August 2022 | Back to School

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august 2022 |

Back to School

Beat the back-to-school rush! Family Medicine 406-898-1200 3901 Wellness Way Bozeman, MT


A student athletes’s first step towards victory is a sports physical. Our providers can ensure your child is fit and ready to play throughout the season and all year long.

Pediatrics 406-522-5437 1819 S 22nd Ave Ste 100 Bozeman, MT

Appointments are available with our family medicine and pediatric teams during regular business hours. We can also add screening EKGs and needed immunizations to help save you time and provide a comprehensive, high-quality visit.

To make sure your child is ready for any activity, schedule their sports physical today!

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Bozeman’s BBQ & Blues Night August 26th 5pm-8pm Proceeds benefit the Gallatin Valley YMCA

BBQ Cook-Off Competition August 27th 1pm-4pm BBQ Pro Demo Day & Samples :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


Photo: Lauren Brown

Fine Classical Ballet Instruction for All Ages Fall Semester Begins September 6th Melissa Bowman Academy Director

Visit Call 406.582.8702 for more information

Open House & Complimentary Classes! NEW! MBC’s Mini Movers A Class for Caregivers and Tots Ages 2 - 3 Experience the Joy of Dance Together! Begins Wednesday, September 8th 9:45 - 10:30am


august 2022

August 31 Ages 9-11, 4:15-5:45pm Ages 12 and up, 4:15-5:45pm

MBC’s Adult Ballet Program

September 1 Ages 3-4, 4:15-4:45pm Ages 5-6, 4:15-4:45pm Ages 7-8, 5:15-6:00pm Adaptive Dance, 4:45-5:15pm Meet our Teachers, Q&A, Giveaways and More

Academy & Open House Registration: at Center Photo: Lauren Brown

Dance for Life-long Learners All Levels Welcome No Experience Necessary

Montana Ballet Company’s 39th Annual Performance Season



with Guests from New York City Ballet & the Bozeman Symphony

DECEMBER 3 - 2pm & 7pm DECEMBER 4 - 2pm

Inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen Tale Choreography ~ Elizabeth DeFanti Orchestral Score ~ Stefan Stern

Saskia Ewen Fox

February 18 - 7pm February 19 - 4pm

CONNECTIONS 2023 Featuring Renowned Dancers from Around the World One Night Only! April 21 - 7pm

Elizabeth DeFanti, Artistic Director

NEW! Season Tickets Now Available Information & tickets at Performances at the Willson Auditorium :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


august 2022 PHOTO ADP STUDIO

Back to School And Just Like That 13

Managing Child Care First-Day Butterflies 15 Transitions 16 Bozeman Montessori 19 School Station 20 Five Days, 12 Kids, One Big Idea... 21 Supporting Your Family 22 Let's Talk About Play! 24 Sage Learning Center 25

Fall Sports Best Dad Ever 26 Demystifying the College Recruiting Process 28 Adaptive Dance at Montana Ballet Company 29 Gallatin Valley YMCA Programing 30

After-School and PIR Day Activity Guide


What’s Up? Montana What’s Up? Big Sky 34 What’s Up? Bozeman 35 What’s Up? Butte 39 What’s Up? Great Falls 40 What’s Up? Helena 41 What’s Up? West Yellowstone 43

Columns Ask Flora 44 Keeping it Real 46 6

august 2022

Monthly Giveaway 47

Serving the greater Bozeman area for over 30 years

Headwaters Academy is an independent middle school focused on academic excellence, authentic field study, and a really cool community of students and teachers. Please visit and complete an inquiry form to receive additional information.

1005 Durston Road, Bozeman, MT 59715 tel: 406-585-9997 :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


montana parent

check out our


for more information, resources and fun things to do with your kids this summer visit

montana parent magazine montana parent magazine of helena montana parent magazine of butte





* Montana Parent strives to provide accurate information and entertainment to our readers. Some content may be based on opinion of the author and may not represent our views. We want all voices to be heard, so we all can be educated on both sides of important issues.


• What’s Up? photos are from event social media pages if not supplied by the organization




august 2022




august 2022


I recently celebrated a birthday, an over-50 birthday. I feel young; I don’t

think I look over 50, but my body gave me a gift in the form of pain.

My 16-year-old middle child, who rarely wants to do anything with me and spends 99% of the day in her room if she’s home, asked me to join her for a walk with the dogs. Obviously, I dropped everything I was doing and ran out the door with her, throwing on my favorite pair of flip flops as I went. These flip flops have taken my feet through a visit to New York City, an entire cheer season in various states where miles and miles of walking are part of the game, and more. Everything was great when we got home. I threw my flippers into the wash to rinse the dirt off (because I live in them) and went about my day. When I woke up the next morning (which happened to be my birthday), I was most unpleasantly surprised to find that I could barely put any pressure on my feet. Seriously, barely any pressure. My brain immediately went to: That’s it. I have Lupus, fibromyalgia or maybe diabetes! As I was self-diagnosing myself on the internet, I ran across a Johns Hopkins citation: “Foot pain is often caused by improper foot function. Improperly fitted shoes can worsen and, in some cases, cause foot problems.” It was the flip flops.


august 2022

How could this be? I’ll tell you how it could be. I have very flat feet (like no arch at all), I’m over 50 and I took at 2-mile walk in unsupportive flippers. This was the sign, the wake-up call. You may not necessarily be old but moving forward you need to stop and think a second about what it is you want to do (and in what shoes). For example, I tore my hamstring trying to cheer with my oldest daughter three years ago. I had recently had knee surgery because my leg fell asleep while I was napping, and I fell getting off the couch. I tore a ligament in my elbow throwing a 20-pound bag of rocks to the ground as my dog and I attempted to escape an angry robin in my backyard. The body is just not what it used to be – and I need to respect that. This led me to a really scary epiphany. As I march on in life, so do my children…who, by the way, are 19, 16 and 14. I really went down the rabbit hole with this thought and started counting how many Christmases, first days of school, etc. I have left with them. The 16-year-old will be an adult in TWO years…and I only have four left with my youngest. In that moment I made the commitment to myself to drag that BOSU ball out from underneath my bed and start doing some resistance training to strengthen my body. I also swore that I would never, ever again celebrate my kids going to school in the fall. Because each year they fill up their backpack and head into the halls of school is just one year closer to them leaving me. Facts, my friends: You age, and so do your kids. You’re welcome.

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When my 9-year-old son went off to kindergarten I celebrated. I was so excited for him, and to only be paying for one kiddo in child care. The first day went smoothly. There were no tears from either of us, it was pretty much a normal day. Fast forward five years as I get ready to send my daughter to kindergarten and things feel different. I’m not sure if it’s because she’s my last baby, or as I’ve gotten older these big changes affect me more, but whatever the reason I am not looking forward to kindergarten drop-off as much this time around. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m excited that both of my kids will finally be in the same school (even if it’s only for one year), my daughter is excited to embark on her new journey, and of course the extra money in my bank account will be so nice, but this time it just feels more raw. In fact, my daughter’s last day of Montessori made me and the teachers cry. After my daughter and I walked out of Renaissance Montessori for the last time this June I sat in my car and cried. Of course my sweet little girl asked me why I was sad and as I explained, it was because I was going to miss her school, all her friends and of course the family feel of it all. She patted my back and said, "It’s OK mom, I’m going to make so many new friends at my new school and it’s going to be so great!" While reassuring, that only made me cry harder. Both my children went to Renaissance and for the past six years it has been a huge part of our lives, so it really felt like the end of an era. Not only have the teachers loved my kids and taught them so much, but the families we have met and made friends with will always hold a special place in our hearts. And I will never forget how the school took in my son during the COVID school-shutdown and all those PIR days that I had to work. continued on next page... :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


BIRTHDAY PARTIES Let the Ridge Party Specialists help you with your child’s next birthday party! Kids will have a blast in the pool, bounce house, PlayZone, or gym. Choose a birthday party location plus ala carte options to design the perfect 2-hour party for your child.


Call for Saturday and Sunday party availability.

PIR DAY CAMPS At the Ridge PIR Day Camps, children will participate in group fitness classes, gym play, swimming, age-appropriate workouts with a fitness instructor and PlayZone fun. Camp counselors and fitness instructors are trained and qualified to give your child a safe and exciting day while helping them build a foundation for a healthy and active life! September 5th & 26th and October 20th & 21st TO BOOK A BIRTHDAY PARTY OR ENROLL IN PIR DAY CAMP, VISIT SCHEDULICITY.COM, EMAIL ALLIE@RIDGEATHLETIC.COM OR CALL (406) 586-2816.

RIDGE PRESCHOOL Register your children in Ridge Preschool this fall! Students will prepare for kindergarten in a fun, nurturing and energetic environment. Morning spots are limited and expected to fill up quickly — don’t delay! EMAIL RKPRESCHOOL@RIDGEATHLETIC.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE A TOUR.

4181 Fallon St., Bozeman, MT 59718 • (406) 586-1737 •


august 2022

I know that my daughter is ready for this next step in her life, but I’m not sure if I am. When given the choice this summer of returning to her beloved Montessori for the summer program or going to camp she immediately chose camp. She was excited to be with her brother and start making new friends. And while I didn’t cry during camp drop-off, I did have mixed feelings when she didn’t even give me a hug goodbye as she ran in and proudly announced her name and that she was there for her first day of camp. This summer has gone by fast, but smooth, and with both my kids being at the same place for pick up and drop-off has been less stressful for me. I also love hearing my kids talk about the fun things they have done and the encounters they had with each other at camp. It warms my heart to know that my son is looking out for his little sister and that she truly does look up to him. So, as school approaches and the pit in my stomach grows a little larger, I know deep down that she will be more than OK, she will thrive. She will make new friends, have new stories, and she will have her big brother looking out for her always. That doesn’t mean it won’t be hard, and I’m sure I’ll shed a tear (as I try to hold myself together), but there will definitely be a celebration after the first day of kindergarten for my last baby. Ali Schweitzer is a mama of two amazing kids and owner/ chiropractor at Active Family Chiropractic & Wellness.

