Educational program in Ocoee takes classroom outdoors

Tinkergarten is a play-based outdoor learning program

OCOEE, Fla. – Research shows spending 120 minutes a week in nature reduces stress, blood pressure, and heart rate, as well as enhances kids’ physical, social, and cognitive outcomes. That’s why Tinkergarten uses the outdoors as the classroom.

Tinkergarten is a play-based outdoor learning program for kids ages 18 months through 8 years old.

Kathy Memolo, a Tinkergarten leader based in Ocoee, said the hour-long lessons can be either in person or virtual, and each season has a theme, with “animal superheroes” being the focus of the winter season.

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“It really is making that connection for kids about how animals and our theme for this season is persistence. And so how these animals have to persist in cold weather during winter and being able to connect that to their own learning that they persist the same way the animals do and just really making that connects between creatures and nature and their own learning,” Memolo said.

Memolo added because of the program’s approach, each child will have a different experience.

“And kids learn best when they lead the way. So the Tinkergarten team designs their lessons to have play initiation and kids kind of go on their own with it. And we help parents kind of take a step back and let them lead,” she said.

The curriculum is designed to help kids develop 8 skills: creativity, sensory, wellness, problem-solving, empathy, communication and focus.

Even though the winter season is already underway, you can still sign up.

To try a free class, click here. From there, you can enter your zip code to find options near you.

About the Author:

Julie Broughton's career in Central Florida has spanned more than 14 years, starting with News 6 as a meteorologist and now anchoring newscasts.