September 2021 | Early Childhood + Afterschool & PIR Day Activities

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september 2021 |



early childhood all about children under 5





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


June 15 September 7, 2021 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:


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Life’s a garden…dig it!


11 a.t with m. - Sa 2 p. nta m.



montana parent

November 27, 2021 | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. GranTree Inn, Bozeman Vendors register online at For those who create unique, local products and those operating home-based businesses, Montana Parent welcomes back the Holiday Bazaar — a holiday shopping event catered to people with small, creative endeavors. Support one another and our community by purchasing booth space for the Montana Parent Holiday Bazaar. Cost is $125 per booth | Questions? Contact :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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check out our


montana parent

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



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We specialize in creating memorable events for the Gallatin Valley! Unique Sleepovers Picnic Events Big Screen Movies Karaoke and more! We bring the party to you… and handle all the details!


Primary Care Growing to meet your needs. For many years, Billings Clinic has been serving the community of Bozeman with high quality, compassionate women’s and children’s services at our two locations in the Gallatin Valley. As our community continues to grow, so are we, by expanding our services to meet those needs by offering primary care, behavioral health, occupational health, ophthalmology, radiology, and urology to date. Until our new Ambulatory Destination Center is completed (scheduled to open in late spring 2022), patients will be seen in our transitional space, which is over 10,000 sq. ft. of clinical space, including exam and treatment rooms, lab and imaging services, all located on site.

Growing to meet your needs.

Accepting patients now.

Jeff Lindley, MD Family Medicine

Kristen Prewitt, DO Family Medicine

Micah Puyear, DO

Family Medicine

Amy Consson, MD Internal Medicine

Kale Knudson, DO Internal Medicine

If you need assistance finding a physician who is right for you or need to make an appointment, call 406-898-1200 or visit

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

september 2021



september 2021 Early Childhood Keeping it Real 14 New Mental Health Clinic for Bozeman Families 16 Gallatin County Activities for Toddlers and Parents 17 Helena Activities for Toddlers and Parents 25 Establishing Optimal Sleep in Children Under 5 27 Watching Children Grow, One Milestone at a Time 28 Reflections from Two Waldorf Grandparents 29 Life with Three Kids, in a Nutshell 31 Imagination Library & kidsLINK Programs 32 Integrating Science and Math into Toddler Play 33

After-School & PIR-Day Activities


What’s Up? Montana


What’s Up? Bozeman 39 What’s Up? Big Sky 41 What’s Up? Helena 41 What’s Up? West Yellowstone 42

Columns: Family Life on the Ranch 43 Monthly Giveaway 44


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Integrative Psychiatry for Women & Children

Ali Gearhart, APRN, PMH NP-BC, PMH-C Open House and Raffle on September 16, 2021, 5:30-7:30 p.m. and taking new clients, starting September 21, 2021 OFFICE PHONE: (406) 551-2699



3950 Valley Commons Dr., Suite 2. Bozeman, Montana 59718

Website coming soon!





New offerings weekly Subscription meal plans New menu each month Single order options Get something for everyone

Spooktacular Halloween Treats October 23, 1-4 p.m. | $100


Family style meals

All About Pumpkin October 13, 4-6:45 p.m. | $100

Fall Pies November 17, 4-6:45 p.m. | $100


Made from scratch

After School Treats September 22, 4-6:45 p.m. | $100

Holiday Baking December 11, 1-4 p.m. | $100

Breakfast | A-la carte | Bakery Pick-N-Choose menu

To sign up for next week’s delivery and to learn about cooking camps and classes, please visit

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

september 2021



At XY Learning Center, our mission is to provide exceptional care through a safe, responsive and nurturing environment that meets the needs of each child and family.

When my partners and I took over Montana Parent in 2010 my children were ages 2, 4 and 7. Those round faces, cherubic bodies, sweet

