Way to Grow!

Elk Rapids Schools is proud to be able to offer families with children from newborn to five years old the Way To Grow program. The first years of a child’s life are vitally important and Way To Grow supports families with young children by providing opportunities, resources and information. This program invites families to become a part of our schools as soon as a child is born. Play groups at both Lakeland and Mill Creek Elementary provide opportunities for parents to connect with each other, children to socialize and play and information to be shared.

Our play group options currently are:

Tumble Time: This playgroup is held in our gym at either elementary.  We get out many items that will work on large and small motor skills.  If you have an infant, feel free to still join us and socialize with other moms of infants. 

Music and Movement: This playgroup is geared toward toddlers and preschoolers.  We enjoy approximately 45 minutes of dancing, scarves, rhythm sticks and other opportunities to move our bodies from our heads to our toes. We also have a make and take to continue the movement at home.

Messy Time: This play group is geared toward any age under 5 (I recommend those that can sit). Come for the mess and leave the clean up to me.  This playgroup is themed each month. Each child takes home a new book that will expand on the theme of the day.  Parents will also receive ideas to keep going with the theme at home, from finger plays and songs to a few more hands on activities.

Nature Exploration: This playgroup will provide a story time in nature along with time for you and your little one to explore a natural area.

Story Time To Go:  Although this is not a playgroup, it is a giveaway through out the school year.  We put together a picture book with corresponding craft, activity, song or finger play and a link to a YouTube dance.  

Track Time:  This playgroup comes in the fall and spring when we can get out on Glowicki field.  Bikes or Trikes or strollers are welcome.  Come get your exercise and soak in the sunshine and let the kiddos run.  Enjoy a book as you walk around the track, stop at our exercise points or just sit and relax on the grass while your kiddos play on the field.  

Balance Bike Program: We collaborate with Norte to offer a Balance Bike series at each elementary school in the winter months.  The balance bike program is for ages 2.5-5 year olds. It is a 1/2 hour 4 week program.

Our Way To Grow coordinator, Joann Miracle, is available to assist parents by providing information and connecting them to resources in our community.


Contact Us

Joann Miracle, Coordinator
Elk Rapids Way To Grow!
Office: 231-264-8289, ext. 4153,
Cell: 231-649-9898
Email: [email protected]

All Way To Grow! sponsored programs are free!


If Elk Rapids Schools are closed due to inclement weather, Way To Grow!  activities will be also be canceled.