Envelope Glyph Icon
Simple Facebook Icon
Simple Instagram Icon

Nature is Our Classroom

Creatures are our teachers. Mud and sticks are our tools, and every lesson deepens kids’ connection to nature.

Play is Our Focus

Each lesson is engineered as an invitation to play that kids simply can’t refuse!

Child-led is Our Motto

Kids learn best when they lead the way. We help teachers and caregivers support their child's unique process.

The Philosophy


"Nature places virtually no bounds on the imagination and engages all of the senses. For all children, this setting allows for the full blossoming of creativity, curiosity, and the associated developmental advances."

Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg

  • Reduces negative emotions and increases positive ones
  • Increases engagement and focus
  • Provides opportunities for appropriate risk-taking
  • Fosters imagination and creativity
  • Improves sleep and overall wellness

Why Nature

Why Play-Based

"Play is the highest form of research."

Albert Einstein

  • Provides opportunities for muscle development and tuning of fine motor skills
  • Strengthens problem-solving skills by allowing for experimentation in a risk-free environment
  • Builds communication and social skills
  • Deepens connections and builds a greater understanding of the world
  • Sparks joy and wonder

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

– Maria Montessori

  • Allows for happier and more engaged learning
  • Aids in discovery of interests and hobbies
  • Builds feelings of independence and self-confidence
  • Improves executive functioning skills
  • Fosters inquisition and a love of learning

Why Child-Led

About The Program

Playful Roots Learning utilizes the Tinkergarten curriculum, a program designed by education experts for learners ages 18 months - 8 years old. The child-led, play-based approach is designed to support a wide range of learners engage in exploratory, meaningful learning, all while deepening children’s connection to the natural world we all share.

Each season of classes supports the development of one of 8 essential skills through weekly 60-minute lessons. Every two years, we repeat our 8-skill cycle, allowing learners to revisit core concepts at a more advanced developmental stage and adding new twists to the curriculum to delight teachers and children alike.



This Winter, we focus on persistence— the ability to stick with something, meet challenges and push ahead in order to reach our goals, learn and grow. Each lesson is inspired by a different, persistent animal superhero.

Snowflake On Natural Snowdrift Close Up - Christmas And Winter Background


10:00-11:00 AM

@ Merwin Meadows

Wilton, CT

6-week session

$160/Wilton residents


Begins 1/8



3:30-4:30 PM

@ Miller-Driscoll Elementary School

*M-D Students only*

8-week session

$180/8 weeks

Begins 1/10


About Me

I’m Denise. I’m the mom of two wonderfully curious kids, the wife of an incredibly supportive husband, and a lifelong learner.

After leaving the corporate life behind to dedicate my time to nurturing the little ones in my life, I found my two true passions: nature and childhood development. In 2017, I found the perfect intersection of these passions in Tinkergarten. I became a certified Tinkergarten teacher that year and have only grown more dedicated to outdoor, play-based learning since then.

When I'm not outside teaching classes, you can find me volunteering my time in the schools, working as a board member of a local environmental non-profit organization, or planning our next family adventure!

I am so incredibly excited to launch Playful Roots Learning and look forward to meeting you outside!

Questions? Email me: denise@playfulrootslearning.com