Managing child care first-day butterflies For our children and ourselves WRITTEN BY SARA SILVA

For a family, there are few days that bring a mixture of emotions—excitement, tension, confusion, sorrow, relief and guilt—quite like the first day that we hand our precious little one into a stranger’s arms and care. Countless questions flash through our minds: Are we making the right choice? Will they love them and care for them as much as we do? Will they be happy? Will they be safe? With a little time and preparation, we can calm some of these first-day jitters and make the day a wonderful milestone for everyone.

Meets and Greets

Ask your child care provider if you and your child can visit a few times before the official start date. These visits allow both you and your little one to become familiar with their classroom and teachers. They can also become familiar with where their things will go and the rituals and routines of the classroom. These visits not only build your child’s sense of security and familiarity but yours as well. If your child care provider offers home visits, make sure to schedule one. Meeting their teacher in their own home environment is a big advantage for young children and a great leap forward in your child feeling safe in the care of this new adult in their life.

Slow Transitions

If possible, consider a slow transition into child care. This involves dropping your child off at child care at the usual time but then picking them up earlier than their scheduled pick-up time. For example, the first day your child might attend for just two hours and the next day they may stay the whole morning (if the first day went well). A slow transition allows your little one time to learn how to manage feelings about being away from you and the stimulation of so many exciting toys and busy children.

Let your child know exactly when you’ll be picking them up by telling them what will be happening before mommy or daddy comes back. For example, “First you’re going to play with all these new toys and new friends and you’re going to have so much fun. Then you’re going to have a snack and go play outside. When you’re playing outside mommy will come back to get you.” For young children the sequence of events, rather than the length of time on the clock, is what’s important – it’s how they track the passage of time. If you are unable to engage in a slow transition, create a goodbye ritual that you engage in everyday with your child. It can be as simple as, “We put your coat away, pick out a snack, have two kisses and wave at each other through the window.” Some children prefer a little bit of a longer transition and adding a story book or five minutes of play to the drop-off may be just the ticket. Having a family photo that your child can carry with them throughout the day or giving them a personal item of yours that they can keep in their cubby are two other strategies that you can use to support your little one’s sense of security while you’re away.

A Loving Goodbye

No matter how tempting it might be to sneak away while your little one is happily engaged, always, always, say goodbye before leaving. There may be tears, but you will have protected your child’s trust in you. They will know that they can trust you to let them know when you’re leaving and that when you say you’ll be back, you’ll be back. This trust will then extend to the child care environment and your child will be much happier and safer in the long run. If you are concerned about the length of time your child may be upset after you leave, have

a conversation with your child care provider about whether or not you are flexible and able to return if your child is having a hard time. Sharing your expectations clearly with your child care provider ensures a positive experience for everyone. Many child care providers are happy to send a photo or text during the first few days to let you know how the day is going.

Happy Hellos

Pick-up times are busy times. Our minds are often racing with plans for going to the store, ensuring we gather everything we need to take home from child care and planning for everything that needs to get done that evening. Your little one has been working hard too. As they play, they are developing academic concepts that they will build on during their school years: Figuring out how to interact within a large and unfamiliar social group and trying to hold their emotions together when things haven’t quite worked out the way they would like them to. Don’t worry if your little one breaks down crying the minute that they see you. It just means that you are their safe place to land and they can finally let out all the big feelings they have been experiencing throughout the day. They are so very excited to be safely back in your arms (even when they continue to play and aren’t quite ready to make the transition from child care to going home). Take a moment to be present and focus on enjoying the moment when you get to say hello to each other after your busy times away. Remember that our children are keyed into our feelings and when you feel good about your child care choices, they will feel safe, secure and reassured. Sara Silva is a STARS Coach at Child Care Connection, where they are all about quality child care. For more information on their services for families and child care providers, visit or call 406-587-7786.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


Transitions They will be just fine. Will you? WRITTEN BY GENNIFRE HARTMAN

Transitions are hard. Some people handle them with grace, bounding into the next chapter of their lives with the enthusiasm of a golden retriever puppy. Some people make transitions with trepidation, clinging to the familiar vestiges of the past. As the summer days shorten and fall air comes into the valley, here are a few tips to help your adolescents with the transition from one stage to the next in their education journey. Whether they are leaving the walls of middle school and taking the next step into high school, or moving up from the safe structure of elementary school, they are moving up. And, despite a pandemic, remote learning and multiple school environments, they are ready for their next steps.

Transition into Middle School

The biggest transition into a middle school environment is going to be yours. As a parent or adult caregiver, it is different work parenting an elementary-aged child and a middle school tween. As an elementary parent, your role was to protect, manage and be in control of your child’s world. You were an active teammate and player on their team. This might mean you picked your child’s friends, you chose their activities and you met independently with a child’s teacher to discuss challenges in the classroom. As a middle school parent, you’ll begin the process of moving to the sidelines in a coaching role. Instead of being an active player on the field, you will encourage your kid to pick from a range of activities and allow them to have friends with different interests. The job of a middle schooler is to develop independence, which means you need to give them enough space to learn, to fail and to get back up. Jonathan Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, says “Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.” As the parent of a middle schooler, prepare yourself for school conferences that involve the kids. Middle schoolers are capable of student-led conferences, which give them the voice and control over their education. And, if there is a concern in the classroom, don’t be surprised if the teacher wants your middle schooler to attend. As you move to the sidelines, you can also trust the teachers. They are advocates and experts in childhood development and education. And, they are insightful and understand that kids develop at different rates, especially at this age. It’s a good idea for kids, parents, caregivers and teachers to talk together about any concerns. 16

august 2022

Transition into High School

As eighth graders outgrow the walls of middle school, it’s good for them to be a small fish again. High school is a time for teens to learn who they are becoming, and that route is meandering. As the parent of an adolescent transitioning to high school, your role will change again. It is likely that your teen will fire you from the role of coach and ask you to leave the sidelines. Even though this hurts, this is their next healthy step. They need to learn the skills to play independently on the field, and to work with new coaches. Again, they will fall down, make mistakes and learn new rules. They’ve got new teammates as they develop connections with mentors, friends and new activities. And teens are capable. Let them have a few quirky friends, let them go to a few parties and let them mess up. They will. And your job is to dust them off, give them hugs and let them make their own mistakes. If you give them the space to be on the field with your support, they might invite you to watch a game or two. As a parent of a high schooler, your role with your teen’s school is outside of the high school classroom, unless you are requested otherwise. This is your teen’s world and your teen’s journey. The teachers are firmly in charge of academic expectations and preparing your teen for their next step. Again, trust teachers. And, if your teen chooses to go to college, know that parents can’t legally access information about a student who is over the age of 18 (Yes, that’s true—even if you pay tuition!).


Experienced midwifery for the birth and care you desire.




The path to independence starts now. Good luck!


Call 406-414-5150 today to schedule your appointment with one of our wonderful midwives.

bozeman science

carnival engineered by

Montana Science Center

With all transitions, children are capable of tackling their next chapter. Remember preschool drop-off? Your toddler would cling to discern if it was safe to leave you. Your job was to smile, hug them, let them know they were capable and let them walk into preschool. Although there were some difficult drop-offs, this was the message: You are safe; you are capable. This is also their next chapter. They may not let you drop them off for their first day of middle or high school, but the message is the same—you’ve got this.


admission $8 per person $30 per family

science games explosive shows food trucks beer garden

fun for the whole



august 27 2 to 7pm


at the Montana Science Center 2744 W. Main St. in Bozeman

Tickets at or call 406-522-9087

Gennifre Hartman is a local educator who has worked with students from ages 3-80 during her career. Currently, she is the Interim Head of School at Headwaters Academy, an independent sixth through eighth grade middle school in Bozeman. Additionally, she is the proud parent of two high schoolers, ninth and twelfth grades, both making big transitions in the world.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


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BOzeman FARMERS’ MARKET Tuesdays, 5-8 p.m.


June 21 September 13, 2022 June 7-September 27, 2015 East Side Tuesdays, of Lindley Park in Bozeman 5-8pm

Bogert Produce. Park’s Pavilion, South Church Avenue, & Bozeman Fresh Food. Art. Music More Fresh Produce. Food Vendors. Arts. Family Activities & Live Music

Volunteer, Sponsor and Vendor Info: Volunteer, Sponsor or vendor info:

Life’s a garden…dig it!


august 2022

Bozeman Montessori

The Genesis Business Park and surrounding subdivisions off of South 19th Avenue will soon have a new Montessori early childhood program in the neighborhood. Bozeman Montessori, a licensed early childhood center serving children from 6 months to 6 years is now adding a second location on Enterprise Boulevard, just off of Stucky near the Spire Climbing Center. The remodel work on the building is scheduled to be completed this summer and hiring and onboarding for new staff continue as the faculty grows. Plans to open a summer camp this month at the new location are also underway. “We know Bozeman families need quality options and we are seeing a lot of continued growth on the south side of Bozeman,” says Program Director Victoria Brailsford.

