Finding like-minded families for children to socialize with

Hello, following a few comments on a recent open post I wondered if parents wanted to discuss here how they go about finding friends for their children who share some important values. I know others will agree it's probably best not to be too specific as you can never tell when what you say about your family online might be used by someone with illwill who just wants to find where children are hanging out. But I am sure we can have some kind of productive discussion.

One of the best things for us in the midlands of England has been the Forest School teachers. We have been to four different Forest Schools at times, some with preschoolers and parents along, some with home educated children being dropped off. It's been a good way to find other families who also agree with children having plenty of time outdoors which is a good starting point for some values in common. Also have been inspired by JMG's post about commonplaces in my conversation with people we meet which has really helped with my smalltalk skills.

I imagine it's much harder to find like-minded people in the USA because the distances are so large. Are there a lot of Forest Schools around in your area?

Blueberry's picture

Had to look that one up. Found 3 in Florida all of them more than 100 miles(166KM) away. My godchild who is 5 now is in scouts. He did his first over night camp at the age of 3 he would go camping every weekend if possible. Mom and dad both work but make a point of staying active in his young life. They made lots of friends when he went to the 3 year old program at a local church school. That church also runs the scout program.

Hi Blueberry, thanks for joining in the thread. Yes a 200 mile round trip to get to a Forest School is not necessarily going to be a good use of precious family time or fossil fuel. Forest School really got popular in the UK over the past decade or so and I'm glad we have several nearby, we can get to one on our bikes (8 mile round trip) and we get lifts to the others which are in the region of 15 miles away.

Sounds like your godchild's family have a good community resource in that church. Glad to hear he is getting outdoors with Scouts and it sounds great that he wants to be outdoors every weekend, I hope he continues in that.

Blueberry's picture

When he turned 4 was given a firesteel, at the age of 5 can make a tender bundle and build a campfire. Skills that by 2030 will be very important for a young green wizard. He will be 16. Hope I am around.

Awesome. Great skills. I think if children are comfortable in the real world they can build their skills on that sound base. Much better than the kind of kids who seem to spend their lives pressing buttons around one kind of screen or another and freaking out when they don't have the screen.

We were out at Forest School this morning for our small one and we did some knots, some sawing, some den building, and some jumping in muddy puddles as well as pretend play piloting a pirate ship through rapids.

Blueberry's picture

From my childhood days the rabbit comes out of the hole around the tree back into the hole.

Yes =D little one's forest school teacher seems to have at least a dozen little rhymes for the various knots, he is awesome.

Blueberry's picture

How about a Knot Tutorial, would love to see the rhymes used in the UK.

Haha, serves me right for mentioning them. I don't know the proper names of the knots. I wll have to add them as I remember.

One I can remember right now from two weeks ago is "make a fish with a waggly tail, and a dish with a waggly tail, put the fish on the dish", then put the stick through and tighten it up, this is for attaching the line to pretend fishing rods. It's called a clove hitch for grownups.

The teacher showed us another for attaching the corners of a tarp to a branch this week but can't remember the rhyme. Will have to ask him to show me again.

edited to add video of clove hitch knot

Actually quite a few on various people's videos if you search 'forest school knots' in youtube.