If you have little ones between the ages of 6 months to 8 years old, you are going to want to learn about this great program offered in the South Bay called Tinkergarten. It is a program that not only gets kids to explore nature, but helps teach them lots of great life skills!
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Tell us about Tinkergarten:
“Tinkergarten is on a mission to elevate childhood. We’re growing a technology-enabled network of leaders that bring families together in a natural place in their community for classes where kids learn through play. Our outdoor classes are designed to engage and inspire kids in building skill sets around empathy, collaboration, creativity, persistence, and problem solving for kids ages 6 months to 8 years old.”
What inspired you to launch Tinkergarten?
“Tinkergarten was founded by educators who were inspired to bring a new type of learning to life. Using our skills and knowledge of education and our love of nature, we felt compelled to give kids a way to combine playing, learning, and nature in a way that would develop key skills and experiences that are essential to their foundation of healthy learning.”
What is one of your proudest moments?
“Letitia Tadros, a Local Tinkergarten Leader: ‘My whole experience being a leader for Tinkergarten is a proud moment and experience for me. I love that Tinkergarten uses technology to help spread Tinkergarten’s mission and to help educate families about learning. Tinkergarten’s unique balance of nature and technology promotes an equal and powerful resource for our families. I feel that the work that we do will help to prepare our children for a very different looking future. What is special is that we at Tinkergarten understand that play is a powerful and necessary part of learning. Play is important for child development—experts know it is how children develop across the board. Tinkergarten celebrates play, teaches adults how to facilitate play and reminds adults to play along too!'”
What can one expect when getting involved?
“You can expect to have a fantastic time getting outdoors and playing with your kids, while watching them learn and play in all new ways. Each class becomes a tight-knit group of children and adults who learn together through well-designed, outdoor play-based activities.
Tinkergarten is always looking for new faces and families to join classes at their local parks. What attracted Letitia, and will attract other families to participate in Tinkergarten is the idea that children need to spend more time outdoors and that learning should be child-led. We say in Tinkergarten, the students are the explorers and that the adults are the guides; we’re placing children in the driver’s seat.”
Tell us a little more about you!
“Tinkergarten was founded by two people with a background in education. Meghan Fitzgerald spent 16 years an educator, curriculum developer and school leader. Brian Fitzgerald worked in product development where he developed products and services for Higher Education, K-12, and Early Learning. We reside in Massachusetts with our kids.
While we do not live in the South Bay we are so excited to have one of our largest growing communities of Tinkergarten learners located here at Hopkins Wilderness Park in Redondo Beach and Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach.
Leitita Tadros is a Tinkergarten Leader at Hopkins Wilderness Park. She was a teacher and in the education field for most of her adult life. The Tinkergarten model for education and their philosophies about learning in nature were very much aligned with her own. She moved from New York and has now lived in the South Bay for 7 years and is an active member of the community.She currently teaches both our Babies program for 6 to 18-month olds and our mixed-age kids program designed for 1.5 to 8-year olds. She is also testing out bringing Tinkergarten out to a local school as a pilot program. This fall, she will be partnering with The Knowing Garden in Redondo Beach and it’s going so well. Families really want this experience for their children. They see and feel the benefits of what Tinkergarten provides and it shows. Tinkergarten is absolutely for everyone! “