Brailsford and the school founder Marissa SherKenney purchased the 7,200-squarefoot building with plans to add new preschool, toddler and infant classrooms all following the Montessori method of education. The remodel project is the work of Lutey Construction led by Shane Lutey, a past parent of one of Bozeman Montessori’s students. Architectural drawings were submitted by Henri Fochs, another former parent who works with Intrinsik Architecture. “We are adding plenty of low sinks to support handwashing and low toilets right in the classrooms,” says SherKenney. “This means children will not have to leave their areas in order to use the bathroom or wash their hands, which better supports the development of their independence in these early years – and is a feature often requested by early childhood teachers, along with indoor spaces for grossmotor movement.” For teaching staff, the center will also offer a staff wellness room with an exercise area and shower, as well as community areas for parentchild classes and other school meetings. The school is adjacent to a five-acre park with walking trails and ponds, which the school plans to utilize. The facility also includes a large, sunny kitchen for Bozeman Montessori’s food program. “From home-baked muffins,

overnight oats and roasted tofu and vegetables, our food program incorporates a lot of delicious plant-based proteins and high-fiber foods that are ideal as children are developing their palate and exploring new textures and flavors with family-style meals,” adds Brailsford. “Our teachers love eating with the children, and families tell us they often notice the comforting aromas of freshly baked goods when they enter our building, and we agree!” Starting this month, families can choose between two campuses including the existing location designed by SherKenney on Equestrian Lane in Baxter Meadows. The original location, now entering its 10th year of operation, will continue to serve families with children 15 months old and up. Services included are music classes, soccer camp, a cloth diapering service, composting, regular Bookmobile visits and the food program.

EXPANDING with Additional Location! + Potential openings in our

Primary classrooms ages 3- 6 years old. + Unique Learning Environments,

MUST SEE! + Our highly trained staff love

serving families and children + Come meet us and tour our current facility and learn about our additional facility! + Locations at Equestrian Ln. and Enterprise Blvd.

Bozeman Montessori is a STARS Level 4 in Montana’s rigorous voluntary quality rating and improvement system. It is the only Montessori program in this region participating in the STARS to Quality Best Beginnings programs. Every lead teacher holds an accredited Montessori teaching credential in the age group they serve supported by other teaching staff in their classrooms. Bozeman Montessori’s mission is “Where the community comes together in support of children to cultivate joyfully engaged individuals at every stage of life.” Parents coordinate monthly book clubs and participate in other special projects like gardening, material-making and events. “Spots are filling quickly,” says Enrollment Coordinator, Chris McNeil, who has been with the school for almost a decade, both as a parent and as part of the leadership team. “If you are looking for a child-centered community as your next home away from home, we want to be a resource for you.” For more information, email or visit


:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

(406) 600-8098

august 2022


We're here for you— every step of the way.

How A

School Station

Saved Me from Sounding Like a Broken Record on Repeat WRITTEN BY LORI JO BERG

“Mom, I can’t find my library books!” “Where is my homework?” “Do I have gym or library today?” About two weeks into kindergarten with my oldest, I quickly realized what we were doing wasn’t working. I needed a way to reduce the chaos and lost items as well as put more responsibility on my child. I have always been an overly organized and orderly person, but apparently school five days a week through me for a loop. Enter the school station. Simply put, it’s a system to keep you organized for all things schoolrelated. Here are all things you’ll need at your station:

Ç A designated area with wall space. For us, it was near the front door and the kids’ bedrooms.

Ç Hooks for backpacks and frequently worn coats. Ç A basket underneath the hooks for library books, school folders, homework and specific items to remember the next day.

Ç Space for a calendar above the hooks to note extracurriculars, specials such as library and gym, as well as anything else you’d like your kids to know for the month.

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Ç An index card with a basic routine to get ready for school. In kindergarten this was full of pictures. The card showed things such as hair, teeth, shoes, lunch and a backpack.

Ç A keepsake folder or binder for all the things you’d like to save from the year (if you’re that mom).

The key is to get them to use the station and this starts with an after-school routine. When the kiddos walk in, they put their books and homework in the basket, empty their lunch and hang up their backpack and coat. When it’s time for homework or reading a library book that night, there’s no more wondering where the items are. When it’s time to leave the next morning, it’s all in one place. Now, instead of sounding like a broken record, I can refer to the school station for forgotten items, questions about the day, finding library books and more. Here’s to the school station and anything else we moms can dream up to make the school year a little less chaotic. Lori Jo is a Montana Native, mother of three and freelance writer who enjoys writing about the tougher side of life and connecting with her audience on a deeper level.


august 2022

Five Days,

12 Kids, One Big Idea... WRITTEN BY EMILY POST

This summer Educatio kids imagined, researched, designed and constructed a Yellowstone-themed, 16-foot pirate ship float for the legendary Livingston Fourth of July parade. The float showcased the project-based learning model used by Educatio, a K-8 small group independent school in Livingston. Kids showed up on day one and were given the space to brainstorm and dream up a parade float to celebrate 150 years of Yellowstone National Park. Parameters for the project included theme, team skills, courage, creativity, supplies on hand and time. They played charades, made drawings, doodled on white boards and debated pros and cons of everyone’s ideas. When a pirate ship with a bison figurehead was proposed, the kids became a team. On day two they made popsicle stick models with hot glue then decided it was time to ask an expert for advice. Jason Cajune, a custom wooden drift boat artist welcomed the Educatio students to his shop. They climbed ladders of 25foot sailboats and different models of schooners. Each boat gave the kids an opportunity to study the frames, structure, shapes and necessary features to help with the ultimate design. Day three they loaded up wood, ear protection and goggles and got ready to work. They measured their trailer base, and with the help of Michael DeChellis, a local engineer and dad, created a 3-D model

using Onshape software. This particular day was difficult because the big idea was pretty daunting. With the negotiation and collaboration of teamwork, brainpower, play breaks and snacking with friends, the kids were worn out and wondering if they could pull it off. Day four was building day. Flags, the sail, a plank and a crow’s nest were on the list of must haves. Students were busy sawing, drilling, measuring and re-measuring. Things didn’t always go as planned, so designs were tweaked to account for the unexpected. On day five students made the final touches. They painted the boat and drilled the final screws. Everyone was amazed that out of all this fun, hustle, collaboration and surprise contributions from friends and strangers... the “ship” came together. The final product was beyond what anyone could have imagined when the project started and the parade was just the icing on the cake. The true value and memories made in the process were learning to take an idea to completion, despite all the bumps in the road or gaps in experience, and bringing an idea to life. This project-based approach to learning through passion, curiosity, exploration, doing and making, will be the foundation of the September 2022 through May 2023 academic year. Educatio’s approach to learning is different. In a culture of kindness, choice and trust, kids achieve academic and personal growth with the guidance of dynamic and experienced educators; small-group learning communities; a hands-on approach to Montana Math, English, Science and Humanities curriculum standards; and applied learning through community

service. At Educatio they trust that children are instinctual learners and value their leadership and partnership on their educational paths. The school sets topics for exploration and encourages children to take on projects they are passionate about, while also fostering the development of a multitude of skills. Now enrolling students for year three, Educatio’s mixed-age education for kindergarten through fourth grade is located in downtown Livingston with access to the library, parks and businesses. This fall they plan to expand into a new building near the Yellowstone River for fifth through eighth grade students. Educatio relies heavily on field trips in coordination with classroom time. This year the school’s Friday Field Day program for fall and spring will partner with Montana Outdoor Science School. On Winter Fridays students will ski at Bridger Bowl. Getting kids out in the field to engage with the natural world and community is a priority at Educatio. The world needs kind, voracious, self-directed, collaborative learners grounded in strong values who see tough problems as puzzles, which they are confident to solve together. In response, Educatio has created a new model for education—one that puts the individual child in the center of the learning experience. Educatio students exhibit the engagement and passion that are the antidote to fear and apathy. They’re predisposed to heroic behavior, contributing to a greater good as successful, happy, healthy adults. Emily Post is the Founder/Director of Educatio Rad School.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


Supporting Your Family Heading Back to School


Create safe, open spaces for sharing Sitting down together every night for dinner as a family is such a beautiful way to connect with each other. I find my daughter will open up when we’re playing together (coloring, Legos, etc.) or cuddling together. When I know she’s going through something, I try not to force her to talk about it. Instead, I let her know I’m listening and get down to her level to be with her. Often things will just come out that I can tell have been on her mind or weighing heavy on her.

Transitions. Dang, they can be tough! And they also tend to demand more grace and patience than we expect. Make that tenfold for our little ones. While heading back to school can be a welcome, fun and exciting time, it is definitely one of the biggest transitions of the year for families. Following are some tips I’ve learned as a mom, family yoga instructor, Ayurvedic Women’s Health Specialist and human. Read on to learn how to keep your littles (and yourself) healthy and welladjusted during times of shift. Buffer in loads of downtime This one is huge. As my daughter enters first grade this coming fall, I am planning an entire month full of downtime. Minimal commitments means we have the chance to go with the flow and see what our energy levels are. I find my daughter really needs oodles of at-home time to decompress after a lot of "newness." It’s really important so that we can process these big experiences and assimilate the lessons, without always carrying the load. I encourage you to add downtime into your schedule, actually mark it in! Whether it’s every afternoon, or some afternoons and one weekend morning a month. Just prepare for it and be easy on yourself. 22

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Invite your child to share something sweet and sour about their day I learned this from our kids' yoga teacher, Ms. Deneen. She has the elementary kids share something really good about their day and something not so good. Oftentimes these kids will really open up in such beautiful, unexpected ways. Sometimes tears or laughter. It’s remarkable what happens when kids have a chance to share safely. Sweet and sour is a great prompt without expecting much, and it usually works better than “How was your day?” or “What did you do today?” We try to do this every night at dinner and all share something. Expect meltdowns Help kids to name their emotions. When my daughter was a toddler, we used the Generation Mindful Time in Toolkit and it worked wonders. You can practice by naming strong emotions you feel, and sharing what you’re doing to support that emotion. A hug, a good cry, deep breaths, screaming into a pillow. Show kids their emotions are OK and better out (in a safe, supported way) than stuck in. Create nourishing sensory experiences We all need a sensory relief after things that are highly stimulating. Maybe for you it’s curling up under a cozy blanket with a warm cup of tea. My daughter loves to partake in my favorite daily rituals: smudging ourselves after soaking up other people’s energy all day, pulling a goddess card, etc. It could also look like an Epsom salt soak with lavender, laying in the sunshine, listening to calming music when you get home, or applying some essential oils before bed. Try to invite in the senses in soothing ways.

