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Ultimate List of 25+ Ways to Socialize: Littles Edition (2024 Back to Homeschool Giveaway!)

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Hey there, homeschool mama! We hope you and your family are having an amazing summer so far! For many of us, summer is full of fun and camps and kid-led learning (and maybe finishing up a few textbooks). However, it is also the perfect time to start thinking about ways to help your child make friends, connections, and find some new ways to “socialize” throughout the upcoming homeschool year.

Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing an Ultimate List of Ways to Socialize for each of the following age categories: Littles, Middles, and Bigs! Today is all about the Littles!

Ways to Socialize - Children Lying on Brown Beach Sand

“Littles,” refers to children in the toddler- early elementary years. And in terms of socializing, this can honestly seem like the most challenging season to help your child make new friends– especially if you’ve just started homeschooling!

There can be a fear that your young child will miss out on some of the fun, and social elements, of public school. Because, contrary to popular opinion, a homeschool mama’s main goal in life is not to find ways to ensure your kid is weird and unsocialized.

At a very young age, children’s social needs mainly include playmates, opportunities to learn about social interactions, and just having some hands-on fun! And luckily, there are many ways to get your young homeschooled child around other kids and do things that they enjoy (and can learn from)!

For any age, the best way for most homeschoolers to make friendships is by connecting with others who enjoy the same things they do! This gives children consistent experiences that can be enjoyed over time, creating opportunities to make deeper friendships. Many of the ideas on this list play to those specific interests!

Of course, when your kids are really young, you may not know exactly what their interests are yet, and keeping things more general and play-oriented can be the best approach!  Whichever the case may be for your child(ren), here is an ultimate list of 25+ fun, hands-on ideas and activities to help your homeschooled “little” socialize and enjoy the art of playtime!

Introducing the 2024 Back to Homeschool Giveaway!

Some of the ideas listed below may not be free, and we know money is tight for many of us who choose to homeschool, especially when it comes time to purchase all our homeschool curriculum. So, we have joined up with a group of other homeschool businesses to offer you the opportunity to win a $250 gift card of your choice! The details and entry form can be found at the end of this article, so make sure to enter!!

The Ultimate List of Ways to Socialize for Homeschoolers: Littles Edition!

Join it!

This first group of ideas in our Ultimate List of Ways to Socialize involves clubs, activities, programs, and organizations that probably already exist in your local or neighboring area! These involve creativity, structure, participation, and play–giving children ready-made opportunities to play and learn how to make friends.

Children Reading Books

1. Local Library Activities – If you’re not up to date with your local library’s activities, go get that library card (if your kids are ready for one) and an events calendar! Libraries are awesome about providing fun (and free) opportunities for your young child to learn, play, and socialize, including: weekly storytimes, craft times, and scavenger hunts.

2. Museum or Art Gallery Children’s Events and Homeschool Days – Art museums and galleries often have fun and educational events for young kids to nourish creativity and allow young artists to make friends with each other. Many of them even have special days for homeschoolers throughout the school year.

 3. Local Aquarium, Zoo, or Nature Center- Check with your local aquarium, zoo, or nature center to find out about children’s events and homeschool days for your animal loving kiddo! It can be a great way to meet with other young children and families who love animals, too!

4. Local Co-ops or Homeschool Group – If you specifically want to meet some homeschoolers, a local co-op or pre-existing Homeschool Group (like a Montessori-based group or Classical Conversations group) can be a great way to do it! This allows you to meet other homeschooling families in a structured environment, making connections for future friendships and play opportunities that go beyond the group!

5. Children’s Church Groups – If your family goes to church and a moral/spiritual foundation is an important part of your child’s education, then make sure you are up-to-date on your church’s offerings for kids! Sunday school, Wednesday night activities, children’s choir, and VBS are all wonderful opportunities for young kids to make friends and socialize! If your family church doesn’t have a lot going on for kids, another local church would be happy to have them involved in the kids’ activities!

