When you think back to your childhood what are the most impactful memories of play?

Mine include dancing in the rain with friends and playing for HOURS outside with my sister, cousins, and friends. Imaginative play that ended when (as cliche as it sounds) my mom would yell that it was getting dark and was time to come in long enough to bathe, inhale dinner and pass out.

You can imagine my excitement when I heard that Tinkergarten is now in Richmond, VA at Cross Creek Nursery! We went and the boys fell in love and want to share the details with you guys!

What is Tinkergarten?


Tinkergarten brings families together in a natural place in their community for classes where kids learn through play. Each class becomes a tight-knit group of children and adults who learn together through well-designed, outdoor play-based activities. Teachers help kids develop a host of important capabilities, including empathy, collaboration, creativity, persistence and problem solving. Our expert-designed classes and activities help kids ages 18 months—8 years develop core life skills while enjoying healthy, fun, engaging experiences in the physical freedom of local green spaces.

What are the main beliefs of Tinkergarten:

  • Play is LEARNING. Inspired and guided play is powerful learning.
  • Learning is child directed and adult supported.
  • Learning is fun, joyful and full of wonder.
  • Learning is social for children and adults.
  • Nature is inspiring, challenging, stimulating and refreshing.
  • A parent is a child’s most important teacher.

What should I expect in a class?

Overview for parents of the lesson

FUN! Each class has 5 parts: opening activity, circle time, activity launch, guided play and ends with snack time. We sang, read a story, and then engaged in lots of play. We left muddy, dirty, laughing and happy. The theme for class was Stone Soup and the kids gathered items from around the nursery such as sticks, rocks, flowers, etc to add and stir. We pretended to eat the soup all while sharing and problem solving.

How often as parents do we take over and do something for our child or just yell “No don’t get dirty?” I was impressed by Bernadette’s suggestion to the parents to guide the children instead of telling them what to do. A simple mindframe shift from “No do not do that” to “I wonder if…” “What would happen if …” to guide them into making their own decision and problem solving.


I would absolutely LOVE for my friends in RVA to join me at a FREE Tinkergarten class at Cross Creek Nursery as my guest. Feel free to get in touch with Bernadette via email at: to come join in the fun! If you decide to enroll, let Bernadette know I referred you and you will enjoy 15 dollars off the 10 week semester fee! Sibling discount of 30% can also be combined. You can enroll mid season and the cost is pro-rated as well.

Follow Tinkergarten on InstagramFacebook and Twitter. Find a Tinkergarten® class in your communitynominate a leader to start one, or use the free DIY activities to enjoy some well-spent time with your kids.

Join in on the fun @fitfamilylifeblog on Instagram, Fitfamilylifeblog on Facebook & Pinterest.



10 thoughts on “Tinkergarten: Outdoor play for kids and parents

    1. SO MUCH FUN! Even the adults got in on the action which was a awesome reminder that we all need play in our lives.

  1. This is interesting! I don’t have kids so I’ve never heard of this but I’ll be sure to talk to my friends who have kids about it!

  2. This seems like a lot of fun, aside from the fact that it’s educational. My littlest would love this since she’s always making flowers soup, haha.

    Xx, Nailil

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