Practice deep breathing This one is huge. It takes us out of anxiety and into a state of rest and calm. A favorite for kids at our family yoga studio is box breathing. Draw a box with your fingers. One side is the inhale, one side the pause, then the exhale, then another pause. All the way around the box. It works wonders. Enjoy a yoga class For you or your kiddo! It’s the perfect way to move energy through our body and release it, have fun, then get extra nourished with breath and relaxation poses. Plus, there’s a community feel that can go a long way in knowing you’re not alone in your experiences. All of these things are going to help our kids and our families de-stress. And this isn’t just important for our sanity, it’s also insanely important for our physical health as stress is one of the first things to break down our immune system. Know that every time you’re buffering in downtime, allowing your kid a nice long bath, or practicing some deep breathing—you’re also buffering your immunity. You could take that a step further by adding in some daily probiotics and elderberry syrup or gummies (please consult your providers) to kickstart your family’s immune systems. A little goes a long way, and taking these preventatively can really help bolster our bodies before anything hits. Most importantly, know we’re not always going to get it right. Have grace and compassion. And set yourself up for success in whatever ways you can. We’ve got this! Jessica Cartwright is a mama, yoga teacher, Ayurvedic Women's Health Specialist, birth doula and co-founder of Our Yoga Family, Bozeman's family yoga studio. She is also a featured writer for Elephant Journal, So Much Yoga and BOHO Daily.

HRDC Early Childhood Education We provide a comprehensive approach that supports the whole family and your child's development

CHILDREN 3-5 No Cost for s Eligible Familie

Belgrade, Bozeman and Livingston Contact us for more info! 406-586-9652 *This is an equal opportunity provider

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


Let's talk about play! Playtime is not just about having fun; it can be about learning as well. Did you know that play can improve children's abilities to plan, organize, get along with others and regulate emotions? In addition, play can help grow language skills, math and social skills, and even help children cope with stress. When children are allowed to make choices and try out different methods, it makes all the difference in their learning. That doesn’t mean adults shouldn’t get involved, it means that we need to think in terms of guiding, rather than instructing: It’s the difference between challenging children to build a tall tower that won’t fall over (guiding) and simply telling them to widen the base (instructing). At HRDC Head Start they use The Creative Curriculum®. It is a play-based learning curriculum that focuses on interest areas and fosters creativity in both children and teachers. At HRDC Head Start, play is valued, encouraged and intentionally provided. Teachers at HRDC Head Start know that play is essential for healthy brain development and teaching younger children through guided play supports key aspects of their learning and development. Guided play broadly refers to playful educational activities which, although gently steered by an adult using open-ended questions and prompts, gives children the freedom to explore a learning goal in their own way. A new study, done by the University of Cambridge, gathered data about the impact of this approach on 3,800 children ages 3 to 8. It found that guided play can be just as effective as more traditional methods of classroom instruction in the development of key literacy, numeracy and social skills—as well as the acquisition of executive 24

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functions (a cluster of essential thinking skills). The findings also suggest that children may master some skills—notably in math—more effectively through guided play versus other methods. As parents, you are the biggest supporters of your children’s learning. You can make sure they have as much time to play as possible during the day with many open-ended materials. You can try out guided play by simply adding a notebook and pencil to the pretend kitchen in your house to suggest the idea of playing “restaurant.” Your children can write and draw menus, set prices, take orders and make out checks all while learning writing, math, language and social skills. Is your child always playing with cars? Next time, invite them to make a parking lot with you. Use intentional language or questions while you play such as, “Two green cars and two red cars are parked. How many cars are in the parking lot?” As you play with your children, know that you are building the foundation for a lifetime of learning and skills that are crucial for success in the 21st century. HRDC offers high-quality preschool to children ages 3-5 years old with schools in Livingston, Bozeman and Belgrade. Eligibility for this no-cost preschool is based on income and family circumstances. To learn more or apply for the 2022-2023 school year, visit www. Source:

Sage Learning Center Creating structure and routine for the new school year

Be Brilliant.


After a long, hot summer filled with trips to the pool, barbecues and routine-free days, it’s finally time to start thinking about getting your kids ready for the new school year. For some children, a new school year is an exciting fresh start. For others, it can feel like the worst time of the year. If your child falls into the latter group, read on to find out how to make the transition back to school smooth – and even enjoyable. Children crave healthy boundaries, structure and routine (even if they tell you otherwise). A healthy boundary can look like setting an age-appropriate bedtime or requiring that homework is completed at the kitchen table, instead of in their bedrooms. By setting boundaries, you are telling your child you love them. You are setting your child up for a successful school day, as well as helping them feel safe. When healthy boundaries are established at home, children know what is expected of them, which will give them more confidence in an academic setting. To excel academically, children need an educational setting that provides structure and routine. Like boundaries, structure and routine are comforting for children because they can start to anticipate what will happen next, thus reducing school-related anxiety. If you are looking for an easy and highly effective way to add structure and routine to your child’s education, consider Sage Learning Center. The teachers at Sage offer a warm, welcoming environment for students of all ages. Locally owned and operated since 1997, Sage Learning Center is a wonderful option for parents who are thinking about giving their children some extra one-on-one time to refine academic skills. Each tutoring session at Sage begins at the top of the hour and runs for 55 minutes. During this time, the teacher and student work through a program that has been designed specifically for that student’s individual needs, which means no two students will have the same program. These sessions are one-on-one, which helps the teachers get to know each student better, as well as accomplish more academic work. When your child comes into Sage, they will know what to expect during each session, as well as what is expected of them in terms of mastering a new skill. The one-on-one setting at Sage alleviates stress in students who feel they are struggling with a certain subject. Sage is committed to identifying and decreasing the gap between an individual’s potential and their performance. This means that the teachers work with your child to rebuild any foundational skills that may be missing in their education before introducing newer, more complex skills. Sage Learning Center has helped hundreds of students over the years become more successful in school. The benefits of tutoring can truly change the trajectory of a child’s education. Sage Learning Center cares deeply for each student they serve. The teachers at Sage have a passion for education, but more importantly, they have a passion for seeing students become the best possible version of themselves – both academically and personally. When heading into the new school year, just remember boundaries, structure and routine. Your child will have an amazing school year. And if you find yourself needing a little extra help getting your child to succeed academically, Sage Learning Center is a great resource to check out.

Services Include: General/Family Dentistry Cosmetic Dentistry Dentures Dental Implants Oral Surgery Laser Dentistry Clear Aligners In-house Crowns We offer complete dental care for you and your family in a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Our team of dental professionals are dedicated to providing you with the most comprehensive care, because good overall health begins with good oral health.

1125 W KAGY AVE, STE 303 BOZEMAN, MT 59715




Katie Maroney is a Teacher/Tutor at Sage Learning Center :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


Fall Sports

Best Dad Ever


Not that long ago, my family and I were living a very different life before becoming the latest California transplants to make Bozeman their home. Like many people who moved here from somewhere else, we had our reasons, but before I get into that let me share a little bit about our background. Pam and I were international professional ice dancers who represented Great Britain for 11 years. To date, I have said that sentence more often than I can remember and not once has someone said, “Me too.” Implying in a sense that we – at one point in our lives – did something extraordinary. Before becoming parents, that defined who we were. We were an ice dance team who won National Championships, International medals and then went on to tour the world as professionals. I grew up in a small town in Wales, and loved watching American TV shows, and of course all the movies that made California look like the most amazing place in the world. So, when Pam and I were ready to settle down and transition into coaching, we emigrated to America and made the Bay Area our home.


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Whoever was writing the story of our lives was doing a truly remarkable job. Pam and I were living out a fairy tale life in a city that we had come to love, and we were working for the San Jose Sharks. What more could we ask for? In truth, if you work in an ice rink, not much. I had been ‘California Dreaming’ since I was a child, and I was living that dream. But

even before the wildfires, riots and pandemic, something wasn’t feeling right. Being a parent is an emotionally chaotic existence, as is living in a place that’s half the size of Gallatin County but has nearly 20 times as many people. It took a few beats to figure it out, but it became apparent that the main characters of our fairy tale story had changed. (We read a lot of fairy tale stories in our house.) Becoming a dad had altered my perspective, but it wasn’t until I was given a mug that said "Best Dad Ever" that I realized what was wrong. The narrative had changed, and I hadn’t done enough to earn the title of "Best Dad Ever." Most people who have done anything competitive know what it’s like to chase titles, and as much as I hate to admit it, I’m not done competing. So, I asked myself, what would the best dad ever do in my situation? As luck would have it, I got an email from the Professional Skaters Association about a job opportunity in the wonderful mountain town of