voices, the heavy padding of bare feet, hugs and kisses for days...and colic, vomit, screaming, diapers, potty training, destruction of all things valuable in my home, car seats, diaper bags – you get the drift. It’s funny, when I think back to those days, I don’t remember the hard stuff—just the precious things. Although I know when I was in the thick of it, the hard stuff was absolutely all consuming. At times I worried I wasn’t taking enough mental pictures to remind myself of the of joy my little babies brought to me. I worried I would forget what their feet looked like, what they smelled like, how their voices sounded. Fortunately, those are the things I do remember. Rarely do I look at my kids (now ages 13, 15 and 18) and think about the Mother’s Day one of them puked in my mouth. Or the bout of cryptosporidium that had one battling constant diarrhea for almost a year. To be honest, I’m hard-pressed at the moment to come up with many examples that, at the time, had me in tears and losing my mind. My girls are growing up. One is an adult for goodness' sake. But they are still my babies. Occasionally they need affection from me like they did when they were little—a breakup, mean girls, a bad race, difficult decisions they feel too young to make – and I soak those hugs and snuggles in with every fiber of my being. And honestly, they do too. When my first child was born, my aunt gave me the book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I cried every time I read this book to my children, mostly because it’s a tearjerker. But also because it paints a very real picture of the evolving dynamic between a mother and her child. It goes something like this: A young mother sat in a chair and rocked her newborn baby back and forth and sang, “I love you forever, I like you for always, and as long as I’m living my baby you will be.” The baby grew to age 2, a typical terrible toddler, but still at night, she would go into his room, crawl across the floor, and if he was sleeping, she would pick him up and rock him back and forth and sing, “I love you forever, I like you for always, and as long as I’m living my baby you will be.” He grew to 9 and then a teen and still she would creep into his room and, if he was asleep, she would rock him and sing. That boy grew to be a man and some nights she would drive across town and if all the lights were out, she would sneak in, pick up her big man, rock him back and forth and sing. As time passed, the young mother grew old. She was ill, and called her son to visit. She tried to sing, but she was too frail. That great big man, picked up his mother and rocked her back and forth, back and forth and sang to his mom, “I love you forever, I like you for always, and as long as I’m living my mommy you’ll be.” If you’re crying like me right now, I got the point across. As long as we are living …..

202 South Willson | 406.577.2554 WWW.XYLEARNINGCENTER.COM


september 2021

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september 2021


LEARN TO SKATE WITH GALLATIN ICE REGISTER ONLINE Tuesday 6-week Session begins October 26th

Sunday 6-week Session begins September 12th


WHEATMONTANA.COM • 800-535-2798 •


september 2021

• Montana Born & Bread

early childhood PHOTO ADP STUDIO

all about children under 5 :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

september 2021





We just got back from taking our two sons (ages 6 and 8) to Seattle for a last-minute trip. For the regular readers – yes, I do have a 3-year-old daughter. We knew she would be at granddaughters’ weekend with my in-laws, so we seized the opportunity and ran drove as fast as we could to the city. I looked forward to the trip from the moment we said, “Let’s just go for it!” because I knew it would be a special time for me to share with my two older children. It doesn’t sound very “World’s Best Mom-ish,” but from the moment my daughter was born, she has been the very center of our universe, and I am her world. She hasn’t really liked anyone else for three years, much less wanted to be with them. She has been my “Opihi” as they say in Hawaii.* And for the most part, I have loved it. It’s flattering being someone’s sole source of entertainment, love and friendship. She is the baby so I soak her up, knowing this won’t last forever. I would be lying if I said it hasn’t taken a toll on my relationships with my other two older children. I try hard to distribute my time and focus evenly, but I know they get a little less mom time than they used to. That guilt can feel palpable at times. I can tell you the trip was memorable for my children for all the big reasons, the Mariners game, the zoo, the ferry rides. Those are the


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things they will remember. For me, though, I couldn’t tell you who won the game. I could, however, tell you that in the third inning, my 6-year-old climbed into my lap and let me wrap both my arms around him, swallowing him into my body, breathing his little boy smell in. I’ve refused to vacuum all the sand out of my car because the sight of it makes me think of my 8-year-old grabbing my hand as we walked the beachline in Vashon, the waves washing in and tickling our feet. These moments that are becoming more infrequent are the very ones I cling to as if they were buoys serving as a navigation mark in the sea of parenthood. As we drove east with the city disappearing in our rearview, I made a mental promise to recreate Seattle more regularly with each of my children. Not Seattle per se, but time away from life’s insistent nature. Dedicated time to take each other in, to see the beauty in this new phase of life, the one where we are less focused on surviving three very young children to helping three uniquely different individuals grow into solid people. *An Opihi is the little limpet that clings onto the shoreline rocks. Impossible to remove. Blair Fjeseth is a working professional and proud Montana mom. You can reach her at Follow her Instagram @blair_mt for more adventures.

ht g i N e t a D t c e f r e KS the P + DR IN

o t n I p e t S DA N C E L E S S O N + D I N N E R Vintage Swing on Fridays. Country Two Step on Saturdays. Small intimate community setting. All dance experience levels welcome! Child care available

