Teens-ish meetups, Nottingham, typically one a month

For teens-ish non-schoolers who’d specially like to meet others of similar age.

Date:  currently usually a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.

Time:  1.30pm to 3.30pm, or up till teatime depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

Venue:  a Nottingham park.

Price:  Free.

Age range:  Primarily 12 to 17, and see further info.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about 11-year-olds?  What about 19-year-olds?

There’s no strict age limit;  it’s mostly about wanting the teenager-ish hanging-out flavour.  So even a 10-year-old could join in if that’s what they’re looking for. 

Can younger siblings tag along?

Yes, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Is it open to new people?

Yes, any home edders are very welcome, as well as people seriously considering it for their family.  Please do come along!  It’s a good opportunity to dip your toe into the local networks.

Can teens come along by themselves?

Yes – some have. 

Can I drop off my teen(s), go to do errands, and come back later?

Usually that would work fine, yes.  Unless your errands take a very long time or the weather gets bad, it’s quite likely that a good number of people would be staying on till whenever you’d be back.  Whether you want to do it like that is basically between you and your young person, and any other parents you enlist to keep an eye.

Can parents come along by themselves?

Yes – parents are welcome to drop in with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.  If you’re at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage, this is a lovely meetup to visit.

What if it rains on the day?

If it’s really wet, we’re quite likely to postpone to another day.  If it’s just drizzly, probably some people will still want to go. 

How do I find out the date and place?

There’s now an email announcements list which is specifically for organising this and similar events, for Nottingham non-school teens. (It’s only for occasional announcements of practical news – not a discussion list.)

To get on that list, if you’re not already on one of the main lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, please email teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk, and introduce yourself.

Would we need to book in advance? 

It’s not essential.  Typically there’s an announcement of a possible date, and then the event will only be confirmed and go ahead if a reasonable number of people say they’d go.  So if you’re pretty sure you’re going this time, it’s useful for the event organisation if you say so.  But there are often a few extra people turning up on the day as well.

What should we bring?

Things for being comfortable whatever the weather is 🙂 E.g. water, sun cream, warm &/or cool clothes, snacks, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches.

Also, a way to write down other people’s contact details, in case you meet people you want to keep in touch with. 

Description of a typical meetup

As of mid-2019, we’ve evolved a pattern along the lines of…

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

Soon after the official start time, the young people play a parachute game, where we call out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category runs underneath the parachute and swaps places.

This game is a good one for people who feel shy, as it’s a way of getting to know everyone else a little bit without actually having to say any words. 

Then we go for a walk. This usually includes people mingling around a bit and chatting. Some young people get straight to talking with friends old & new; some prefer to walk together with their parent(s) till they settle in. Whatever they feel comfortable with is fine.

Some people leave at the end of the walk, or even part way through if they have to be somewhere else. 

Then we find a place that’s comfortable for parents to sit. Some people have brought drinks and food for this stage. Depending on where we are, this could be near a playground. (Yes the teens are not too cool to go on the playground still 🙂 )

Typically some of the young people will sit with their parents for part of the time & join in the general conversation, others will prefer to hang out & chat with each other.

On past occasions, some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm or 6pm, though some had to go earlier, and in summer, it might even be later.

Access:  If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning.  Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Wednesday 27 March

Date:  Wednesday 27 March 2019.

May be postponed if weather forecast changes too far in the direction of rainy!

Time:  1.30pm to 3.30pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

(Please note, that’s a slightly later meetup time than some previous ones.)

Venue:  a Nottingham park. We’re not announcing the meetup point in public, so please get onto one of the lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, or email (see below).

Price:  Free.

Age range:  Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

If some families bring younger siblings along too, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Parents at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage are welcome to visit with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.

Booking:  No need to book.  However, there will probably be some discussion on email & Facebook of who’s planning to come.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

For young people who’d specially like to meet others of similar age!

We did a few of these meetups before.  Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

New families are very welcome.  There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Some of the teens-ish people might go off for a walk together while the parents stay back at base and have a chat.  Or this time, as it’s chillier weather, perhaps we’ll all go off for the walk.

Sometimes, we’ve played a parachute game where we call out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category would run underneath the parachute and swap places.  This helped people to get past feeling shy.

On past occasions, some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm, though some had to go earlier.

Things you might want to bring:  sun cream, warm clothes, snacks, water, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.  Also, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches – though at the time of writing, the weather forecast is fine.

Access:  If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning.  Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Monday 11 February

Update:  this meetup is CANCELLED – not enough families could make it this time.  We’ll look for a better date later in the year.


Date: Monday 11 February 2019.

May be postponed if weather forecast changes too far in the direction of rainy!

Time: 1.30pm to 3.30pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

(Please note, that’s a slightly later meetup time than the previous one.)

Venue: a Nottingham park. We’re not announcing the meetup point in public, so please get onto one of the lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, or email (see below).

