Tinkergarten at the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden

By Puck Erickson

The Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden, adjacent to River View Park in Buellton, California is now hosting two outdoor preschools.  The Acorn School allows children to explore, make tea with their own solar stoves, and become comfortable with the dynamics of their natural environment.  Through such interaction they build confidence, learn problem solving skills and think creatively both independently and working as a group.
 
Tinkergarten is an outdoor play-based class for children 18 months to 5 years old that centers on a child’s wonder and curiosity with activities that emphasize critical developmental skills like persistence, problem solving, grit, creativity, and imagination.  Both schools have wonderful crafts and activities that are based on discovered objects and plant materials found in the garden.  One of the Garden's goals is to provide an outdoor educational setting that is accessible to all types of learning experiences from preschool and elementary levels to community service through middle and high school years.  At Arcadia, we are committed to connecting to our communities through the natural world. 

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