Mommy and Me Classes Rule
Days spent with babies and young toddlers can be a blur – diapering and feeding, toy cleanup, playing, rocking to sleep. Then repeat.
And while you perform all of these actions (and so many more) as your kids grow, you may realize that it’s more fun to do it together and make new friends.
Finding other families to engage with on a regular basis provides socialization for you and bonding opportunities with your children. But where to start? Playgroups are a great option for these types of interactions, as are structured Mommy and Me style classes.
Kalamazoo families have all kinds of choices for baby and me classes, from yoga to tumbling, music, art, and swimming.
First, Let’s Clarify – “Mommy and Me” is not only for Moms
Before we get any further, a quick clarification: “Mommy & Me” is a generic term to describe any class with an adult participating with a young child. These classes are for all caregivers. Moms, dads, grandparents, nannies or other trusted adults are all welcome to participate in these fun courses.
Classes that Fit Your Schedule and Budget
Caregiver and child courses come in all shapes and sizes: scheduled, recurring classes, drop-in classes and single session. They also vary in price points: some are free, some have a single fee and others require an annual membership. Read on to find a new class to try.
Enroll in these Recurring Mommy and Me Classes
Mommy and Me style classes help children develop motor & social skills and often incorporate dance and music. Caregivers can build friendships through meeting with the same participants on a regular basis. Each of these classes below requires advanced registration; most meet weekly and average six weeks in duration.
Crescendo Academy of Music | Internationally recognized Music Together classes are taught in 45 minute sessions to engage caregivers and children in singing, moving, and playing music. Participants also receive CDs and songbooks to use at home with this 10 week course. | Infant – 5 years
Excel Dance Centre | Parents can dance with their little ones in Wiggle Worms and Play Pals courses. Classes meet weekly starting in September and conclude with a recital in June. | 18 months – 3 years
Portage Community Education | The 10 week Sing, Dance and Play class encourages interactive music play with caregivers and instruments. Course fees include a CD and instrument kit that you keep. | 6 months – 4.5 years
Topanga Studio | Topanga encourages parents to participate in classes with their children through Babywearing Dance, Toddling to Music and Music and Magic for Toddlers | Infant+
Trinity Prep Center | Trinity hosts Zumbini, a 45 minute course created by Zumba and Baby First that combines dance, music and educational tools. The course includes a songbook and music. | Infant – 4 years
YMCA | The YMCA offers multiple courses for parents and children:
- Pint Sized Play incorporates games, music and parachute time with parents. | 18 months – 36 months
- Tumbling Tykes/Intro to Ballet classes invite parents to join for the first 4 classes as kids learn tumbling and ballet skills. | 3 years – 4 years
- Water Discovery Swim Lessons allow infants and toddlers to explore and learn basic swim techniques with their parents in the water. | 6 months – 4 years
Swimming Lessons | Nearly all local spots for swimming classes offer sessions with parents in the water. | 6 months – 4 years
Short on Time? Try these Drop-In and Single Session Classes
Looking for a Mommy and Me style course, but don’t want to commit to a recurring class? Maybe you have a varied work schedule or a just want to attend whenever convenient. Whatever the reason, all of these options are either drop-in style or single, registered sessions to fit a more flexible schedule.
Bernatche School of Dance | Story time with a twist: this dance studio offers Story Time Swirl on Thursday mornings. | 18 months – 5 years
Just Move Fitness | Just Move Playdates allow little ones to tackle an obstacle course or dance in the disco lights with caregivers at Just Move Fitness. They also host free story times at the Portage library- kids love the parachute at the end! | Infant – 5 years
Kalamazoo Candle Company | Kids’ Day Out allows children to make their own custom, hand-poured candles with a parent. | 3 years – 12 years
Kalamazoo Nature Center | KNC offers two classes for caregivers with children under five years old (check their calendar for weekly topics):
- Animal Encounters includes a visit with one of KNC’s animal ambassadors and related activities/games.
- Preschool Explorers encourages kids to get outside! Dress for a trip outside to learn about nature.
Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery | The fish hatchery hosts two classes for children and caregivers:
- Hooked on Nature features a different animal or nature theme with activities outdoors and crafts inside. | 2 years – 6 years
- Hook, Line and Sinker teaches kids to fish at no cost; all gear is provided. | 3 years – 16 years
Single Session Classes
Air Zoo | Preschool STEAM Days is offered the first Wednesday of every month at the Air Zoo. This program includes 10 minutes of storytime and 30 minutes of station-based activities for preschoolers and parents to complete together. | 2 years – 5 years
Binder Park Zoo | FAWN, the First Adventures with Nature program at Binder Park Zoo, is a 90 minute playgroup with animal encounters and imaginative play. | 2 years – 5 years
Down Dog Yoga Center | Mom and Baby Yoga Workshops spend equal time on mom and baby: the first half focuses on stretches and strengthening for mom, while the second half is dedicated to baby stretches and massage. Check their calendar for times. | Infant – 12 months
Health is Wealth Yoga | Mommy & Me Yoga is held every Friday, where caregivers are invited into a positive, playful space for yoga with young children. | Infant – 4 years
Plan to Stick Around with these Mommy and Me Membership Classes
Looking for a bit more of a commitment? The courses below require annual memberships to the facilities:
Branch Gymnastics: Parent Participation Gymnastics incorporate a mix of structured gym time and free time with a caregiver. | 18 months – 3 years
Bronson Athletic Club: Aqua Babies and Aqua Toddlers help little ones learn to swim with a parent in the water. | 6 months – 3.5 years
Kids Gym: TumbleKids classes incorporate music, tumbling, pretend play and pre-gymnastics skills. | 1 year – 3.5 years
The Little Gym: Parent and Child Classes foster development in physical coordination, recognition of colors, numbers and letters and sharing. | 4 months – 3 years