Price: Free.

Age range: Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

If some families bring younger siblings along too, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Parents at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage are welcome to visit with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.

Booking: No need to book. However, there will probably be some discussion on email & Facebook of who’s planning to come.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

For young people who’d specially like to meet others of similar age!

We did a few of these meetups before.  Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

New families are very welcome.  There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Some of the teens-ish people might go off for a walk together while the parents stay back at base and have a chat.  Or this time, as it’s chillier weather, perhaps we’ll all go off for the walk.

One time, we played a parachute game where we called out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category would run underneath the parachute and swap places.  This helped people to get past feeling shy.

On past occasions, some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm, though some had to go earlier.

Things you might want to bring: warm clothes, snacks, water, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.  Also, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches – though at the time of writing, the weather forecast is fine.

Access: If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning. Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Wednesday 2 January

Date: Wednesday 2 January 2019.

May be postponed if weather forecast changes to rainy!

Time: 1pm to 3pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

Venue: a Nottingham park. We’re not announcing the meetup point in public, so please get onto one of the lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, or email (see below).

Price: Free.

Age range: Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

If some families bring younger siblings along too, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Parents at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage are welcome to visit with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.

Booking: No need to book. However, there will probably be some discussion on email & Facebook of who’s planning to come.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

For young people who’d specially like to meet others of similar age!

We did a few of these meetups before.  Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

New families are very welcome.  There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Some of the teens-ish people might go off for a walk together while the parents stay back at base and have a chat.  Or this time, as it’s chillier weather, perhaps we’ll all go off for the walk.

One time, we played a parachute game where we called out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category would run underneath the parachute and swap places.  This helped people to get past feeling shy.

On past occasions, some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm, though some had to go earlier.

Things you might want to bring: warm clothes, snacks, water, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.  Also, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches – though at the time of writing, the weather forecast is fine.

Access: If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning. Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Minecraft (MCPE) meetup, Sherwood, Wednesday once a month

MCPE = Minecraft Pocket Edition, a particular version of the Minecraft software, used on tablets & similar devices. Bring your own device to play, or come and watch and chat. Technical & game-learning help available, both on the day and beforehand to set up.

Date: Wednesdays 8 November & 6 December 2017 – and likely to continue once a month after that too.

Time: 3pm to 5pm.

Age range: “Teens-ish”. Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

Area: Sherwood, about 3 miles north of Nottingham City Centre, on Purple Line (or Lime Line) buses.

Venue: Get in touch to be told the address.

Price: 50p for drinks & snacks.

Booking, or enquiries: Email minecraft at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Logo for "Minecraft Pocket Edition". The words are in a blocky font, against a background of blocks, in shades of green at the top and mostly brown underneath, as if representing grass above earth. The "A" of "craft" has a little face in the middle.

Minecraft is a “virtual environment” where you can build things and travel around. Within the environment, you can do lots of different things – explore, play games with friends, build virtual electronics and mechanics, etc. A lot of home ed young people already play it.

There are various versions of the software, and at this group we will be using Minecraft Pocket Edition, version 1.1.x (where the x represents any number 1 to 9).

This version will run on

  • iOS
  • Ubuntu phones & tablets
  • Android, e.g.
    • Amazon phones & tablets
    • NVIDIA devices
    • Samsung phones & tablets
    • Sony phones & tablets
    • (and whichever other phones, tablets etc are running Android).

It won’t run on PCs, Windows devices, or consoles such as the Xbox, PlayStation or Wii.

If you’re not sure what version you’ve got, or whether your device can run the software, or how to install it – get in touch!

The technical side of the group, and the server admin, will be run by one of the home ed teens, who had the idea for this group in the first place.

Before the day, he will check in with each participant to see what kind of games or challenges they’d like to do in the Minecraft session, and give support if anyone needs help with the software.

On the day, we will gather in person, play Minecraft and chat.

Depending on what people want to do, the in-game activities could include creating, exploring, survival, building with Redstone (virtual electronics/mechanics), trolling, using command blocks, customising your character, parkour, “player versus player” etc. If you don’t know yet what these are, don’t worry! There will be plenty of help to learn your way around the game.

We will put people into small groups depending on favourite activities and level of experience. E.g. a new person who just wanted to build something could be put with other new people who just wanted to build something.

If it turned out there were so many interested people that it wouldn’t be feasible for everyone to come on the same day, we may divide the group onto different days as well as different instances of the game.

As a bonus optional extra: there’s a way to play from home on days when you couldn’t make it to the group, joining in with friends you made at the group. And you can do that on other days as well, not just the group meetup day.

The game is virtual but the friends are real!

A Minecraft Guide For People Who Don’t Get Minecraft

The Educational Benefits of Minecraft

Travel: Purple Line buses go fairly near, and there is parking outside.