Visit for full details

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september 2021




Shodair Children’s Hospital Opens Doors to

New Mental Health Clinic for Bozeman Families

Shodair Children’s Hospital (, Montana’s leading resource in children’s mental health, recently announced the opening of its new Bozeman mental health clinic. The outpatient clinic assists Shodair’s continued effort to create a healthy Montana and provide access to care and treatment that has historically been limited within the community. “Every day there are more children and adolescents who are experiencing mental health symptoms following the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Craig Aasved, CEO of Shodair. “Having designated clinics and providers in each community makes travel distance a non-issue for those looking for help. This is one of the first steps in combating this mental health crisis and meeting the needs of our children.” Shodair has been committed to only entering communities in which they are invited. Following continued talks with the city of Bozeman and fellow health care providers, the clinic found its home at 1610 Ellis St. The clinical team at the Bozeman clinic is made up of a full-time psychiatric nurse practitioner, therapists and psychiatrists that offer invaluable, broad-spectrum care to children, adolescents, young adults and their families who experience a variety of mental health struggles. Ben Egbers is the provider allowing the community to access holistic high-quality care. This resource also means that patients can be prescribed necessary medication at their visit without needing to see additional providers. 16

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“During my clinical training, I witnessed firsthand the immense need for psychiatric services for kids and families in the Gallatin Valley and beyond, further compounded by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its downstream effects,” said Egbers. “I am excited to be able to act as an additional resource for those in need in our community and across Montana and look forward to being an active member of the Shodair organization and mental health community in Montana.” The Bozeman outpatient clinic is the third mental-health outpatient clinic that Shodair has added to its developments within the last year. The Missoula and Butte clinics opened in 2020 and have helped alleviate the shortage of resources for mental health in each community, reaching more than 700 patients in need. Leaders of the organization have plans to open additional outpatient clinics in Great Falls and Lake counties in the near future. In 2020, Shodair provided care to 4,000 patients across Montana through virtual visits as well as acute and residential stays. Looking ahead, the hospital will be able to serve patients in a more therapeutic environment as they embark on an ambitious capital fundraising campaign to construct a nearly 131,000-square-foot hospital. This new facility will provide flexible space, individual patient rooms, additional classrooms and activity areas. To schedule an appointment at Shodair’s Bozeman outpatient clinic call 406-444-1171.




Gallatin County Activities for Toddlers and Parents

Ç Belgrade Splash Pad » Lewis & Clark Park – Belgrade » Summer / 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. » » Free admission The water features are generally set to automatically start up at 9 a.m. and run until 9 p.m. each day. The Splash Pad will be temporarily shut down if the temperature drops to 65 degrees or lower. It will also be temporarily shut down while there is a threat of thunder and/or lighting as a precaution.

Ç Bozeman Farmers Market » » September 7th / 5-8 p.m. The Bozeman Farmers Market is a place for families and friends to gather, socialize, support local farmers and share in a fun-filled community environment.

Ç Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department » Story Mill Sprouts-Preschool Program

» Mondays and Wednesdays, 9-11 a.m. We are excited to announce that our popular Story Mill Sprouts Preschool program is back. Our “Sprouts,” ages 3-5 years, will have an opportunity to discover, learn and grow in a fun environment that encourages them to be their own unique selves. Sessions

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september 2021



childhood are offered monthly from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Story Mill Community Center and will include a sampling of the many popular summer-themed preschool programs that you know and love. Sports, art, science and adventure await your preschooler and we have plenty of room to roam in our community center. LUNCH INCLUDED. Sprouts must be toilet trained to attend without a guardian.

Happy Feet Soccer – Preschool Program We are excited to be partnering with Happy Feet Soccer to bring more opportunities for your preschooler to play soccer this fall. The goal of these soccer programs is for children to learn the game of soccer, have FUN, build social skills and improve self-confidence in a positive and safe environment. For more information about Happy Feet, visit

Ç Bozeman Public Library » Children’s Festival of the Book

» November 13, 2021

The 13th annual Children’s Festival of the Book at the Bozeman Public Library


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will feature children’s author Chris Barton and author/illustrator Don Tate, as well as local author Janet Fox. The Children’s Festival of the Book is a free event devoted to children’s books that allows kids and families to meet and hear award-winning, popular children’s authors and illustrators right here in Bozeman. For more information, call the Children’s Desk at 582-2404.

Ç Child Care Connections Annual Coloring Contest » » Late March, early April If your child LOVES to draw and color, enter them into our contest so we can share their art with the community!

Ç Earth’s Treasures » Where else can you see an authentic Triceratops brow horn, meteorite, Dinosaur poop AND bugs? For no

admission fee! With staff supervision, kids can hold or feel the seldom seen. Staff is eager to share how the study of certain fossils sparked the invention of the submarine; or why the Morpho butterfly tends to be an introvert. Two quarters can buy a piece of history that lasts...forever. This shop is proud of being a resource of “where can we go find...?” They also stock picks, mini-shovels and gold pans needed to find “treasure.”

