[Note: Since writing this post I decided not to move forward with my application to lead Tinkergarten. I will be pursuing other K-12 opportunities which I'll write about later. If you work in e-learning and seeking UX / Product Design help send me a text!]
My final step in becoming a Tinkergarten leader is creating a demo video. It's a preview of how I'd lead a real Tinkergarten class once certified, but also a small dose of how I am with children. Truly, I love being around kids. I find their spirits to be energizing more than tiring. Not everyone feels that way- and that's okay, that's why moms like me feel called to do this.
After doing it once, I'm in love. And there are a lot of great parks and outdoor spaces for these classes in my city. I look forward to hopping around and exploring. I held this first session at Como Park, one of Saint Paul's most beloved spots.
I have a lot more to do and learn, and if all goes well I start certification very soon! In the meantime, read about my three part demo and watch below as the little explorers used their imaginations to make something out of nature. [A play on the What to build activity].
Part 1: Circle Time
We started with introductions. I gave the kids decorated stones and called on them to scream their name as loud as they could so the great outdoors could hear them! Then we quickly got to the fun..
Part 2: The Creative Challenge
I launched the activity by telling the kids the Lorax had sent us mail.
"Hello kids, I need your help! There is a magic carpet somewhere around here with special materials. You need to find it together and each of you must make something with what you find. The only rule is.. there are no rules! Show these materials love and put them to good use.
For love of the trees, the LORAX
PS: If you need a hint, look for rocks to lead the way.."
Up a hill nearby the explorers found bundles of sticks and stones and clay! What 4 & 5 year old doesn't love that? With all these great findings the kids were challenged to create something, anything! And they got right to work..
Part 3: Regroup, Discuss
We ended casually with a snack and discussion. It was an abbreviated version of what would happen in a real session.. But if it were up to the kids we'd still be out there!
Everyone left with a care package from the Lorax which included a blank thank you card. The kids were encouraged to write a thank you card to nature, to thank the trees, the wind, the sun.. everything that made the day possible.
After experiencing a Tinkergarten class families should walk away with an activity they can do at home, something related to the learnings from that day. This is a good challenge for me as a leader and it's a great way to funnel my creativity.
Stay tuned for more! Here's a shot of the little explorers at the end of my demo. They were so engaged in the play, they made my job feel fun and easy just like I knew they would.
What did the kids get out of it?
- outdoor time (in the frigid winter, kudos!)
- socializing with new kids
- surprise & delight (finding the magic carpet!)
- creativity / the opportunity to build something
- exploration / seeing new potential in objects from nature
- communication / being heard & humored by a new adult/group
Check out My Tinkergarten demo video below, and in the comments, tell me.. if you are a parent, would you come to a session like this? And to the recruiting team, I hope you enjoyed my demo.
Here's to bringing outdoor learning to Saint Paul!
Sending LOVE <3
[Note: Since writing this post I decided not to move forward with my application and will not be officially leading Tinkergarten. I will be pursuing other K-12 opportunities which I'll write about later.]
Heatherlee is a fearless mom, designer, artist and community maker in St. Paul, MN. She's a doula-in-training, apprentice energy worker and life long learner interested in wellness, social entrepreneurship and the intersection of culture, consciousness and creativity. More about Heatherlee's entry into women's health and birth work, and her career milestones so far.
Note from the author: I strive to live in a way that empowers people and creates an open space for love and light. We are content being a little bit different, a little off-beat, and all the way happy :)
Mental and spiritual health is extremely important to me as a mom. I believe in preventative wellness and the healing power of meditation. I believe in informed decision making and listening to your body and heart.
I'm not perfect or certified in anything really. So, thanks for accepting me as I grow and learn and write from my perspective. I hope this blog brings me closer to finding and creating the things moms need. And above all that you're inspired to be yourself.
Now go mom like a boss!
(Whatever that means to you).
With love, Heatherlee