Kate Lanfer remembers climbing on a huge boulder in the park near her childhood home and pretending it was a dinosaur. And how she and her younger brothers created secret forts under the trees in her backyard.
“We were always playing outside and everything was filled with magic,” she said.
Lanfer, a Yorktown mother of two young girls, will be guiding kids and their adults to discover their own moments of magic this spring in the Yorktown area as a Tinkergarten <https://tinkergarten.com/> leader (https://tinkergarten.com/ <https://tinkergarten.com/>). She’s excited about the program’s mission to provide high quality early childhood learning in the healthiest classroom of all – the outdoors.
“I have strong memories of being outside all the time,” said Lanfer. “That kind of play, in the woods or anywhere out of doors and in nature, with the freedom to get muddy, is so important.”
Tinkergarten’s activities are about exploration, discovery and making a mess. At the same time, they help kids develop self-regulation, problem solving, persistence, curiosity and other core life skills. Classes <https://tinkergarten.com/classes/> run throughout Westchester County (https://tinkergarten.com/classes/ <https://tinkergarten.com/classes/>). Plus, families connect with trained leaders and other folks in the community during the play-based kids’ classes, all while having fun. Each week is new and child-led, so kids and adults discover and learn together. During a class, youngsters might make mud or hunt the wind or learn about birds.
Lanfer, who has a Master’s degree in elementary and special education, will be using several Yorktown parks as her outdoor classrooms. She’s offering two different sessions this spring at Downing Park and Willow Park, which is on Curry Street off of Route 6. The classes are mixed-age, for 18 months to five years old. They start the first week of April, run for eight weeks, and are open to kids and parents and caregivers.
“Learning through play, while being outside, is just so important for me and my girls and I want to share these activities,” said Lanfer. “I can’t wait for spring!”
More information about the Yorktown classes is at the Tinkergarten <https://tinkergarten.com/leaders/kate.lanfer> website (https://tinkergarten.com/leaders/kate.lanfer <https://tinkergarten.com/leaders/kate.lanfer>).