Bozeman. I had never heard of the place, but a quick Google search piqued my interest. And just like that, problem met solution. We came out to visit and it took all of five minutes for my family and me to fall in love with this place. Fortunately for me, the management team at Gallatin Ice thought that I was the right person to help them grow their skating programs, so in December of 2021 I started work as the Director of Skating at Gallatin Ice at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by a warm community of figure skaters who had been patiently waiting for the rink to evolve from its seasonal schedule to one that operates yearround. My children connected instantly with the skaters at the rink, which was overwhelmingly reassuring. This felt like the kind of place where I grew up, and these skating families reminded me of the folks in my first ice rink. A few days after I started work, we experienced the annual Skate with Santa. It was amazing to

see how many people got on the ice to share in this annual tradition. An event full of warmth that made me think I may become worthy of my Best Dad mug yet. Since then, I’ve had many wonderful experiences with the families that come into the rink, but by far the best was when I was shopping for donuts with my eldest and the lady behind the counter recognized us from the rink and thanked me for the wonderful classes her sons had been taking. I thought about that for a while afterwards. This year marks my 26th year as a coach, and that was the first time I’ve been spotted outside the ice rink and thanked, and it happened when I was holding my eldest daughter’s hand. That storywriter of ours sure knows how to keep the fairy tale going. For my part, I’ll do my best to provide opportunities so that our local skaters can themselves do something extraordinary. But most importantly, I’ll keep trying to become worthy of my Best Dad Ever mug. Jonathon O'Dougherty is the Skating Director at Gallatin Ice. For more information visit

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


Demystifying the


Many high school athletes dream of playing sports in college; getting recruited to compete at the next level while also continuing their academic careers. Some athletes may even be offered scholarships and receive tuition dollars for their athletic skills. It sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the college recruiting process has become more competitive and complicated over the past few years. The good news is, we have a local expert ready to help simplify the process. Professional soccer player and Montana Surf Soccer Club advisor, Alexa Coyle, grew up in Bozeman and went on to play collegiate soccer at the University of Montana before joining Scottish Women’s Premier League team, Hibernian FC in Edinburgh, Scotland. She recently launched The Female Edge, a company that consults with high school athletes, guiding them through college recruiting processes, providing mindset mentoring and more. Here, we have teamed up with Alexa to bring you a step-by-step guide to a successful college recruiting process:


Start researching colleges you may be interested in and ask yourself these key questions:

Ç What type of style does the team play? Would your style of play fit in with the team's style?

Ç At what level do you wish to play? College programs are separated

into divisions: D1, D2, D3, NAIA. Explore the divisions and figure out where you best fit in.

Ç Does the school offer programming that matches your academic

interests and objectives? (*Hint: keep focusing on your academics— grades are more important than you think in recruiting!)

Ç How close to home do you want to be? Where is the college located? Ç What is the climate like? Do you enjoy that kind of weather? Ç What scholarships are available at the school? Ç What do you enjoy doing outside of your sport? Does the school’s location support those hobbies?

Create a target list of five to 10 schools that fit your criteria. Make a spreadsheet including the names and contact information for the coaches at each of these schools. Record all of your games/races and use the best footage to create a highlight video. A highlight video is made up of a series of clips of game footage that highlight you and your specific talents and skills. Highlight videos are a great way to capture a college coach’s attention and have become a must-have item in the recruiting process. Create a player profile. Your player profile is a sports resume that will help coaches get to know who you are. Your player profile will include your highlight reel, key information about you as a player, your grades, your athletic and academic achievements and a bio that shares more information about your interests and goals. This player profile can be included in the emails sent to coaches of the schools that interest you. 28

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Remember that contact list you created? Use it to email coaches of the schools you may be interested in before each tournament you attend. The coaches will have a list of players they want to observe and you want to be sure that you’re on it. Be sure to include:

Ç Your Name Ç Graduation Year Ç Position(s) Ç Jersey Number you will be wearing Ç Tournament Schedule – include the name of your specific bracket and team

Ç Highlight Video and Player Profile Ç Your Contact Information Attend College ID Camps for the schools you’re interested in. Alexa shared, “I attended the University of Montana soccer ID camp every summer during high school. My junior summer I was recruited directly from the camp and offered a spot on the team. ID camps are a great way for coaches to spend significant time getting to know you and give you the opportunity to showcase your unique talents.” Email the coaches before the camp so they know who you are before you attend. This will help you stand out.


Be consistent, proactive and responsive – email coaches consistently and be proactive in your emailing, as well as responsive to emails you may receive. Be bold in expressing your interest – you want to differentiate yourself from other players interested in the school. Calling coaches is a great way to differentiate yourself. ENJOY the process and you will find the right school for YOU! It is important to stay focused on yourself in the process and eliminate comparison to other people's recruiting journeys.


College recruiting can be daunting, but as with anything in life, you can set yourself up for a win by having a clear game plan, knowing what you are looking for, utilizing the proper tools and obtaining valuable advice. Alexa Coyle is a Bozeman native, professional soccer player and founder of, a business specializing in helping high school athletes with mindset mentoring, training plans and college recruiting. Cate Wright is a mother of two, volunteer and member of the Montana Surf/Blitzz FC Board of Directors. Her work with the Montana Surf Annual Fund is focused on ensuring that all children have access to the mental and physical benefits of sports, regardless of income.

Adaptive Dance at Montana Ballet Company WRITTEN BY KAREN SMITH

Providing meaningful access to the arts has always been at the forefront for Montana Ballet Company. While all of our various programs are special, the Adaptive Dance Program (ADP) is particularly near and dear to our hearts. ADP was developed in 2016 to provide creative movement and introductory ballet instruction for children ages 5 to 12 with Down syndrome. Local physical therapist Sheri Simkins consulted, and Shira Greenburg of Keshet Dance Company was brought in to train the MBC staff on formulating adaptive classes for students of all ages, facing a range of physical and developmental challenges. In 2017 I attended Boston Ballet’s Adaptive Dance training and became certified in teaching adaptive dance to children and adults with Down syndrome and on the spectrum. Now in my sixth year of teaching ADP at MBC, my goal is not to provide these kids with yet another form of therapy, but rather an outlet for expression, the chance to experience the art of dance and the opportunity to learn and grow with their peers…all with a very therapeutic outcome. – While I come to every class with a plan, often it goes out the window depending on the mood of the kids on any given day. A combination of structure and flexibility is the name of the game. Some of my students have been with me from the very beginning and watching the growth and progress over the years has been amazing. For example, in the beginning one child would barely utter a word, participated only occasionally, and if I made direct eye contact once or twice a class, I considered it a success. Today I joke with her mom that she will take over my job soon as she has acquired the confidence, skills and apparent desire to run the class. She can name her favorite steps (in French) and often helps other students if they need it. Indeed, I learn just as much from these kids as I think they do from me.

Another student began ADP in our first year, and after two years is now progressing successfully in our non-adaptive classes. While ADP is intended to provide students with instruction that more specifically meets their needs, sometimes those needs are better met in a more traditional ballet class. It has been immensely gratifying to watch her develop in her love of dance and ballet technique alongside her peers and audition and perform in MBC’s Nutcracker performances. I still remember her favorite “animal step” from the very first ADP classes and occasionally we’ll do it in her honor; while we miss her in ADP it’s wonderful to know she’s flourishing. By nature, ADP classes benefit from having Teaching Assistants. While usually our older Academy students assist, this year I convinced my 14-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter to help. Initially they took turns, then they fought over who’s turn it was because they both loved it so much. Finally, I just brought them both. The best part of my week became watching their interactions: hugs from one student (my son was her favorite), teamwork (my daughter was able to coax attempts at steps that I wasn’t) and the friendships (favorites would change from week to week).

witness our ADP students grow and flourish in Karen’s classes. Karen creates an atmosphere where dancers of all ages and abilities feel safe and supported enough to engage with her, our TAs and our beautiful art form in so many important ways.” At the end of each year, we celebrate all of our Academy dancers at MBC’s Academy Showcase. In previous years, my assistants and I performed on stage with the ADP class. This year, through the confidence gained and bonds formed I was able to send them on stage on their own. There they were, my ADP kids and my own kids, and there was I, beaming from the wings. This fall ADP classes will be held on Thursdays from 5:45-6:30 p.m. beginning September 8, 2022. A complimentary ADP class will also be offered as part of MBC’s Open House on September 1, from 4:45-5:15 p.m. For more information visit Karen Smith is the Programs Coordinator and an Instructor with Montana Ballet Company. She began with MBC upon its inception under Ann Bates in 1983 and has been back with the Company since 2012 under the direction of Elizabeth DeFanti. After exploring, living, working and dancing around the world, Karen is happily back in Bozeman with her husband of 29 years, two kids, two cats, a hamster, hedgehog and pug named Percy.

MBC’s Artistic and Executive Director, Elizabeth DeFanti, sums it up beautifully, “It has been a dream come true to have an Adaptive Dance Program at MBC and a true joy to :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


Gallatin Valley


YMCA Programing

The Gallatin Valley YMCA offers multiple programs that center around youth development for kids of all ages. These programs are not only curated to fit the complex developmental needs of kids in different stages of life, but also to fit the unique opportunities of the Gallatin Valley.



eep learning—even when school’s out! This year, MOSS is partnering with the Museum of the Rockies and Crosscut Mountain Sports Center for a variety of super fun day-camp options. Our cool themes include: • Tiny Nature • Sticky, Slimy Nature • Nature’s Creepiest • Science Superheroes • Fins, Feathers, Fur, and Fangs • Montana’s Big 5 Spring Break Camp • Permafrost Pioneers



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GRADES: K - 5 TIME: 9:00am - 5:00pm LOCATION: MOSS, MOR, Crosscut COST: $80 per day for MOSS members; $85 for non-members Check out our Livingston PIR camps!

For details, and to register, visit



oin MOSS on Tuesday afternoons September-November and March-May to explore local science in a fun new way! • Nature Art • Airborne Engineers • Wild Survival • Snow Party • Out of Hibernation • Baby Animals

GRADES: K - 5 TIME: 3:30pm - 5:30pm LOCATION: MOSS COST: $100 per session for MOSS members; $105 for non-members

You may be familiar with some of their longrunning programs in the community, such as coed youth flag football and basketball leagues. But the Gallatin Valley YMCA offers even more programs for kids ranging from infants to teens and everything in-between. Kids can start their journey with the YMCA as early as 6 months old. Parents can introduce their child to new movements and socialization with Mini and Me workout classes and Parent/ Child Swim Lessons. Mini and Me workout classes are a fun way to help strengthen and tone little bodies in a supportive and comfortable setting among other parents/ caregivers and their children. Parent/Child Swim Lessons take place on Sundays (fourweek sessions). Lessons are taught by an in-water swim instructor who will help you and your baby find comfort in the water while learning and having fun. All YMCA swim instructors are CPR Certified and undergo a YMCA Swim Instructor Course. This ensures you leave the lessons having gained life-saving knowledge and having made valuable core memories.



