Remember playing till the street lights came on? There was always an adventure waiting for us outside of our homes. A place where we could be free to play with our friends and explore without adults interfering. We made our own games and rules. We solved problems and learned how to communicate. It was a very freeing time but also a huge point in our learning.
Children learn best through play. Yet these days it’s rare to see them off on their own without an adult dictating or organizing the play. We hardly see kids roaming the neighborhood because it’s no longer the norm.
How can we make sure our children gain the necessary skills such as problem solving, cooperation, and creativity if they no longer have unstructured play?
Many parents choose to put their children on team sports. While this is great for learning how to interact and communicate it is still an organized way of playing.
I was looking for something else as my oldest already played Tball and as a former teacher that just didn’t seem enough. I stumbled upon Tinkergarten thanks to another friend. After joining in on a free trial I saw that it allowed my children to connect with nature, make up their own play, interact with friends, and I was able to join in on the play and observe my girls making connections and using problem solving strategies.
My girls loved the freedom Tinkergarten gave them. During the lesson I had never seen my oldest so engaged before! She’s usually the one bouncing off the walls and going from one toy to another. There were no toys there only objects from nature, water, and a large pot. She loved pouring water and adding nature treasures to it. My youngest at the time was only crawling but even she loved it! She was able to add items and stir them in. As a mom I was excited to see my littles learning so much and being so involved without any shiny toys or electronics. Once home the play from earlier didn’t stop. They immediately wanted to go on the backyard and continue making nature potions! I loved it!!
After that I knew I’d found something special. So special in fact that I wanted to be a part of this program. I decided right then to use my 12 years of teaching to start teaching littles. It seemed like the perfect fit for me and my family. We love being in the outdoors and now I could teach outside without being a PE coach! It seemed too good to be true. Not only could I be in my element but I could bring my girls to work with me. I chose to stay home and not work so I could be with them, now I could have the best of both worlds. As a Tinkergarten leader I enjoy seeing other children become so excited over the works around them. I feel connected again to the teaching world and can relate to the scientific background Tinkergarten brings to littles.
I’d love to invite to try it out for yourself. Check out Tinkergarten.com/leaders/stephanie.walsh for classes and trials.
What ever you decide remember that children learn from play and the best thing we can do for them is to offer opportunities to explore, problem solve, communicate, and wonder.