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Jan 2

#OutdoorsAll4 Series—Ice Play

by Meghan Fitzgerald

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”  William Blake

This week, we kick off a new decade and our #OutdoorsAll4 challenge series of content with a collection of fresh, fun and easy ways to use ice to spark outdoor play. If you have yet to pledge, visit tinkergarten.com/outdoorsall4 and join in the challenge today! 

This week's ways to spark outdoor play—Ice!

"Ice ice baby"—Vanilla Ice

Winter often gets a bad rap as a quieter and less colorful season than the others. At Tinkergarten, we look at winter and we see the perfect chance to splash color, sound and texture on it to make it sing its unique song! We also know that winter brings us ice, and to kids, ice is a dreamy medium, perfect for engaging the senses and making nature’s treasures glisten in dazzling ways. Winter after winter, in true superhero spirit—Tinkergarten kids respond to the invitation to explore frozen treasure!

This week’s ice-inspired activities:

In ‘Winter Wondermobile,’ kids get to create dazzling mobiles made of ice and natural treasures. Mobiles invite us to collect, create, marvel and even destroy.


In ‘Free from the Freeze,’ there is some creature creation and then a daring mission to rescue these creatures from their frozen pods. 


Benefits to Kids:

Both of these activities rate high on the imagination and interest scales and low on the prep and gear required.As they play with ice, kids will naturally engage multiple senses, flex their problem solving skills, and make genuine discoveries about the states of matter. Super cool, literally.

And, remember, you can freeze virtually anything, and you can use all sorts of containers. Plus, when you take the ice play outside, kids can explore freely without burdening you with a mess!

Both of these activities rate high on the imagination and interest scales and low on the prep and gear required. Use these ideas to spark a range of ice-inspired play. Remember, you can freeze virtually anything, and you can use all sorts of containers. Take the ice play outdoors, and kids can incorporate other materials, leaving no mess for you! 

This Week’s Featured Leader:


Sarah Sheneman, Boyce, VA | @shroomlovesfrog 

Huge thanks to Sarah and her team for helping us see how these ice-inspired activities can come to life! In addition to leading Tinkergarten classes and inspiring her Tinkergarten colleagues with her immense creativity, Sarah fills her days as a homeschool teacher, stay-at-home mom, duck farmer, gardener, nature lover, and artist. Her 3 boys, ages 13, 10, and 2, have helped guide her path towards teaching. She tells us, "With the help of animals, bugs, and plants, I’ve seen firsthand how children thrive in an outside learning environment." What is one of Sarah’s many superpowers? "Creating art is a passion of mine, and the fact that art is limitless makes it a true superpower!" Sarah, you are a true superhero to this team and so many families!

More about #OutdoorsAll4:


We've launched a campaign designed to get families everywhere playing outdoors all four seasons in 2020. We're welcoming parents and teachers to pledge to get outdoors every week for 10 weeks this winter at https://tinkergarten.com/outdoorsall4. Pledge and join in anytime! To all who pledge, we provide the tools to track their progress, forums to celebrate, rewards to motivate and easy, fun ideas to inspire time outdoors. Join our #OutdoorsAll4 by Tinkergarten Facebook Group to share photos, ideas and connect with community who value outdoor play!


Meghan Fitzgerald


After 20+ years as an educator, curriculum developer and school leader, Meghan has her dream gig—an entrepreneur/educator/mom who helps families everywhere, including hers, learn outside. Prior to Tinkergarten®, Meghan worked as an Elementary School Principal, a Math/Science Specialist & and a teacher in public and private schools in NY, MA and CA. She earned a BA with majors in English and Psychology at Amherst College, an MS in Educational Leadership at Bank Street College, and was trained to become a Forest School leader at Bridgwater College, UK. When she is with her kids, Meghan is that unapologetic mom who plays along with them in mud, dances in the pouring rain, and builds a darn good snow igloo with her bare hands.

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