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As kids grow, YMCA programs grow with them. Starting at 3 years old, children can participate in Pre-K sports leagues, which include soccer, T-ball and flag football, and introduce kids to teamwork, sportsmanship and organized activity, under the direction of a dedicated and patient staff. After kids age out of Pre-K programs, they can enroll in youth sports and activities programs. Children in grades K-7 can participate in a variety of sports including basketball, flag football, Taekwondo and dance. YMCA has recently added hip hop, ballet and tap to its youth dance programs to offer a broader range of classes. These programs are great for introducing kids to out-of-school activities and socialization, teamwork, sportsmanship and the basics of the sport. The YMCA programs expanded their Health and Wellness programming to now include teens. Youth ages 10-13 can participate in seasonal Y Strong Training Programs that teach them about gym benefits, safety and etiquette. Sessions take place during school breaks or after school and are led by certified trainers. Additionally, teens ages 10-15 can take a Y Strong Certification course, allowing them to use the YMCA fitness facilities with adult supervision and attend select group fitness classes. Plus, it's free for YMCA members. At the Gallatin Valley YMCA, they are happy to offer quality programs to kids of all ages regardless of ability, cultural background, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or economic status – and they never turn anyone away for an inability to pay. The YMCA is there to help local youth reach their potential through recreational sports and activities and encourage youth development at all stages in life. The Gallatin Valley YMCA is a place, a cause and a community where you can grow, learn and play. They are—where you belong!

After-school & PIR DAY

activity guide Fall-Winter 2022


After-School PIR Day and/or

activities this year? Make sure families know and post your listing in the Montana Parent Fall/Winter 2022 After-School & PIR Day Activity guide.

submit listings multiple sessions may be submitted through the entry form, also features a photo in the print/digital magazine and logo in the online activity finder.

Listings will be live online, and in print/digital August through December 31, 2022. Cost is $75 per month. Listings must be submitted by the 15th of each month to be printed in the next month’s issue, or submit all sessions at once and they will remain online until each session is complete.





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Fall-Winter 2022 Montana Ballet Company Ç Classical Ballet Instruction for All Ages Ç 2304 N. Seventh Ave., Suite C-3 Ç 406-582-8702 Ç Ç Ç Ç Montana Ballet Company offers fine classical ballet instruction for all ages and levels in a fun, educational and nurturing environment. Classes are held Monday through Saturday, with performing opportunities available. MBC is a nonprofit arts and education organization in its 39th annual season. Classes are taught by a professional faculty with a focus on health and wellness and the whole dancer.

MOSS School's Out Ç (PIR) Camps and Tuesday Science Ç 4056 Bridger Canyon Rd. Ç 406-582-0526 Ç Ç Ç MontanaOutdoorScienceSchool

Ç MOSS School’s Out (PIR) Camps - Looking for something a little extra for days when your mini-scientist is out of school? MOSS PIR Camps expose kids to a variety of science careers and engaging lessons to pique their interests. Tuesday Science - Join MOSS for two hours on Tuesday afternoons to participate in place-based lessons, hands-on activities about natural science and instructor-led nature hikes. Each month-long session revolves around an exciting science topic, the perfect variety to keep kids engaged. Great for homeschool students or families looking for an after-school program. 32

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Library STEAM Exploration Ç 626 E. Main St. Ç 406-582-2420 Ç Ç Ç Ç Explore science, technology, engineering, art and math at your Bozeman Public Library. Visit the Children's Room anytime during open hours for a special hands-on learning activity, especially for kids in grades K-5 and their caregivers. Programs will change monthly.

submit listings multiple sessions may be submitted through the entry form, also features a photo in the print/digital magazine and logo in the online activity finder.

Listings will be live online, and in print/digital Cost is $75 per month. Listings must be submitted by the 15th of each month to be printed in the next month’s issue, or submit all sessions at once and they will remain online until each session is complete.




` `




august 2022


Planning local trips and beyond. Let me help craft your next experience. Designed to save you time and money.

Music in the mountains For more than a decade, Music in the Mountains has been Montana’s finest free outdoor concert series, featuring the best up-and-coming touring musicians in the country as well as established, well-known artists. The Center Stage at Town Center Park provides the perfect backdrop for locals and visitors to come together and enjoy incredible live music under the Big Sky. These family-friendly concerts are held every Thursday through September. The park opens at 6 p.m. each week and music starts at 7:15 p.m. unless otherwise noted. No dogs or glass containers are allowed in the park. Thank you for your understanding. For more information visit

Music in the Mountains 2022 Line Up: Ç 8/4: Southern Avenue

Call or email to book today!

Christina Dear



august 2022

Ç 8/11: Tommy Castro and The Painkillers Ç 8/18: Caitlin Krisko and The Broadcast Ç 8/25: The Nth Power with Jennifer Hartswick Ç 9/1: The Last Revel Ç 9/8: Pinky and The Floyd

Music on main August 4 & 11, 2022

Thursday August 4 and 11, enjoy live music, food and fun in downtown Bozeman. Bring the kids from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for kids’ activities. Enjoy live music from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Grab a bite to eat from one of the numerous food vendors that will be on-site or step into a few of the downtown stores that stay open late. For more information, visit

2022 Lineup: Ç August 4 – Cole & The Thornes Ç August 11 – The Brevet

45th Annual

Sweet Pea Festival August 5-7, 2022

The Sweet Pea three-day festival of the arts comes in many forms – music of all genres, performances by local theater and dance troupes, workshops, family-friendly entertainment and activities, a flower show, a beer and wine garden featuring Montana LAUREN BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY microbrews, and more than 100 arts and crafts vendors to stroll through and purchase unique gifts for yourself, family and friends. The week leading up to the festival offers additional fun-filled, community events:

Ç Art Show: August 1-7

Ç Parade: August 6

Ç Chalk on the Walk: August 2

Ç Children’s Run: August 6

Ç Music on Main: August 4

Ç Adult Run: August 6

ART • DANCE • MUSIC NATURE EXPLORATION Full Day 9 a.m.-3 p.m. or Half-Day 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Options - Monday through Friday

Year round Art and Nature based Preschool for 3-5 year olds

346 Gallatin Park Drive, Bozeman (406) 579-7692

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022



Summer Festival August 6 & 7, 2022 The 2022 Summer SLAM festival will be held at Bogert Park on August 6 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and August 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Showcasing the amazing talent Montana has to offer, this family-friendly event features an artists’ market, artist demonstrations, live music and performances, a culinary delights food court, Montana-made libations garden, silent auction and family activities. The SLAM festival is free to attend.

Pilgrim Preschool

Enrolling Now For Fall 2022-23 Classes For over 50 years Pilgrim Preschool has been helping children grow and develop socially, physically, emotionally, and academically through creative play, art, music, science, language, and math.

Visit our website or call to enroll your child. 406.586.6060


august 2022

Golf Tournament Benefits Youth Hockey Players August 12, 2022 The Bozeman Amateur Hockey Association is set to hold their annual golf tournament on Friday, August 12 at Bridger Creek Golf Course. Proceeds from this tournament will go directly to BAHA’s youth hockey scholarship fund. During the 2021/2022 season, 25 players’ fees were supplemented by more than $12,000 in scholarship awards. The fund is supported by the golf tournament, as well as the generosity of other ice community members. The 2022 Golf Tournament registration and sponsorship opportunities are now open. The event includes a shotgun start, hole-contests and lunch along with prizes and raffles. Sponsorship options vary to accommodate all levels of giving. If you are interested in participating in this tournament or in giving directly to the fund, please visit www.

MSU Community

Cat Walk August 19, 2022 MSU President Waded Cruzado, Champ, the MSU Spirit of the West Marching Band, students, studentathletes and community members will make their way down Main Street to create “Bobcat Buzz” throughout the community on August 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The group will visit businesses along the way, play the fight song and pass out Bobcat gear, treats for kids and game schedules. Also, get a chance to meet the new MSU Athletic Director and football coach and get autographs from your favorite football, basketball and volleyball players.

Cruisin' on Main Car Show

August 21, 2022 The Downtown Bozeman Association and Cancer Support Community, along with many gracious sponsors, present the 22nd Annual “Cruisin’ on Main” Car Show on Sunday, August 21. The show will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is located on Main Street between Willson and Rouse Avenues. During the car show, enjoy live music, food and fun throughout the day. There will also be prize drawings, a 50/50 raffle, a showcase display and a chance for everyone to vote for their favorite vehicles.


Interactive exhibit explores the sciece behind sports!

Second Annual


Science Carnival August 27, 2022 All Ages $10 per person


Exhibit sponsored by:

Join Montana Science Center for their Second Annual Science Carnival on August 27 from 2-7 p.m. The carnival will feature booths and interactive science activities that are larger than life along with music, carnival food, science demonstrations, a beer garden and more. Tickets are $10 per person and on sale now.

995 Carousel Way, Helena, MT

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


Montana Ballet Company

Open House & Complimentary Classes August 31 & September 1, 2022 MBC provides fine classical ballet instruction for all ages and levels in a fun, educational and nurturing environment. Join them on August 31 and September 1 for an Open House, offering complimentary classes, an opportunity to meet the MBC teachers, Q&A sessions, giveaways and more. Registration is required, visit www.