Ç Gallatin Valley Farmers Market » » Gallatin County Fairgrounds » September 4 & 11 / 9 a.m.- noon With 50 years and more than 500 markets hosted by the organization, the Gallatin Valley Farmers Market (GVFM) continues to support Montana’s local farmers and artisans with its summer and holiday markets in 2021. Held at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds, the market normally supports nearly 200 vendors every Saturday throughout summer, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the market can currently hold about 85 vendors every weekend. Nevertheless, in its 50 years of service, the GVFM has provided an opportunity for hundreds of Montana’s own to market and sell their homemade food, handmade crafts and locally grown produce to the greater Bozeman area.



Ç Gallatin Valley YMCA » Hawks Nest Early Learning:

» Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. » Ages 0-5 » Email Elcenter@gallatinvalleyymca. org for more information

The Gallatin Valley YMCA has operated Hawk’s Nest since 2012, serving teen parents, Bozeman School District and YMCA employees. After recognizing the need for child care in our Valley, the YMCA, with support from BSD, has decided to open enrollment at Hawk’s Nest to provide more families in our community with licensed and safe child care. Child Watch:

» Mondays-Thursdays, 8 a.m.-11 a.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m.

» Fridays, 8-11 a.m. » Saturday, 7:30-10:45 a.m. » Ages: 8 weeks-9 years » YMCA member cost: $5 p/hr. or 10hour punch card for $30

» Nonmember cost: $7 p/hr. As a benefit to our valued members, the Gallatin Valley YMCA Child Watch program provides on-site child care during your visit to our facility. Our staff is CPR/first-aid certified, and undergoes a background check and regular training to ensure the safety of children.

BIRTHDAY P A R T I E S AT THE RIDGE ATHLETIC CLUBS! Enjoy the party. We’ll take care of the cleanup. Let the Ridge Party Specialists help you plan your child’s next birthday party! Kids will have a blast swimming in the pool, jumping in the bounce house, and exploring in the playzone. Choose from our basic package and à la carte menu or our premium package to design the perfect party for your child. All parties are 2 hours long. All playzone parties are private parties. Ridge Kids is fully cleaned and sanitized prior to each party.

* ASK ABOUT OUR SPORTS PARTY PACKAGES! To book with Schedulicity, go to RKB3L4, download the app or call (406) 586-2816 and plan your party today!

4181 Fallon St., Bozeman, MT 59718 • (406) 586-1737 • :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

september 2021



childhood Rookie Soccer:

» Ages: 3-5 years » Member Cost: $40 » Nonmember Cost: $70

Every mother is unique— so is every delivery. While our job is to ensure you have a healthy delivery, we want to do it your way. Let our team of experts provide you with award-winning care at our BabyFriendly® birth center. Make an appointment today! Call 406.222.3541 or visit

Dribble, pass and score! Join us for our Rookie Soccer series. Your little player will learn the basics of the active game and have a ton of fun doing it. Your child will gain greater coordination and focus through skills development and drills.

» Session 1: Tuesdays,

September 7-28, 2021

» Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m. » Registration Deadline: September 1

» Session 2: Wednesdays, October 6-27, 2021

» Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m. » Registration Deadline: September 29

Rookie Tee Ball:

» Ages: 3-5 years » Member Cost: $40 » Nonmember Cost: $70

Registration Deadline: September 6

Learn to play flag football at the YMCA. Rookie players will learn to throw, catch and run during the four-week season. Our flag football program is the best and safest way for young players to learn the sport. Mommy & Me Painting Class:

» Saturday, October 9 at 10 a.m. » Registration Deadline: October 6 » Cost: $20 per duo (adult and child) / additional $8 per child

Bring your child(ren) and enjoy some quality, family-friendly fun together doing what kids love to do best…making creative messes. Each participant will receive one canvas and the supplies they need to create their painting

» Session 1: Wednesdays, September 8-29, 2021

September 6

» Session 2: Tuesdays,

October 5-26, 2021

» Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m. » Registration Deadline: September 29

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» Ages: 3-5 years » Member Cost: $40 » Nonmember Cost: $70 » Thursdays, September 9-30, 2021 » Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Rookies T-Ball is a coed program offering fundamental skill training, as well as opportunities to participate in group games that encourage cooperation over competition.

» Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m. » Registration Deadline:


Rookie Flag Football:

Ç Jumptime » TODDLER ZONE » Jumptime’s soft, padded obstacle course gives those 5 and under their own space to test out their ninja skills. Many interactive games as well.



