Once my twin girls hit the 18 month mark, I was looking for fun activities around Charlotte for the weekends that would give them the opportunity to socialize and learn. I came across Tinkergarten via a Facebook post by a mom in NY (where we are originally from). After a quick search, I realized that Tinkergarten had classes all over the United States, including Charlotte, and the classes were all held outdoors in various parks.
Tinkergarten offers classes once-a-week for 8 week sessions with “Leaders” who help facilitate the activities and exploration. The classes also include a pretty wide range of ages, 18mo-8yo, which I was weary about, at first, but it ended up being a pretty fun experience. The older kids seem to take the younger kids under their wings and I enjoyed watching my little ones trying to imitate the movements the older kids were doing. It was actually a pretty cool collaboration of ages that I think benefited all; the younger kids developed new motor skills and the older kids learned patience and sharing.
This is an awesome option for parents who don’t get outside much with their kids or for stay-at-home parents who need something to do during the week, on their own, with minimal headache; This is a totally doable and fun solution. You can absolutely manage multiple children, of the same or different ages, and you can sip your coffee and mingle with other parents as your kids explore.
All-in-all, I love that Tinkergarten is built on fostering imagination and getting kids away from the technology that is consuming our lives. I love that kids learn collaboration and the group makes parents and kids feel safe. When I remember being home, alone, with the two girls and scared to go anywhere on my own with them, I realize that Tinkergarten would have been a perfect activity to bring them to.
Price: About $160/child for 8 weeks. Discounts offered for multiple children.
Tip: If you’re afraid of getting dirty, this isn’t for you. This is a play-in-the-mud and love it activity.