and before he knew it, he was working with the other kids.”
– Elif, Mom to a 3-year-old
"We like the sense of flow—the class is peaceful and not overly-structured. If your child finds something of interest that doesn't necessarily fit the lesson, you don't feel obligated to refocus their attention. The leaders and the program meet the child where they are. It's amazing—I find my child more creative because of Tinkergarten."
Gretchen, Mom of a 2-year-old
“Yesterday's class was a HUGE hit with [my daughter]. I'm so pleased. When we registered for our first Tinkergarten class she was still afraid of grass. These days she has long picnics on the great lawn and makes little houses out of twigs and leaves!”
Nina, Mom of a 2-year-old
"As a working mother I don't always have time to prepare activities for my child. Tinkergarten activities require minimal to no preparation, and can be done ANYWHERE! I also love that each activity has a "why?" and a "how?" component. As an educator, it's really important to me that my kid engages in activities that encourage deep learning through play. It's great to know what the activities encourage and how to actually implement them."
Sherian, Mom of a 3-year-old
“The kids have new adventures every week. The teachers are warm, encouraging of independence. Most importantly, [my kids] can't wait for class to come around again each week.”
Catherine, Mom of 1, 3, 5 and 7 year olds
"It's the unforced quality which seems so rare to me...Tinkergarten activities feel fun and child-driven, and even though they're 'good for us', they just feel like the best kind of play. I feel grateful for Tinkergarten!”
Krista, Mom of 2 and 4 year olds
"I learned how and when to step back and let my son be himself in certain situations. That was a lesson that I needed so much as a parent—it was life changing."
Anne, Mom of a 3-year-old
“I really like the mission. The leaders are incredibly prepared and engaged, and really wonderful with the kids. This could have easily been just another walk through the park, but you guys made it much more. Many thanks.”
Rob, Dad to a 6-year-old
“I love the activities because they engage my son and me in a wonderfully simple, fun, and creative way. And I get to play with him in a delightful and unforced way. It's that unforced quality which seems so rare to me—so often the 'good parenting' or 'good child' activities end up feeling like I'm imposing a good for you regimen on [my son]. Tinkergarten activities feel fun and child-driven, and even though they're 'good for us', they just feel like the best kind of play. I feel grateful for Tinkergarten!”
Christa, Mom of a 3-year-old
"It’s a wonderful and rare class where both the parent and child have an opportunity for learning.”
Julie, Mom of a 18-month-old
"I was particularly impressed with the routine to teach the kids to stop and perceive. Such moments are often trivialized, but it's the accumulation of these experiences...that lead to true critical thinking and problem-solving."
Keith, Dad to a 4-year-old
Become a Tinkergarten Leader
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Tinkergarten® classes are led by dedicated parents and active community members – people just like you who decided they wanted to bring this rich experience to families in their area. Leading a Tinkergarten Class is a rewarding way to contribute to local life while earning an income. Do you know someone who would make a great leader?
DIY Tinkergarten Activities

At the heart of every Tinkergarten® class are activities that have been developed, tested and honed by our team of experts. Because we believe all children should be learning outside, we freely share our activities. That means you can try them out with your family even if classes are not yet offered in your community.

All Tinkergarten activities share three core ingredients: optimal learning conditions, design for engagement, and skills that matter. We draw on a collection of instructional influences and even sprinkle in some best practices in game mechanics, social engagement and cognitive development. Parents have told us that Tinkergarten activities make them feel like a kid again. And to their kids, they are just plain fun!

Browse DIY activities