August 31

Ç Ages 9-11, 4:15-5:45 p.m. Ç Ages 12 and up, 4:15-5:45 p.m. September 1

Ç Ages 3-4, 4:15-4:45 p.m. Ç Ages 5-6, 4:15-4:45 p.m. Ç Ages 7-8, 5:15-6 p.m. Ç Adaptive Dance, 4:45-5:15 p.m.

MBC’s Ç 39th Annual Nutcracker Auditions Ç MBC Company Dancer Auditions September 7, 9 & 10, 2022

All community dancers ages 6 and above are welcome to audition for the 39th Annual Nutcracker and take part in this treasured holiday tradition. The Nutcracker will be performed on December 3 and 4 at the Willson Auditorium in Bozeman and December 10 at the Mother Lode Theatre in Butte. For its Bozeman performances, MBC will collaborate with the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, and LAUREN BROWN for all performances with world-renowned guest artists to create its much beloved Nutcracker. Registration is required, please visit

September 7

Company Auditions for serious dancers ages 11 and above will be held on September 7 from 4:15-5:45 p.m. Dancers must demonstrate a certain level of technical ability, artistry and commitment to their training.

September 9

Ç Nutcracker Auditions for ages 11 and above, 4:15-5:45 p.m. September 10

Ç Nutcracker Auditions for ages 6-7, 10-11 a.m. Ç Nutcracker Auditions for ages 8-10, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. 38

august 2022



Irish Festival August 12-14, 2022

Held at the Original Mine Yard in Butte, the An Rí Rá Montana Irish Festival celebrates the heritage of Ireland and its contributions to the people of Montana. This free festival is a worldclass event regarded by the An Rí Rá as one of the best Irish festivals in North America. Come prepared with a lawn chair and umbrella for this beautiful outdoor event.


Clean Energy Fair

…inspiring people of all ages to


August 13, 2022

The Montana Clean Energy Fair, held August 13 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. It is the go-to event of the year for renewable energy education, featuring a series of 45-minute workshops on topics including: renewable energy policy; solar electricity and solar heating; battery and energy storage; financing and incentives; large-scale solar and wind; off-grid living and much more. The workshops are for those who are new to these topics, those with experience and everyone in-between. The fair also features an electric car and bike show with cutting-edge vehicles. Local, Montana-based renewable energy businesses will be on hand to showcase their offerings and answer questions. For kids, activities include the ever-popular model solar car races, solar oven construction, a bouncy castle, face painting and more. Raffle prizes and a local solar home tour will round out the event.

Parties & Performances Summer Camps After School Classes Private Lessons Teen/Adult Classes & More!

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


Q great falls


State Fair July 29 - August 6, 2022 The 2022 Montana State Fair will be celebrating its 91st anniversary with another summer full of fun. The fair attracts tens of thousands of people every year with exciting carnival rides, educational exhibitions and food vendors. Free entertainment includes horse racing, rodeo, comedy and live music performances. Admission varies according to age. Visit www. for more information.


WHEATMONTANA.COM • 800-535-2798 •


august 2022

• Montana Born & Bread

D helena Grandstreet Theatre School’s Production of

the Marvelous Wonderettes

August 1-13, 2022 Outdoors on the Hill Park Stage Journey back to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where we meet the Wonderettes: Four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts. Learn about their lives and loves as the girls serenade the audience with classic ‘50s and 60’s hits including “Mr. Sandman,” “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cupid,” “Son of a Preacher Man” and “It’s My Party.” In Act II, the Wonderettes reunite to take the stage and perform at their reunion. Hear about the highs and lows the girls have experienced over the years and find that no matter what life dealt them they conquered it together. Featuring over 30 classic jukebox hits and four talented singers on an outdoor stage – The Marvelous Wonderettes is the summer fun you’ve been waiting for. Please bring a blanket or camp chairs for you/your group. For more information visit production/the-marvelous-wonderettes.

Helena C.O.R.E

Summer Walk Series August 2-18, 2022 This summer, Helena CORE (Community of Resource Educators) will collaborate to host a series of summer education walks. Every Tuesday and Thursday August 2-18 at 6 p.m., one of the partner agencies will be leading a one-hour(ish) outdoor educational walk in the Helena area. Each walk will focus on a natural resource with topics including fire history, bear safety, water quality, geology, native plants and more. Locations will vary with each presentation. Attendance is limited to 20 people per walk, and sign-up will be open to the public 14 days before each event. Visit programs/montana/241-summer-walk-series.

Alive at 5 in downtown Helena

August 3, 2022 Alive at Five featuring Hardwood Heart at Pioneer Park will be held on Wednesday, August 3 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy live music, food trucks, games and more. Check out www. for more information.


Early Learning Center


August Farm Fun by the Applestem Corn Maze! August 5-22, 2022 Stroll through four acres of fields, trails and walking paths of 20 different varieties of brightly colored sunflowers. They will A-Maze you! This is agriculture and Applestem has followed the guidelines and recommendations when planting the sunflowers at the right times according to research, but please be forgiving if not all of the 20-plus varieties cooperate during growing season. Safety is the number-one concern at the Applestem Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch. They will adjust their hours accordingly for adverse weather. Please call 406-235-4227 when there is inclement weather to find out how it might affect your visit.

"Rising Stars and Family Promise are meeting a critical need in our community through creating opportunities for families from economically and culturally diverse backgrounds to earn a living while providing excellent, safe, and culturally competent care to the children they serve. Without the support of Rising Stars many families, including ours, could not afford to work and live in Gallatin County. Additionally, many children, including our son, would not be given the opportunity to thrive in a safe, clean, and stimulating environment." For More Information Call (406) 209-8498 Visit Schedule a Tour at 1603 Tschache Lane

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022



D helena


K Beginner to Advanced Riders K Ages 5 and up K Life Skill Development Workshop K Speed/Rodeo Events K English/Western Riding K General Horsemanship

Wake the Giant Music Festival

Learn more about camps, clinics and events at

cedar ridge equine

horsemanship camps, clinics & lessons Owner/Trainer Amy Prechter email phone 406-282-3355


up g gro n i r t fe or e” ofsupp Caf w y no use Coz o e h h in- “T


Fun Fest

August 27, 2022 The second annual Wake the Giant Music Festival will be held at 3 p.m. at West Mont’s 34-acre Farm and Gardens venue (3240 York Rd.) in the Helena valley. This Montanabased festival will benefit individuals with disabilities, feature local talent and incorporate farm-themed activities and goods. For more information visit

August 13, 2022

Comprehensive Therapy Services for Independence and Growth ✦ Occupational and Physical Therapy ✦ Speech and Language Therapy ✦ Breastfeeding and Nutrition Services A warm and comfortable environment serving: Infants, Children and Women 300 N Willson Ave Suite #2005, Bozeman



august 2022

Family Fun Fest is Helena’s premier health and wellness event for kids brought to you by St. Peter’s Health and Pacific Source Health Plans. This year’s event will be held Saturday, August 13 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Helena’s Centennial Park and Great Northern Town Center. Children attending get a free T-shirt while supplies last. For more information visit www.

Lake Helena

Watershed Festival August 27, 2022

The 2022 Watershed Festival’s theme is “Recharge.” Celebrate water quality and quantity efforts in the Helena Community. Local organizations will be hosting educational activity booths for kiddos and adults. There will be music, games and an art contest—you won’t want to miss it! The festival will be held at Women’s Park, 500 Fuller Ave., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information visit

H west


Farmers Market on the Museum Lawn Every Thursday from 5-8 p.m. Indulge in all things local: photography, produce, jewelry, quilts, dog treats and more.

Music in the Park August 5 & 6, and September 6, 2022

The Music in the Park summer concert series, featuring regional and local talent, is a great opportunity to spend an evening outdoors. Grab a lawn chair or blanket and head to City Park for live music, a barbecue and plenty of outdoor space for kids to romp in the grass. Admission is free. 2022 Lineup:


Ç August 5: Chris Loid & Green Light Polly

Ç August 6: Daniel Kosel (In conjunction with Rod Run)

Ç September 3: Arron Davis & the Mystery Machine

Wild West Yellowstone


August 3-20, 2022 The rodeo takes place every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday beginning Friday, June 17 through Saturday, August 20, as well as Tuesdays in July. Events include bareback riding, team roping, saddle bronc riding, breakaway roping, bull riding and a calf scramble for kids. The rodeo is held 7 miles west of West Yellowstone and the park entrance on Targhee Pass Highway (Hwy. 20), 175 Oldroyd Rd. Admission fees vary by age and event. Performances often sell out, so it is advisable to buy tickets ahead of time at

Fee-Free Yellowstone

National Park Entrance Days 2022 Ç August 4: Anniversary of Great American Outdoors Act

Ç September 24: National Public Lands Day

Ç November 11: Veterans Day

West Yellowstone

Rod Run and Car Show August 5 & 6, 2022

For Rod Run enthusiasts, the Yellowstone Rod Run has become an annual mustattend event. Gathering in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, West Yellowstone, is reason enough to visit, but it is the festival atmosphere that prevails during this popular West Yellowstone Car Show that makes it truly unique. The annual Rod Run event draws four- to-six hundred street rods and classic cars from all over the United States. Enjoy music, food, beverages and more. This event is open to the public and free to attend.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


New Column

Ask Flora

In the “Ask Flora” column, you can ask Flora McCormick, a Licensed Counselor and Parenting Coach, your parenting questions (about kids between ages 2 and 10) and read her advice here monthly.



With my 6-year-old, it seems like when I try to validate his upset feelings it just sends him deeper into those feelings. And sometimes I don’t want to validate his feelings because he is complaining about ridiculous things, blaming others for everything and not taking responsibility for his part in the situation.


