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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review of Tinkergarten Classes in Louisville, KY


 photo 0319171516_zpsdrkosgj9.jpgOur writer was hosted for this event for purpose of review. 

Tinkergarten is a new concept in Louisville that combines exploration of the outdoors and nature with learning and storytelling. My five-year-old son and I recently ventured into a free trial class that was held at McNeely Lake Park. We both really enjoyed it!

We arrived at the park at just about the time that class was beginning, and found the directions that Mariah, the Tinkergarten leader, gave me via email were just right. She had signs up leading to a grassy field at the park where the class was meeting. We introduced ourselves and then were given a bucket for collecting special things we found as we walked around the field together. Those items would be used later to make a special project together. The class time was condensed somewhat with it being a trial class, but after we had our one-on-one time together collecting our nature pieces, we gathered back as a whole group on a tarp under a tree and made some introductions with other children and parents and sang a few interactive songs together.

 photo 0319171426_zpsqj9r2erp.jpg photo 0319171442_zpsqdqkvwyd.jpgAfter that, Mariah gave each child a small glass mason jar and a little bit of water, and the children put what they wanted to out of their collections into their jar. When they were done with that, she gave them each a magical element (lavender) which would turn their water in the jar into a magic potion! It was fun and smelled really good too! My son really enjoyed that part, and becoming a bird who flew away after he smelled the magic potion in his jar. After the activity portion, children and adults sit down for a snack together, so parents are encouraged to pack a snack and drink for their child.

The class was a lot of fun and it was neat to be outdoors in a classroom type setting. It was engaging and on par with a ton of early childhood learning teachings and styles. My son and I both learned together in an enriching experience, and he loved having the space to move! One thing I really took away from the class was Mariah talking about an outdoor classroom-- if there are no walls, kids can't bounce off of them. I loved the idea of the outdoor learning classroom, especially for the type of child my son is.

Classes are geared for children ages 18 months to 8 years old. The spring semester runs through May 28. The cost for an 8 week session is $140 per child. In Louisville, classes are held at McNeely Lake Park on Sundays as well as E.P. Tom Sawyer Park on Wednesdays. Class time is 2pm-3:15pm.

Find out more by visiting Tinkergarten's website or Facebook page.

By guest contributor: Erin

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