Experienced midwifery for the birth and care you desire.

Ç Montana Ballet Company » MBC offers a beginning ballet/creative movement class for children ages 3 to 4. No previous experience is necessary. If your child is 2 ½, potty-trained and able to participate independently, she/he is welcome to enroll.






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

Ç Montana Science Center » *Preschool Science Series

» Monday and Fridays / 10 a.m. and 11 am.

» Fee: Included with admission/ membership

Join MSC each week for shared story time, a hands-on experiment in a related STEM topic and take-home craft. Recommended for ages 2-5. *MSC Parent Meet-Up

» Second Saturday of the month / 9:30 a.m.-noon

» Fee: Included with admission/ membership

Learn to fly! Summer Camps - Aerial Fitness Aerial Yoga - Mama & Me Birthday Parties-Private Lessons Kids - Teens & Adults Registration online at :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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childhood New to parenting? New to the Gallatin Valley? Just want to meet some new parents? MSC’s Parent Meet-Up is for any and all parents who are looking for a weekend parent-and-me activity that encourages interaction and making new friends. This program will include nametags and activities so parents can get to know each other while kids play in interactive, STEMbased exhibits. Most Saturdays will also feature our STEAM Saturdays with guest presenters. Sponsored by Dino Drop In.

*Kinder Tumbling Introduction to tumbling. Basic skills including forward and backward rolls, cartwheels and handstands, along with strength and flexibility for kids ages 4-6.

Programs are free and for Museum of the Rockies members only. There is limited capacity for each program, and preregistration is required.

*Open Air STEAM

» Mondays / 10 a.m. » Fee: Included with admission/ membership

Join MSC weekly outdoors (on their outdoor patio space with picnic tables) for a book reading, hands-on STEM experiment and exploration in art— all based on a weekly theme. When the program has concluded, explore the exhibits in the Science Center. If the weather is inclement, we will meet indoors at the Science Center. Recommended for ages 3-5.

Ç Motion Athletics » *Tot Movement Get your toddler moving with this fun movement class. Basic tumbling movement, trampoline jumping, climbing through obstacle courses and much more. Each child athlete needs to be accompanied by an encouraging adult who can maneuver over bouncy, soft and uneven surfaces.


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Ç Museum of the Rockies » *Sensational Babies This programming is temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 programming constraints. Please visit to keep up to date on the program. Read, talk, sing and play with your baby through sensory awareness activities and explorations designed specifically for newborns to age 3 ½. On the first Wednesday of every month, learn a new set of signs to enhance your baby’s cognitive, social and emotional development. This popular museum program promotes learning language skills with physical and social development. *Tours for Tots Families with preschoolers (ages 3–5) are welcome in a limited capacity for in-person preschool programming. This series of tours examines different areas of the museum with an early education focus. Each program offers a chance to ask questions as we explore every subject with a hands-on activity, art project and related story. The same program is offered twice in one week to accommodate more families. Face coverings are required for everyone 5 years of age and older and strongly encouraged for children between the ages of 2 and 4.

Ç Music Together » www.musictogetherbozeman.

*Kids Music (infants to age 5)

» Fall Semester starts mid-September » In-person indoor and outdoor classes Try a class for free (ask Music Kate), sibling discounts and makeup class options. Please visit www.musictogetherbozeman. for schedules, classes, registration and much more information.

Ç Random Acts of Silliness » RAS is a children’s theater and public art company in Bozeman. They create magical experiences with and for children filled with wonder, whimsy, rich storytelling and silliness to spare.



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*Bumblewood Thicket A Fairy Village The fairy village will only be visible to human eyes through September 12. Located amid the winding, wooded paths of the Glen Lake Rotary Park, it will contain 20 different fairy homes and establishments created by local artists. The map to the magic is available at www.randomactsofsilliness. com/fairy-village-2021. The Fairy Village is a self-guided experience offered for free in partnership with Gallatin Valley Land Trust and Bozeman Parks and Recreation. *Enchanted Expedition

» A Fairy Adventure in Bumblewood » September 4 & 5, 11 & 12 Super serious scientist Dr. Stonehauser has been called to Bumblewood Thicket to investigate some unusual goings-on. Stonehauser’s efforts at focused study are repeatedly interrupted by wacky visitors and unexpected enchantments. What’s really going on in Bumblewood Thicket? Could it be the work of fairies? Join us in this madcap magical adventure to find out. This is an original “walking-play” by accomplished local playwright Cody Henderson, created for our fairy village and developed by our talented cast of actors. Participation in the play requires covering about 200 yards on uneven woodland trails. The show is best suited for children ages 3 -10. Advance ticket purchase is required for anyone 3 years of age or older, including adults. Anyone under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Email hello@ to request free or discounted tickets.