Physical access: limited for this, sorry. The venue is a house. The meetup will take place on the ground floor. There’s a doorstep at the entrance of about 5cm. The only toilet is upstairs. If this access wouldn’t work for you, but you’d like to be involved, please email info at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk and/or the meetup organisers.

Minecraft (MCPE) meetup, Sherwood, Wednesday 11 October

MCPE = Minecraft Pocket Edition, a particular version of the Minecraft software, used on tablets & similar devices. Bring your own device to play, or come and watch and chat. Technical & game-learning help available, both on the day and beforehand to set up.

Date: Wednesday 11 October 2017 – and probably other dates in the future, not necessarily Wednesdays, depending on what people want & how the first one goes.

Time: 3pm to 5pm.

Age range: “Teens-ish”. Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

Area: Sherwood, about 3 miles north of Nottingham City Centre, on Purple Line (or Lime Line) buses.

Venue: Get in touch to be told the address.

Price: 50p for drinks & snacks.

Booking, or enquiries: Email minecraft at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Logo for "Minecraft Pocket Edition". The words are in a blocky font, against a background of blocks, in shades of green at the top and mostly brown underneath, as if representing grass above earth. The "A" of "craft" has a little face in the middle.

Minecraft is a “virtual environment” where you can build things and travel around. Within the environment, you can do lots of different things – explore, play games with friends, build virtual electronics and mechanics, etc. A lot of home ed young people already play it.

There are various versions of the software, and at this group we will be using Minecraft Pocket Edition, version 1.1.x (where the x represents any number 1 to 9).

This version will run on

  • iOS
  • Ubuntu phones & tablets
  • Android, e.g.
    • Amazon phones & tablets
    • NVIDIA devices
    • Samsung phones & tablets
    • Sony phones & tablets
    • (and whichever other phones, tablets etc are running Android).

It won’t run on PCs, Windows devices, or consoles such as the Xbox, PlayStation or Wii.

If you’re not sure what version you’ve got, or whether your device can run the software, or how to install it – get in touch!

The technical side of the group, and the server admin, will be run by one of the home ed teens, who had the idea for this group in the first place.

Before the day, he will check in with each participant to see what kind of games or challenges they’d like to do in the Minecraft session, and give support if anyone needs help with the software.

On the day, we will gather in person, play Minecraft and chat.

Depending on what people want to do, the in-game activities could include creating, exploring, survival, building with Redstone (virtual electronics/mechanics), trolling, using command blocks, customising your character, parkour, “player versus player” etc. If you don’t know yet what these are, don’t worry! There will be plenty of help to learn your way around the game.

We will put people into small groups depending on favourite activities and level of experience. E.g. a new person who just wanted to build something could be put with other new people who just wanted to build something.

If it turned out there were so many interested people that it wouldn’t be feasible for everyone to come on the same day, we may divide the group onto different days as well as different instances of the game.

As a bonus optional extra: there’s a way to play from home on days when you couldn’t make it to the group, joining in with friends you made at the group. And you can do that on other days as well, not just the group meetup day.

The game is virtual but the friends are real!

A Minecraft Guide For People Who Don’t Get Minecraft

The Educational Benefits of Minecraft

Travel: Purple Line buses go fairly near, and there is parking outside.

Physical access: limited for this, sorry. The venue is a house. The meetup will take place on the ground floor. There’s a doorstep at the entrance of about 5cm. The only toilet is upstairs. If this access wouldn’t work for you, but you’d like to be involved, please email info at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk and/or the meetup organisers.

Teens-ish meetups, Nottingham, Monday 3 & Thursday 20 July

Update Thursday 20 July: Yes we are still meeting! Weather forecast predicts that rain will stop around 1pm and sun might appear later.

Dates: Monday 3 July & Thursday 20 July 2017 – choose one or both of the two dates.

May be postponed if weather forecast is for lots of rain that afternoon.

Time: 1pm to 3pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

Venue: a Nottingham park. We’re not announcing the meetup point in public, so please get onto one of the lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, or email (see below).

Price: Free.

Age range: Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

If some families bring younger siblings along too, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Parents at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage are welcome to visit with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.

Booking: No need to book. However, there will probably be some discussion on email & Facebook of who’s planning to come.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

For young people who’d specially like to meet others of similar age!

The first one of these, in June 2017, attracted a dozen local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as a few younger siblings.

At the end, lots of people said they’d like to meet up for a similar thing again. Plus, we knew already that some interested families hadn’t been able to make that first date. So these two dates are the follow-up.

New families are very welcome. There will probably be a mix of people who came to the first one and people who didn’t. We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

The format at the first meetup seemed to work OK for everyone, including a few autistic/Aspergers young people who happened to be part of the group. So we’ll probably do roughly the same sequence next time, although it could vary if people have other ideas.

