One of the first things that I did when I had my son was to join an active playgroup in Kalamazoo/Portage. I loved getting together with other parents when my son was young just to get out of the house and have some grown-up conversation. Now that my son is older, I’ve developed some great relationships with other moms and dads that I have come to cherish. As an added bonus, my son has made some of his best play friends in our group.
If you’re not currently in a playgroup or club in Kalamazoo or Portage and have a small child, I would encourage you to find one that meets your needs.
MOPS Groups (Mothers of Preschoolers)
These groups meet around town at various locations in churches. They caters to the needs of the mother with young children. They usually meet twice a month and provide childcare while meet separately with other moms and participate in planned activities.
There is a long list of Meetup.com groups in the Kalamazoo, Portage, and Battle Creek areas that are great groups for setting up playdates with the kids, meeting for kids related activities, and also some much needed mom’s night’s out. Each group varies on the size and membership limit, so check with the individual organizer for details.
Other Parenting Groups
Baby Talk – Moms (and dads) with infants up to one year old can network with other parents and share the joys and trials of caring for a new baby. This group supports breastfeeding and provides an opportunity to share parenting information with other parents.
Toddler Talk is for caregivers with toddlers 1 to 3 years old. Toddlers play together while parents and caregivers share the joys and challenges of parenting a toddler. Bronson’s Connie Koning, an experienced Registered Nurse, will take part in the conversation and can answer questions about child development and health. A librarian will share age appropriate stories and activities on the third Wednesday of the month. This group meets in the community room of the Osthemo Branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library.
Great Start Parent Coalition serves as a resource for parents of the Great Start Collaborative whose mission is to assure that every young child in Michigan has a great start and arrives at the kindergarten door healthy and ready to succeed in school and in life. Meetings are held the first Monday of each month at 9:30am and 6:00pm at KRESA West Campus room 123. Childcare and healthy snacks are provided!
Mini-Montessori Playgroup meets when school is in session at a play date for kids and parents alike! Our Richland campus is hosting this FREE and Open to the Public program for our 18 month – 2 year, 9 month community: babies to toddlers, moms and dads, all are welcome! No registration is needed.
KRESA Playgroup consists of small groups of parents with their babies to preschoolers and a parent educator. Each playgroup is filled with fun activities. They meet during the day at Kalamazoo RESA’s West Campus location and local elementary schools. Call 250-9640 for questions.
Thursday Morning Play Gym at Haven Church is for children ages 1-5 and their favorite adult (grandparents, sitters, aunts & uncles, etc). Older and younger siblings may attend if they agree to be helpers and not a distraction. The cost is $10.00 for each 5 week session. Additional children in the same family are half price. Play Gym is a fun-filled play group where your young child can bond with other children through songs, storytime, games, and other fun activities.
Pathfinder M.O.M.s (Moms on a Mission)– Whether you’re the mother of a 2-month old, a 22-year old, or a GRANDmom, we invite you to a place designed just for you where you can become the best mom you can be. At M.O.M. you’ll enjoy a community where you will be encouraged through faith, love, friendship and be able to rely on the support of other mothers just like you. We meet the third Tuesday of every month. You can join us at 9:15am or 6pm!
Kalamazoo Dads- We are an inclusive group open to all dads. It doesn’t matter if you are balancing your career with raising your kids, are married, a single father or if you are a full-time stay at home dad. We don’t care if you’re a new dad or an old pro. If you’re a dad you are welcome to join us.
Also, check Facebook for ideas for various groups around the area such as: Nights and Weekends Children’s Playgroup – Kalamazoo or La Leche League of Greater Kalamazoo.
If you are aware of any other groups not on this list, please email us at jill@KZOOkids.com