Ç Rocky Creek Farm » education

Tours, field trips and farm visits, Halloween pumpkin patch, cider press and more. Visit website for more information on upcoming events.

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


Mornings & Afternoons (8 Weeks)

Starts Mid-Sept.

+ Make-ups

Ç Sentinel Ranch Alpacas – Alpacaland » Take a free ranch tour, pet the alpacas and learn more about them. You can walk to alpacas for pictures, and you can even feed them right out of your hand with their special grain blend. Special events are offered throughout the year including cria (babies) born from April-October, shearing from May-June, fiber sorting AugustOctober, alpaca herd health and alpaca “runs” all year long. Visit www. to learn more and schedule a visit.



Send @MusicTexts to 81010 $100 Off - Sibling Discounts BABIES FREE <12 mo. with Sibling Flexible MAKE-UP Opportunities


Class Schedules Online! PHONE: or TEXT: 406-570-2839

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

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Photo by Whitney Kamman

The 11th Annual Buddy Walk!



Down syndrome Research Education Advocacy in Montana

Register here :

or on our Facebook/Instagram

D.R.E.A.M. Buddy Walk of Bozeman

Location: Gallatin County Regional Park • The Dinosaur Playground

Saturday September 25, 2021 Walk anytime from 10a.m.-noon

Grab your Buddies for a self-paced socially distanced Buddy Walk

Ç Spire Youth Activities


*Saturday Morning Youth Program is for ages 3-5. Class includes lots of rope climbing, as well as climbing-based games and exercises. The program is progressive, and each session builds upon skills taught in previous classes. This program runs during the public school year and is offered in sixweek sessions. *Preschool Youth Program exposes kids ages 3-5 to rock climbing in a safe and fun fashion. The program uses tons of climbing-related fun and games to keep the kids engaged, excited and will get your preschooler off the ground and scaling our walls! All gear is included. Instructor ratio 1:3.

Do you ever feel alone as a parent? Want a community at your fingertips? One where you could ask all the hard questions? Join Our Free Virtual Community. A community at your fingertips where you could ask questions in relation to any and all things parenthood. Gain valuable resources from free and for-profit online classes (for both parent/guardian and child), open discussions around work life balance, early childhood development, Waldorf homeschooling and lifestyle, and natural remedies for the whole family and so much more.

Text COMMUNITY to (561) 444-9582 to be added


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Ç Week of the Young Child » One week in April, 2022 » or

Multiple activities for families with young kids. The 2022 schedule of events will be released in February or March and includes discounts at local restaurants, a carnival, free activities and discounts in the community for music classes, art classes and more.



HELENA Activities for Toddlers and Parents

Finding activities for toddlers can be tricky. Sports, camps and classes are often reserved for children ages 3 and above or are riddled with big kids unaware of the tiny humans underfoot. Luckily, Montana Parent has sleuthed out some of the most toddler-friendly activities in Helena. Every parent’s goal is to wear children down with fun and educational activities, and to tire them out so they can’t fight nap or bedtime. Let your child burn off energy by taking them to toddler hour at the Flying Giant Trampoline Park. Toddler hour is on Thursdays from 10–11 a.m. and is a perfect way to meet other families with kids the same age. Besides toddler networking, you and your kid can jump together on a variety of different foam pits, trampolines and climbing walls. The cost is $11, including one child and one parent. Can’t make toddler hour? They offer the toddler-friendly soft play park that was specifically built for children ages 6 and under.

Just outside of the library is one of the best toddler parks in Helena. Make a day of it and picnic at Anchor Park, followed by playtime inside the fenced playground. Bonus activity: End the afternoon by doing a nature walk down the Walking Mall (race twigs down the streams, find pinecones, cool leaves and more), take a make-believe trip on the trolley and end with an ice cream cone from the Big Dipper.

Ç The Lewis and Clark Library

recently finished their renovations and are back open to the public. The new kids’ area is jam-packed with things to do. While the 3D printer may be a little advanced, the play kitchen, reading cubby holes and fun chairs will spark your child’s imagination. In addition to being a great place to hang out (with a coffee shop), the library offers FREE classes a few times a week.

» Books & Babies is a program designed for babies from birth through 18 months. This 20-minute session is structured around songs, lap rhymes, fingerplays and stories.

Ç Cherry Park is hands down the

best toddler park in Helena. This play area offers two toddlerfriendly zip lines, musical instruments and equipment sized appropriately for children ages 5 and under.

