Monday, May 9, 2016


SoDu Parents Posse member Trish Christie recently took a trial class with the brand new Tinkergarten and wrote a review just for Stir Crazy. 

What is Tinkergarten? The website says it best: "Tinkergarten provides highly engaging early childhood education in the healthiest classroom of all—the outdoors. We match families with leaders, like Durham mom Kate Macartney, in their local community who offer activity-based kids classes that help them develop the skills that matter most—all while having fun! These classes are expert-designed to help kids play the way we used to and to develop, grow and learn important skills. Parents and/or caregivers participate in these classes with the kids and get to (re)discover the wonder of being outdoors right along with their kids." 

 My 2 year old and I attended a free trial of a kindergarten class last week. The grass was wet from a storm the night before, so we wore appropriate shoes (well, I did, my toddler refused his sandals so he wore old shoes and his feet got wet). We arrived and met Kate, the cheerful instructor who immediately made us feel welcome and included. We put on name tags and my 2 year old was given a bucket and instructions to find "treasures". We found lots of buttercups, leaves, small sticks, and blades of grass that were apparently special to my son. After the initial gathering time, everyone gathered on a tarp and began the story time. We were told the story of "stone soup". Even though my son didn't seem to listen or understand the story, he followed the subsequent directions. The toddlers poured their treasures in a pot of water, stirred the "soup", and then gifted the soup to the flower fairies at the end. Amazingly enough, all the toddlers followed along as no major tantrums occurred. I'd say that's a success! Then snack time (which, thankfully Kate had extras because I left our snack in the car) and goodbye songs. We left with a special stone for my son to keep. 

This class was so much fun. Just the perfect amount of time, perfect location, and awesome instructor. I realize the free trial classes are a bit different than the sessions of classes, but I think we got a good feel for the experience. 

What we loved: email correspondence before and after class, location, time of day, Kate's cheerfulness, everyone felt included. 

What we'd change: nothing!

Next 6-week class session for 18-month-olds to 3-year-olds (also in Forest Hills Park) starts May 12th and goes through June 16th. It's Thursday mornings from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 

Find out more and register at:

(FTC disclosure: The blogger attended a free trial of the class so that she could review the park. The free trial was open to the public. No positive review was asked for or promised, and the opinions are the blogger's own.)

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