6. Mother’s Morning Out – Many churches offer a public service called “Mother’s Morning Out,” which is a lower-cost and structured time for young children to play and do a little hands-on learning once or twice a week while the parent gets to have some time “out.” It’s usually different from daycare in that it is much shorter and more structured, making it a good opportunity for young kids to get some active playtime once or twice a week!

7. Trail Life (for Boys) or Frontier Girls (for Girls) – Finding a local troop of outdoor lovers can be a great way to get your child together with other kids in their age bracket, get involved in service projects, and learn about nature and character-building!

8. Dance/Movement Classes – Whether you have a young ballerina at home, or a toddler who just likes to bounce to the beat, dance and movement classes are fun, good for self-expression, and a joyful way to make friends!

9. Group Art Classes for Children – Local studios and artists sometimes offer group art classes for young children. It can be a more affordable option than private classes and a great way for your artistic Little to make friends who also like art.

10. YMCA – Did you know the YMCA has programs just for homeschoolers–from physical activity to all kinds of different electives? What’s offered may vary from place to place, so check with your local club to see what may interest your Little!

11. Science Centers &  Kids’ Museums – Many children’s museums and science centers offer fun camps and special days to play and connect throughout the summer, as well as homeschool days throughout the school year! Getting involved now can be a great way to have fun, explore new learning, and find some playmates with similar interests.

12. Sports Teams – Many community sports teams forYoung Kids Playing Football on the Field fall (softball, baseball, etc.) start sharing their information towards the end of summer! If you have an active child, enrolling them in a local sports team can be a wonderful way to hang out with the same children multiple times a week, learn about teamwork, and get some energy out!

13. Children’s Theater Productions – Do you have a local playhouse or theater group? Chances are, they have a summer camp, children’s plays, or even drama classes for young kids! Getting involved in a theatrical community is something that many homeschooled children can enjoy from a young age all the way up to adulthood, making lifelong friends along the way.

14. Participate in a Homeschool Road Trip – Going on a big, group road trip with other homeschooling families is an awesome way to travel, make memories as a family, and form deeply meaningful friendships, too!

15. Get Involved with Your Local 4-H Programs – 4-H is America’s largest organization for young people, offering programs for all kinds of ages and interests–from agriculture to STEM! Checking out your 4-H organization can be an awesome way to get your Little involved in hands-on learning and service while also connecting and investing in your local community!

Create it:

Do you live in a small town or rural area? Or do you already have a friend group but want to figure out how to create more structured and consistent playtimes?  Here are some more ideas for ways to socialize with your little ones that involve things you can organize, initiate, or invent yourself–especially if you’re having trouble finding the kind of organized play you’re seeking for your Little!

16. Establish a Regular Playtime at the Park – This is one of the simplest, easiest, and best ways to get your Little some regular playtime without having to clean your house or plan a whole lot! Have a regularly scheduled time to meet up with friends at your local park or playground!

17. Create Your Own Homeschool Group – If you know some homeschooled families that you’d like to spend more time with, why not create your own little group for field trips and other group activities? It doesn’t have to be formal, and you can even take turns with other parents on outing leadership!

18. DIY Science Experiment Days – Pick a day with some homeschooling friends to get messy with some science experiments! Parents can all chip in on supplies and experiments can be done outside or even at the park! Kids will love learning and laughing together over simple activities like Mentos + Coke, Elephant Toothpaste, or the classic Baking Soda + Vinegar volcano!

Concentrated children in casual clothes watching in microscope while studying together

19. Yoga or Home Fitness Time – This could be fun for moms and young kids, especially! Get together for some stretching and movement at someone’s house and let your Littles move along, too! YouTube has several yoga and fitness instructors that are fun and kid-friendly.

20. Nature Hikes Group –  If you live in an area with plenty of natural beauty, consider getting some homeschooled friends together for a “hiking club.” For Littles, this could be focused on exploring local trails and learning about nature. Don’t forget the nature journals and some snacks for a picnic!