» Toddler Tales is for kiddos 18

months to 3 years old. Your tot will spend a half-hour dancing, singing, rhyming and reading. Activities in this class are designed to help toddlers acquire fundamental knowledge such as shapes, numbers, colors and more.

» Preschool Story Time is

interactive and geared toward children ages 3 to 6 and is an energetic class that brings out the lifelong learner in all of us. Your child will have a great time and get to take home a craft for later. Win-win. Visit to find times and classes. Siblings are allowed to attend classes, so it’s perfect for families with multiple children.

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

Ç Montana Wild is located on

the 5-acres overlooking Spring Meadow Lake State Park. The education center has something to do for all ages. The Montana Wild staff will take the time to teach little ones about Montana’s wild animal population and, more often than not, always has a handson craft or exhibit to participate in. They offer monthly classes, including bat walks around the lake and more. Learn more at fwp. september 2021


Ç Spend the day exploring the

Ç After the Carousel, walk the 50 feet

Great Northern Center in the heart of downtown. The outdoor space is fun to climb on, bang on the chimes, or explore the water feature with animal statues.

over to Montana’s best children’s science museum, ExplorationWorks. This place offers two levels of hands-on activities, all geared for young minds. Preregistration is recommended to keep families COVID safe. We highly recommend bringing an additional T-shirt (probably throw in pants, socks and shoes to be safe) as the water table, (while being one of the best features of the center), can get kids messy pretty quick.

(406) 388-4988


The open area is perfect for outdoor play and a picnic, followed by ice cream and a carousel ride. The Great Northern Carousel is a whimsical place for young children. Once they’ve entered, little minds can wander as they climb atop bison, grizzly bear, cut-throat trout, all carved by a renowned Disney carver. While riding the carousel, make sure to collect the plastic rings and throw them into the circus bear catch net. If you get the metal ring, you earn a free ride. The carousel has more than two dozen flavors of Montana-made ice cream, which are sure to please teethers and toddlers alike.

Ç Lastly, because we can all use new friends, we highly recommend the MOMS Club of Helena. This group of amazing women is a chapter of MOMS Club International, which offers Moms Offering Moms Support. They are an engaged group of moms who often do fun activities together, like toddler play dates in the Helena area.

Thank you to Blair Fjeseth, our local Helena resident and mom of toddlers, for putting this together. Be sure to read Blair’s column in Montana Parent each month, Keeping it Real and follow her on Instagram @blair_mt for more adventures.

On exhibit June 12 - September 2021

Sponsored by:

Explorationworks 995 Carousel Way | Helena, MT 406.457.1800 26

september 2021

And don’t miss...

Ç The Painted Pot

» Open seven days a week »



Establishing Optimal Sleep in Children Under 5 WRITTEN BY MYRA HARTZHEIM

When it comes to sleep, there are so many differences among children under 5 that it becomes hard to compare.

However, there are four basic elements that relate to all ages when it comes to sleep:

1. A Secure Attachment

A child’s ability to self-regulate and selfsoothe starts with a secure attachment. A healthy attachment is the foundation on which healthy sleep is built. What is a healthy attachment? There are four types of attachment, ranging from secure to disorganized:

Ç Secure: Formed when a caregiver

responds consistently with care and comfort. This child responds with pleasure when they see their caregiver.

Ç Avoidant: Formed when a caregiver

often disregards a child in distress. This child is less likely to seek comfort from their caregiver.

Ç Ambivalent: Formed when a

caregiver responds with comfort in some instances, but also responds with irritation in others. This child’s reactions to their caregiver are equally erratic and conflicting.

Ç Disorganized: Formed when a

caregiver neglects a child. This child avoids relationships with others and is fearful.

Remarkably, a secure attachment sets the tone for a child’s nervous system for life. A balanced nervous system is the foundation for restful and restorative sleep. For some of us, a secure attachment relationship wasn’t something that we experienced. Often when that is the case, responding consistently with care and comfort can feel foreign or unnatural. If this is true for you and you want to give your child the healthy attachment relationship you never knew, I encourage you to consider working with an attachment therapist who will be able to give you the tools to help you heal from your own unhealthy attachment patterns established during childhood.