We did an introduction circle where people could say their name and something they’re into, such as dance, gaming, music, gymnastics, books or art. At this first meetup, lots of people had never met before, so at first, the overall flavour was a bit quiet and cautious.

After a while, we got playing a parachute game where we called out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category would run underneath the parachute and swap places. This got more raucous and friendly.

Then a load of the teens-ish people (anyone who wanted to) went off for a walk together while the parents stayed back at base and had a chat.

Some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm, though some had to go earlier.

Things you might want to bring: sun cream, sun hats, umbrellas, snacks, water, picnic blankets, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.

If you want more other meetup opportunities, bear in mind that some teens have been coming to the Thursday Free Play meetups.

Access: If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning. Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Wednesday 7 June

Date: Wednesday 7 June 2017, afternoon. May be postponed if weather forecast is for lots of rain that afternoon.

Time: 1pm to 3pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

Venue: a Nottingham park. We’re not announcing the meetup point in public, so please get onto one of the lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, or email (see below).

Age range: Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

If some families bring younger ones along too, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Price: Free.

Booking: No need to book. However, there will probably be some discussion on email & Facebook of who’s planning to come.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

There are definitely some in that age group who’d specially like to meet other people of similar age, so it makes sense to invite them all into the same place!

Near the beginning, we’ll have an introduction circle where people can say their name, and optionally a bit about what they’re into. For those doing courses at Nottingham College in the autumn, we’ll make an opportunity for people to find out who else is going to be in their class.

We encourage everyone to bring things like crafts or frisbees or a football, and invite other people to join in, so that no-one feels left out, and it’s easy to get chatting without being put on the spot in an awkward way.

Other things you might want to bring: sun cream, sun hats, umbrellas, snacks, water, picnic blankets, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.

This was the winning date in a survey which 22 families answered. As it’s looking so popular, and as not everyone could do that date, maybe we’ll do another one in future. If you can’t make it this time, or want to get together before this one’s happened, bear in mind that some teens have been coming to the Thursday Free Play meetups.

Based on the survey, we expect around 20 non-schoolers in the 11-18ish age range at this meetup, depending on which families turn up in the end.

Access: If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning. Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Free Play park meetup, all ages, various Nottingham parks, Thursdays

Date: Thursdays throughout the year.

Time: Late morning through afternoon – typically starting about 12ish, and finishing whenever the last few people decide it’s time to go. If it doesn’t rain, some people are usually at the park till at least 3pm.

Venue: Various green parks around the Nottingham area, especially the ones with good playgrounds, good public transport and toilets.

Age range: All ages welcome. There are plenty of “regulars” in the 1 to 7 age range and several around 8 to 12. Presence of teens is a bit more random – maybe ask first who’s coming, or look out for one of the “teens-ish meetups” instead.

Price: Free. (Exception: if it’s the cold part of winter, then we might decide to meet indoors a few times, and people would chip in a quid or two to pay for the space.)

Organisation: To get announcements of the week’s meeting point without being on Facebook, join the EMHE email list. Or if you prefer Facebook, join the Home Ed Free Play Facebook group. There isn’t one organiser responsible for these meetups – it’s more of an evolving tradition, with suggestions of “how about ____ next week?”

Booking: No need to book. However, if it’s at a park big enough to have different areas, and you don’t have a phone number for someone else there that day, it’s worth turning up within an hour or so of the start. That way, it doesn’t matter if people move on from the original meeting point after a while.

What to bring: Water bottles and snacks, plus sun hats, sun cream and/or umbrella! People often bring picnic food, and a blanket to sit on. Parents may want an extra jumper, in case it turns out the children don’t want to stop playing as the day cools down.

Access: Wheelchair access and toilet situation depends on the park. The Forest and Wollaton Park each have a “Changing Places” toilet. If you have a favourite park which you know works well for your family, feel free to suggest it.

What to expect if you’re new, and tips:

  • There might be a dozen families that week… or there might be more, or fewer.
  • Where you see parents sitting around or standing around, come and say hello. We’re a friendly bunch. If in doubt whether it’s us, just ask “Home ed free play?”
  • Some children run off straight away to play. Some take a while to settle in, and join in more as the time goes on. Some children stay close to their parents, e.g. if it’s their first time at this group, or they were tired that day, or if they’re just enjoying the conversation with the nearby adults. It’s fine for each child to socialise as much or as little as they want to.
  • If your child wants to join in with something but feels shy getting started, you’re welcome to ask around, to find a child who’s happy to include them and introduce them to others.
  • If you’re bringing a teenager who specially wants to meet other people their age, it’s worth checking beforehand whether it’s a week when other teens are planning to go. Other than that, don’t worry too much about whether there’ll be other children the same age and same gender. Compared to school, home ed socialising typically has a lot more mixing across ages.

Against a background of woodland, the words "Home Ed Free Play / All ages park meetups / Nottingham area".