First, consider a review of your validation phrases to see if they are accidentally missing the mark. “I know you feel…” or “I understand you feel…” can actually deflate the validation by coming off as superior. Instead, try the simple template of “You seem (feeling word)” or “I notice you are (feeling word)” followed by a 10-second pause. This pause allows them to either share about that feeling or just sit in the supportive, non-verbal space of the moment. Then, follow with asking instead of telling. Ask “How could you solve that?” Or “What would you like to do about that?” Instead of telling them how to solve the problem or how to cheer up. These small shifts can make a huge difference in terms of how the validation is received by your child. As well as a likely improvement with their problem-solving and ownership of the solutions. 44

august 2022


I have a toddler that is saying 'no' to everything! We don’t even use the word ‘no’ very much with her, so I don’t know where it’s coming from or how to stop it.


Toddlers are such a unique chapter of humanity. Picture yourself being 2, 3 or 4 years old. You are so excited to have more freedoms: walking, talking, running and carrying your own things. It’s very exciting. Meanwhile, these tall humans around you seem to have a lot of opinions on what you should and shouldn’t be doing. For many young children, up to 80% of the words they hear from adults involve some form of “do this” or “stop that.” Toddlers get very frustrated when their newfound freedoms are met with so many forms of correction or direction. Without more advanced cognitive abilities, saying “no” may be their way of trying to exercise more power in the situation. That makes this a great chapter to engage the toddler in ways that empower them to be the one with the answers, because we have cleverly used questions instead of commands.

Phrases like:

» What’s next in our bedtime routine chart? » Where do our shoes belong? » How can your hands play with the sand on the ground (instead of in the air)?

This overrides the likelihood of a no response because of what scientifically happens in the brain. Engaging their brain to solve the problem triggers the part of the child’s brain that is eager to do the right thing.


Our 8-year-old is so easily triggered. He can’t stand to lose at games, or have anything not go exactly how he was expecting. How do I help him learn to be more patient and flexible?


Ugh. Let’s be real honest here. Situations like this take me to the deepest levels of frustration with my child, because of the deeper questions/ reflections that come up in my mind:

» Are we raising a brat/bully? » He seems so sad/mad all the time. » Where did we go wrong? » I just want him to be happy! If any of these have come up for you, I want you to know your child is probably NOT a brat/bully. And you are not failing. It sounds like you have a sensitive child who struggles with flexibility, and likely doesn’t enjoy how out-of-control he feels in those moments either. Some things you can do to support his growth are:

Community wide holistic approach to reducing health and behavioral problems in young people CTC implements evidence based prevention strategies to address Gallatin Valley’s unique risk and protective factors. Functioning as a community coalition, CTC consists of a key leader board, a community board, and a youth coalition who drive the progression of our work.

Gallatin Valley envisions a healthy, equitable and inclusive community where youth are empowered to thrive, feel a sense of belonging and make meaningful contributions to the world around them.

» Whenever possible, talk through potential

disappointments before the situation occurs, to prepare for handling the disappointment: “We are about to play a game that is sometimes disappointing. What could you do if you start to feel that way?”

» Use physicality (not reason) to help calm

him when he is triggered/angry. A small 30-second silent hug, or pause with a gesture of physical connection can go much farther than a spew of advice in the heat of the moment.

Help him gain understanding of his sensitivity to frustration by talking about it as a muscle he is working on growing. More advice on how to grow that “muscle” can be found in Ross Green’s Raising Human Beings. To get more sanity-saving strategies for parenting young kids, join Flora’s Free Facebook Group: Sustainable Parenting. Questions for the next issue or wins/questions from this issue can be submitted to A special thank you to those who submit monthly questions.


Can’t find a copy of

Montana Parent around town?

January 2016 |

When he is calm, put him in the driver's seat on solving the problem. Ask, “What are some things that help you calm down when you are getting mad?” Or “How can I let you know (in a respectful way) that it seems you could use a 30-second break to cool off?” This is important because his sensitivity may lead him to feel quickly defensive and argumentative if you suggest solutions.

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august 2022


Keeping it Real

I had been pondering what I wanted to do for my column this month; so many exciting things have happened with my kids that I wanted to memorialize it all in writing. But then this weekend happened, and I still cannot shake the complete emptiness and pit in my stomach. I close my eyes and relive the moment over and over again. The moment we could have lost one of our children. I told my colleagues at work about what happened, and while they were shocked, they were equally as terrified about having the same potentially deadly experience as we did. I thought I would write about it as therapy for me and a reminder PSA for my fellow Montana parents.

out of the car. With five doors opening and shutting (including the groceries in the back) I didn't realize one door hadn't had a kid come out. When he noticed he was alone, we were already inside and the doors were locked. Here is the kicker. Like so many new cars, our car has child locks, which enable a person to unlock or open the doors from the inside if the car is off and locked. Most of us are unaware of this feature. I've had this car for a year, and it's never been a problem until this horrific instance. And, again, our car—like most—also doesn't have a physical lock button. It is all technology with no button to flip or pull up like the old days.

It was a busy Sunday afternoon; I had two of my children with me as we did a few last-minute errands, including grabbing groceries for a co-family cookout we would be having later that evening. Our last stop was to pick up my middle child (6 years) from a birthday party at the local trampoline gym.

After Olan returned to his old self and was safely tucked in bed that night, my husband and I tested this out. I locked him in the car, and he, as a college-educated, very tech-savvy mid-30’s adult, could not get out of the car. This is not OK and is quite terrifying, especially because they don't tell you this when you buy the vehicle.

We arrived home, the kids jumped out of the van, I grabbed the groceries from the back and we all headed inside.

As I'm writing it now, tears burn the rims of my eyelids, but this nightmare has many takeaways.

I put away groceries, tidied the kitchen and went into the living room to vacuum. As I moved the vacuum back and forth, I happened to glance outside for a moment and noticed something in the driver's seat of my van. I screamed, "Someone is in the van!"

» Grown kids can get distracted and be grossly unaware of their surroundings and what is happening around them.

» Child locks are on most newer cars and can cause more harm

than good. Look into this with your car, and see how/if it can be disabled. Older children should be able to get in and out of locked cars. What if they were playing hide-and-seek and got into a car and hit "lock" so as not to be found?

I bolted out the front door, and as I got closer, I knew by the blonde hair it was my 6-year-old. He had been trapped in the car for nearly 20 minutes on an 85-degree day.

» Cars heat up fast. According to the National Weather

I banged on the door, but it was locked. I started pounding the door and window. The alarm blared behind my screams. Luckily, my husband, the more rational of us, grabbed the keys and hit the unlock button.

» When we read about childhood accidents, it's not for us

His body was somewhere between frail and limp. It had no resistance as I yanked his hot-to-the-touch body out of the car, falling back into our yard. You could see the dried-up streaks where his tears had fallen just minutes before. He is OK... physically. I'm unsure how long the emotional and mental side effects will last. I shudder thinking about him being scared and screaming for us to no avail. According to him, he was exhausted after the party and hadn't realized we were all getting



august 2022

Service, the temperature inside a vehicle will reach 100 degrees in 25 minutes when the outside temperature is just 73 degrees. to judge but to have empathy. Had it been a few minutes later, who knows what the outcome would have been in our situation. All for something so avoidable and, quite frankly, stupid.

» And, primarily, for me, slow the hell down and be aware of

where your children are. I will never make that mistake again.

Thank you for letting me share our story, and I hope it gives all of us a wake-up call to be vigilant the rest of summer. Blair Fjeseth is a working professional and proud Montana mom. You can reach her at Follow her Instagram @blair_mt for more adventures.

∂ win ENTER TO

a Custom, hand-painted fly-fishing hat



How to enter:

Look for this post on the Montana Parent Facebook and Instagram page starting August 1.

Enter for a chance to win this custom, hand-painted fly-fishing hat of a Montana Westslope Cutthroat trout. This structured snapback hat is treated with an odorless fabric protector. Hat is one size fits most.

1. Like the post and Tag one friend 2. Follow Montana Parent Magazine on

Lauren Tyson is a Montana wildlife and landscape artist. She creates custom fly-fishing hats and fine art. Facebook and Intagram (if you don't already!) When she’s not painting, she spends most of her time 3. Follow @lauren_tyson_artist on Instagram too! outdoors with her husband and two dogs: fly-fishing, camping, hiking and just walking the riverbank.

Other info:

Winner will be chosen at random and announced September 1. Must be 18 years of age to enter.

To learn more about Lauren, visit:

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

august 2022


Here from the start. Bozeman Health Pediatrics

A lifetime of healthy choices starts with the ones you make today. Bozeman Health Pediatrics partners with families, providing the building blocks they need to ensure bright futures for their children. From birth to adolescence, we offer comprehensive care to form healthy habits at every stage along the way.

Call today to schedule a same-day appointment!

Belgrade + Bozeman


Articles inside

Keeping it Real article cover image

Keeping it Real

page 46
Adaptive Dance at Montana Ballet Company article cover image

Adaptive Dance at Montana Ballet Company

page 29
Ask Flora article cover image

Ask Flora

pages 44-45
Demystifying the College Recruiting Process article cover image

Demystifying the College Recruiting Process

page 28
Fall Sports article cover image

Fall Sports

pages 26-27
Back to School article cover image

Back to School

pages 13-14
Let's Talk About Play article cover image

Let's Talk About Play

page 24
Sage Learning Center article cover image

Sage Learning Center

page 25
Five Days, 12 Kids, One Big Idea article cover image

Five Days, 12 Kids, One Big Idea

page 21
Bozeman Montessori article cover image

Bozeman Montessori

page 19
Managing Child Care First-Day Butterflies article cover image

Managing Child Care First-Day Butterflies

page 15
School Station article cover image

School Station

page 20
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