New play groups

Nature is the ideal classroom.

That’s the thinking behind Tinkergarten, a new outdoor-based, play-focused program for ages 18 months to 8 years, now being offered at select locations in the Twin Cities.

Classes, organized by local leaders who are trained online, typically run for eight weeks and cost participants $17.50 to $20 per class.

Around the country, stay-at-home parents have jumped at the opportunity to become leaders because they can offer the hour-long classes based on their schedules (and can even bring their own children for no charge). Founded by two parents — a former school teacher and a tech-industry veteran — the Maryland-based company estimates that its 1,574 leaders (now operating in 49 states) earn between $300 and $1,000 for each eight-week class.

Learn more at, where you’ll find a free creative list of DIY outdoor activities for kids.