If you are looking for a class that has a good mix of physical activity, educational learning and socialization while in the outdoors, Tinkergarten has that all!
Marissa Holm was our Tinkergarten leader, and she is just excellent with children and adults. She has a warm spirit and is encouraging and understanding to kids of all needs. Being a mom herself, Marissa knew how to keep the pace going with the children, and encourage the adults to participate.
You may think-why do I need a class to go outdoors? Well, this class has a lot of great ideas to inspire the kids to be imaginative and use what we have around us to discover and enjoy their surroundings. Many of our games were messy-which is great for our family. Marissa would always send out an email that would explain what the lesson was going to be and that parents should expect a mess (and possibly bring extra clothes!). If you are a mom that is ok with messes or a mom that kind of hides away from their messes, this class is perfect because it isn’t at your house!
Every class begins with a discovery activity that varies each time. When all members arrive, the kids do a “Tinkergarten” song with animals (and of course, special requests can be taken as well). By the third and fourth class, most kids had gotten the hang of the song. We had Dimples in the class, and he decided to act shy, so he often would watch. Giggles joined the class occasionally and loved singing and acting like an animal.
Marissa found a patch of mud and the kids expanded on it. Jumping and messing around. And yes, it was all encouraged. We usually like messes in our house, but this one was encouraged!
At another class, we made “Forrest buddies” out of socks and rice. The kids practiced measuring and pouring and made their own little buddy that they could name!
My favorite lesson was mixing nature colors (dirt, flowers, and whatever they could find) with pastels to make original artwork.
The kids made tinfoil boats and did races in the pool with their creations (moms or “guides” also had to help a bit)
And they made fishing poles with sticks, strings and then went fishing for mason jar tops! (using a magnet)
There were also bubbles, books, stories and snack times.
The lessons vary from season to season, and invitations to give feedback is given after every class.
We really enjoyed our time outdoors, exploring and coming up with new projects. The socialization part was also very exciting, and Marissa kept the kids going by asking open ended questions.
Classes open seasonally in a “semester” type style-with one class a week for a certain number of weeks. Fall 2017 will be starting in September, and there are “trial classes” offered as well
Locations Vary, Times and Classes Vary-But at City Parks in Surprise (2017 Fall will be at Veramonte Park)