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Step 2:Encourage Independent Play

Step 4: Take Care of Yourself, too


Step 3: Understand What Kids Really Need

Step 1: Set Up A Schedule

Structuring a daily and weekly schedule that works for your family can reduce anxiety, help ensure that everyone’s needs get met, and allow kids to truly focus. 

Check out these resources help make that happen:

This year, we're heading into a fall more uncertain and unsettling than we could have ever imagined. Whether your kids are still home with you, headed to school or navigating a “hybrid” world this fall, our hearts are in our throats, and we all need support. 

We developed this Fall Family PLAYbook to help your family THRIVE!

Watch Lesson 1:"Creating A Play Space To Get Back Hours of Free Time"

Watch Lesson 2:"How to Invite and Inspire Kids to Play on their Own."

Watch Lesson 3: "What the theater can teach us about parenting."

Kids are wired to learn and develop through play, and they already have all the tools they need—we just need to give them the right environment. And, when kids get lost in play, they can maintain joyful focus all on their own—giving us the free time we need. Follow our three part “Independent Play Training” video series to get started: 

Join a Tinkergarten Circle Time class! Each week, kids ages 2 to 8 are inspired by a Tinkergarten Leader to connect with friends, sing, move, share and play. Plus, grownups get a weekly activity guide with simple ways to keep the play going and boost kids’ creativity in the process! Download this season's syllabus here. 


As long as you're on our mailing list, you’ll get our free Play Breaks series delivered to your inbox every Sunday. It’s a weekly set of simple, 5-minute play ideas designed to spark hours of independent, outdoor play.

Trying to meet all of our kids’ needs can feel quite overwhelming, especially when it’s all on us! But, when we break it down and focus on what social, physical and intellectual nurturing kids actually need, becomes much easier to decide what to do—and to know when we’ve done enough. Below is just the start of a series of articles dedicated to helping us make sure kids’ needs are covered—and to give you a little cover, too!

Parenting in a time like this is exhausting, especially when we feel like we have to be great. We can’t change the bigger forces around us, but we can adjust our expectations for our kids and ourselves. We can also learn to lean on our communities in clever and life-changing ways! Check out these articles for some helpful perspectives on managing the moment and attending to your own needs, too

(and get time back for you!)

Need Community?

We all do! Join our Free #OutdoorsAll4 Community on Facebook to share ideas, support and cheers with other families around the world! 

Need Advice?

Each week, Tinkergarten Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer, Meghan Fitzgerald will answer questions from the community. Follow us on @tinkergarten on Instagram to ask Meghan your questions and follow the series!