21. Language Club – Foreign languages are perfect for group learning! See if any of your homeschooling friends and kids would like to start a “language club,” to focus on a specific language and culture. You could get together to practice new words and phrases and learn something about that language’s culture! This is especially great for young kids since they pick up languages so quickly.

22. Scavenger HuntsScavenger hunts are great ways to socialize that invite critical thinking skills and teamwork! If you have a few homeschooled families that can join in, you can take turns with planning. This would be a fun monthly or quarterly event!

23. Homeschool Field Day – This one involves teamwork for both kids and parents! Plan a day with some of your favorite homeschooling families, filled with various sports and games!

24. Interactive History Days – Create events where children can get together, dress up, and have “history days,” to bring homeschool learning to life (a different parent can plan each time). You could incorporate art, music, food, famous historical figures, storytime–making it fun for the specific group of Littles you have!

25. Create your Own Storytime & Tea Party – If you don’t mind hosting occasionally, a weekly or bi-weekly teatime + storytime can be a sweet and relaxed way to get kids together and make some great memories for all!

26. Community Service Projects – Kids are never too young to learn to serve others, and doing so with friends can show them that kindness is cool (and fun)! Organize a give-back project you can do with another homeschool family or families.

27. Baking Group or Supper Club – Baking and cooking are fun, hands-on learning skills that many homeschooling families already utilize whenever we can. But baking or cooking with friends can be even more fun (and good food is always best when shared!) If you have a kitchen you don’t mind sharing, plan a menu that would be fun for kids to help with and invite some playmates over for a culinary arts experience–occasionally for regularly! Be sure to check out our sister site – Love These Recipes!! 

This is just the jumping off point, but we hope this list of 25+ ideas for ways to socialize gives you some inspiration for ways to help your Little homeschooler(s) make friends, play, and learn how to be their best self with others! As you can see, there are many organizations which already offer great options for Littles, and a lot of ideas that you can make your own, too! Happy socializing!

Now, here’s more information on our giveaway …

2024 Back to Homeschool Giveaway!

By Trish Corlew, owner of the Hip Homeschool Moms family of websites

Another homeschool year is right around the corner! Many homeschool moms are busy preparing, planning, and finalizing curriculum choices for the upcoming school year. And many are trying to squeeze every last penny out of their homeschool budget, hoping to afford all the books and resources they will need.

Whether you’re living on one income or are buying a curriculum for multiple kids, homeschooling can put financial strain and stress on a family. So I’ve gotten together with a great group of homeschool bloggers to give you a chance to win a gift card to a major online homeschool retailer. Our hope is that we can bless a few homeschool families (although we wish we could bless many more) so they can decrease that burden and buy the curriculum and supplies they need.

Three people will win a $250 gift card to either Rainbow Resource Center or Christianbook.com – two great places to shop for homeschool curriculum and resources, with the best prices around!!

To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Now I know this is quite a few entries, but each of these bloggers has generously chipped in their own money to make this giveaway possible, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries. And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are of winning!

ways to socialize - children playing outside

Giveaway ends July 19, 2024 at 11:59pm. Must be at least 18 years of age. Must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada to enter. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn. By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers (see the Terms & Conditions on the Rafflecopter form).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Katie Gustafson has been a member of the world of “weird, unsocialized homeschoolers” for a long time–first as an alumnus and now as a homeschooling mom to a fiercely fun little girl! She’s very into anything creative, especially writing, dancing, and painting. She’s also particularly passionate about literature and owns more books than she will probably ever be able to read. However, she reassures herself with the belief that, in the event of a digital apocalypse, she’s cultivating a much-needed physical library for future generations. Katie is happy to contribute articles to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, Hip Homeschool Moms and Sparketh. She also has a personal blog on writewhereuare.com.

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