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Parents Teaching Children At Home Learn How To Take Lessons Outside

NORTHAMPTON (CBS) - A Northampton-based company called Tinkergarten is attempting to show parents, who are now having to substitute as teachers for their children, how to make the most of a moment outside.

"Outdoors is an environment unlike any indoor environment," said Meghan Fitzgerald, co-founder of Tinkergarten. Fitzgerald is a mother of three and a former elementary school principal who started the company with her husband.

Tinkergarten created an online curriculum incorporating free do-it-yourself activities to guide parents.

Examples include building obstacle courses, and concocting safe "potions" made up of any number of materials from around the home or backyard.

"We bake learning science into the activities we offer families," Fitzgerald told WBZ-TV. "For example, experts know kids love to mix, mash and blend things together. It's part of a pattern called transforming. So, one week we focused on getting a jar, filling it with some water, then welcoming kids to make potions."

And it doesn't matter what sort of space you have to work with.

Tinkergarten has tips for even bringing these outdoor activities inside.

"These kind of simple, actionable, powerful ideas are turning into not only ways for their kids to stay busy," said Fitzgerald. "But, also the kind of thing you can feel good about, and that kids are feeling joy about in the middle of this really challenging time."

Activities are designed to last at least 30 minutes.

For more information, visit

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