Exploring–and Getting Muddy–With Tinkergarten

City kids might need more direction in getting dirty than their rural/suburban counterparts. Enter Tinkergarten, an outdoor class where kids explore and learn about nature. AJ and I had a great time–and got really muddy–at Tinkergarten this past spring at Lincoln Park.

Below I’ll tell you all about our recently completed spring session–but first, I want to let you know that you can still join summer sessions at Lincoln Park at a discounted rate. Also, there will be a fall session at Garfield Park; sign up now and get 15 percent off with the code FALL2019. See the schedule.

Our session was led by the lovely Free Wright, a local mom and early education specialist. Each class began with free time to explore the park and collect found items in a bucket.

Then the class would come back together to talk about the items we found and do activities together. In the most memorable class, we literally made a giant mud puddle and made mud pies. I REALLY wish I had photos of this. Suffice to say, I had to strip AJ at the door and hose him off when we returned home. It was worth it!

“Blow like the wind!”

Sometimes, Free led the class to “blow like the wind” around the park, stopping to discover things along the way. We also made “creature habitats” in jars, dug for worms, planted seeds, cooked up stone soup and made sock bunnies stuffed with soothing lavender.

Each session has a theme, and this spring it was “empathy,” so the classes incorporated books and activities in which kids considered how others might be feeling. At the end, each kid earned an empathy badge–and celebrated by going to the playground and taking a group photo.

This is a great activity–fun and mind-opening. I encourage you to try it out with your little city kid! Learn more about Tinkergarten.

Discover more kids’ activities on the Hill:

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