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Start Up Offers Young Learners More Play Through Outdoor Classes

Start-Up Offers Young Learners More Play Through Outdoor Classes

As many early education programs shift towards decreasing play and increasing academic instruction, start ups like Tinkergarten hope to preserve the importance of meaningful play in young learners.

Tinkergarten is a start up that offers children ages pre-K through 8 play-based education through providing classes outdoors, no matter the weather.

Different than many traditional schools for young learners, "[t]he curriculum, which is reviewed by a board of educational advisers, includes hands-on activities, such as making mud pies and creating art using items found outdoors such as leaves, berries and sticks. Class is held in green spaces and are only canceled under extreme conditions," said NJ.com.

While Tinkergarten is not meant to replace the role of a traditional classroom, experts and supporters say this type of supplementary education helps young learners develop creativity and problem-solving skills.

With each class running about an hour to and an hour and a half long, the main lessons are determined by the season.

"In the fall, for example, children might create a bird feeder or make musical instruments out of materials found in the park. Messiness is not only accepted — it is encouraged," the article said.

And rainy days don't stop instruction—inclement weather means building a temporary shelter using tarp and ropes to continue learning.

As for the specifics, "[e]ach child is accompanied by a parent, family member or caregiver during the classes, which cost $20 to $30 per session. Instructors are allowed a maximum of 12 children per class. Families are required to sign up for a season which typically meets once a week and lasts six to 12 weeks."

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

09/15/2015

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