Tinkergarten: An Alternative to Camp

Tinkergarten: Putting play back into education!

What Happened to Recess?

Even if your kid hasn’t started school I think we’ve all heard of the dreaded common core.  As a middle school English teacher I am not against the message of the common core curriculum, however there seems to be something lost in translation.  Schools have cut recess, the arts, electives all in the name of Common Core.  

As a parent I know the value of play and social learning in conjunction with academics.  While the importance of this seems to have been lost in many schools, Tinkergarten has given parents a solution to this dilemma.  

What is Tinkergarten?

Tinkergarten offers kids from ages pre-K to 8 years old the opportunity to develop their social and emotional needs in an outdoor environment.  In our age of technology, getting outside to play is something very valuable.  The importance of less screen time and more interaction with peers is imperative.  Classes are held at Brady Park in Massapequa, right next to the Massapequa preserves.

Each class emphasizes communication, empathy, problem solving, persistence and grit.  Their leaders organize activities based on the season and needs of the kids.  Summer classes meet on Thursday or Saturday mornings and last for an hour and 15 minutes.

The best part is that 1 adult can accompany 3 kids, so rotate the carpool and use your free morning to hit the gym or pamper yourself.  As a mother of two I know the value of quality time with your little ones, but there is also a lot to be said for giving some time to yourself.  With Tinkergarten you can get the best of both!

Tips for class:

  • Tinkergarten is open regardless of weather so be sure to dress appropriately
  • Bring plenty of water and a snack
  • Wear sunscreen, classes are outdoors!
  • Plan to stay with your child through the class or arrange to partner with other moms who can stay on alternating days.


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Author: Jennifer Koliatsis

Jennifer is a middle school English teacher. She lives in Bethpage with her husband and two teenagers. To her, a great night out is anywhere with great people, whether that's at home, a new restaurant, or even a PTA meeting.