Tinkergarten is currently offered in seasonal courses, which are delivered in 6, 8, or 10-week series. Each season, we create a unique progression of lessons that support specific outcomes for children.
We develop a different progression of activities (i.e., curriculum) for each of the following age groups: Tinkergarten Babies (6 to 18 months) and our core program (18 months to 8 years old). Within each age level, we also offer slight variations so that different regions can adapt/adjust to the local weather and environment.
Our classes are offered in mixed-age groupings, which both meet the needs expressed by families, and, from our perspective, deliver a richer educational experience.
Tinkergarten activities are open-ended, child-led, and designed within a universal framework to offer both access and potential benefit to children across a range of ages and developmental needs.
We have used research to identify a subset of core skills to target in our program design. We organize these skills in three buckets: ready to learn; ready to thrive; and ready for anything. The infographic below displays those 12 core skills (leaves) and how they break down by bucket (flowers).
Each season, we identify one of our 12 skills as the “focus skill.” Even though our lessons collectively support the range of skills, each lesson targets that focus skill. Additionally, the parent communication is aligned to support adults developing a thorough understanding of what that skill involves, how children develop that skill, and how they can support their child in developing that skill. At the end of the season, each child earns a badge commemorating their progress in that skill.
We map out a series of lessons for each season that can support all target outcomes and that, in particular, support our focus skill. Our new lessons are written, pre-tested, and then rolled out to leaders so that both leader and parent enjoy novelty, and parents are intrigued by what each next season has in store.
To get a feel for how we think about learning, you can sample some of our free DIY Activities shared on our website. We offer these simple, fun ways to spark play so that families who do not have classes nearby can still benefit from nature play-based learning, and so families in our program can easily extend the learning at home.
We’re always developing new lesson plans and curriculum for each season to keep the experience fresh and engaging for our explorers who continue to learn with us season after season!