Our Approach to COVID-19 Safety in In-Person Programs

Overall Approach: We follow a standard approach to safety that applies to all instances of in-person Tinkergarten. This approach is informed by CDC recommendations for Guidance for Operating Youth and Summer Camps During COVID-19. As the school year has begun, we also make note of aspects of the CDC Guidance for Operating K-12 Schools which pertain to outdoor activities.

Variation by Location: As the CDC guidance acknowledges, local requirements may vary. We will require that Leaders and families follow any requirements set by their local government or those who manage their specific location.

Living Document: This page and all pages related to our approach will be updated as guidance evolves. This page was last updated on September 16, 2021.

Communication: Our approach to safety as it relates to the class experience will be communicated via:

Our  Approach

In the chart below, we have organized various components of our Tinkergarten approach as they relate to each point from the CDC guidance.

CDC Guideline

Tinkergarten Approach


Tinkergarten strongly encourages vaccination for everyone who is eligible. Tinkergarten does not require vaccination from class participants or Leaders. 

Stay home if sick or having symptoms of COVID-19.

In advance of each class, families will be prompted to review our Pre-Tinkergarten Health Checklist that includes a check for symptoms of COVID. If anyone in a household answers “yes” to the questions on the Health Checklist, they must stay home. Families can utilize the pre-recorded content in lieu of in-person instruction.

If a participant develops symptoms or becomes sick during class they will be asked to separate from the group, directed to leave, and advised to seek appropriate medical care.

Masks to cover nose and mouth

Tinkergarten recommends that everyone who is not vaccinated and over the age of 2 wear a mask to curb the spread of the virus. 

Tinkergarten requires that a mask be worn only in locations where it is required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including the specific location or park itself.

Physical distancing and cohorts

This summer, children enrolled in the same class form a “cohort.” No child from outside that cohort may visit the class. Click here to read our sibling policy.

Adults who accompany children must be within the same household or pod (e.g. either parent, nanny) as the child(ren).

Children enrolled in classes can enjoy playing alongside one another. Adults can gently remind children to give one another enough personal space (3 feet) if or when needed/

Adults who are not vaccinated must either wear a face mask or maintain at least 6 feet of distance from those outside their household or “pod.”

We encourage participants to drink water as needed, but ask that they step 10 feet away from participants outside their household or “pod” if/when drinking or eating.

Hand washing

Leaders will provide a soap + water mixture for kids to wash hands as they arrive. Leaders will also introduce and reinforce safe cough and sneezing protocols to all participants. 

Cleaning and disinfecting/ Shared materials

Most materials children use in our natural settings do not require cleaning or disinfecting for safe play. When household materials that could require cleaning are needed, we will either ask families to bring such materials or Leaders will provide one such material per child to ensure the safest approach.

Contact tracing

Leaders will take attendance as families arrive for each session. If a case of COVID-19 within the class cohort is reported to Tinkergarten, Tinkergarten will alert all enrolled families.


This page and all pages related to our approach will be updated as guidance evolves. This page was last updated on September 16, 2021.

If you have any questions about our approach to in person classes, please let us know at