2. Physiological Stress

You may be asking yourself, “What stress? My child has an incredibly easy life.” That may be true, however, there are many forms of hidden stress affecting our children that don’t meet the eye. Some of the stressors that get in the way of healthy sleep include:

Ç Nutritional deficiencies Ç Chronic inflammation Ç Airway obstruction Ç Neurological conditions

Some of the most common symptoms of these stressors are the following:

Ç Excessive or chronic gassiness Ç Snoring or mouth breathing (note: newborns naturally mouth breathe until the age of 3-4 months)

Ç Reflux Ç Rashes and/or eczema Ç Foul or loose stools Ç Over- or under-reactivity to

touch, sound or other stimuli

Please speak with your child’s primary health professional if any of these symptoms are present. If your child is snoring, you may need to have them seen by an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat doctor), a pediatric dentist who specializes in airway or an orofacial myofunctional therapist.

3. A Body-Honoring Sleep Rhythm

Our bodies thrive on rhythm. We all have something called a chronotype: an optimal sleeping, eating and socializing rhythm written into our DNA. More recent studies find that when we operate on this rhythm, we feel our best as our bodies can let go of a lot of stress. Finding and honoring this rhythm for each individual child can resolve a multitude of sleep and behavioral struggles for many infants and children (and adults for that matter).

The Circle of Security and Sleep

When a child has a secure attachment, when all underlying health conditions are ruled out or addressed and when a kiddo is put on a healthy eating and sleeping rhythm, you will be able to notice that sleep feels easy and restful to you and your child and that your child is more willing to explore sleep spaces away from you. What you are sensing when this happens is the natural pattern that develops in securely attached children, referred to as the circle of security. What is the circle of security? The circle of security is the theory based on attachment, which has parents as the secure base in which children can come and receive comfort and love when needed after exploring space away from the caregiver. As children become developmentally capable of exploring new ways of self-soothing and/or exploring sleep spaces away from the caregiver, they become more confident and independent over time. This is the basis of the circle of security: Reassuring our children that exploring space away from mommy or daddy is safe, knowing that mommy or daddy is right there to offer comfort when needed. For some children, this comes naturally; however, for other children, scaffolding may be needed to help the child feel safe to explore sleep spaces away from mommy or daddy. This is where Gentle Sleep Coaches are helpful to create this scaffolding customized for your family and child.

Myra Hartzheim is a wife, mother, a Gentle Sleep Coach (certified by Kim West a.k.a. The Sleep Lady), Infant Mental Health Professional with continuing education in Perinatal Mental Health, Polyvagal Theory and Neurobiology of Attachment. Myra is the founder of Hearts & Dreams LLC.

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

september 2021


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your child feel calmer, less reactive and more resilient



WHILE improving sleep!

For kids who struggle with sleep and/or show signs of: Ç Sensory processing disorder Ç Difficulty listening and/or self-regulating Ç Challenging behaviors Ç Food sensitivities Ç Stomach pain Ç Chronic ear infections Ç Dislike of noisy environments

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september 2021

Watching our Children Grow, One Milestone at a Time WRITTEN BY SARAH PETERSON

One of the joys of being a parent is watching our children grow and change before our eyes. We all eagerly wait for the big milestones: first smile, first words, first steps. Sometimes, these joys can turn to worry as we wonder if our children are reaching these steps on time. As parents, we know our children best, but it can be challenging to know what to look for when it comes to their development. How can we know what normal development looks like? Luckily, there are some great resources available for parents and caregivers to engage in early development and spot if your child may be falling behind.

How can parents engage with their child’s development?

A child’s brain develops most rapidly during the first five years of their life, and it’s during this time that a foundation for lifelong learning will form. Each child is different, but experts have a general idea of normal development and have identified milestones that give an idea of what changes to expect as a child grows. One of the best tools you can use to track your child’s progress and development is the CDC’s Milestone Tracker. This tool offers interactive milestone checklists, milestone photos and videos so you can better identify them in your own child; tips and activities to support your child’s development at every age and information on how to support your child if you see any delays. Monitoring how your little one plays, learns, speaks and moves can help you celebrate their healthy growth and identify potential concerns for your child’s developmental health. The positive interactions that you share with them are crucial for their brain building and wellbeing. Vroom is another great resource that offers tools and tips parents can use to nurture their child’s growing mind during everyday moments.

Concerned your child is falling behind?

Worried that your child isn’t meeting milestones on time? Every child develops and grows in their own way, but signs of delays should be addressed early. If your child isn’t meeting milestones or you have concerns about the way your child plays, speaks, acts, moves or learns, acting early can make all the difference. Sharing your concerns with your child’s doctor is the first step toward getting help for your child.

» Before you meet with the doctor,

complete a milestone checklist and write down your questions or concerns to share with your doctor.

» You can ask your doctor for a

Developmental Screening. This takes a closer look at how your child is developing and may identify areas of concern.

» Ask the doctor if your child needs further developmental evaluation to identify potential delays.

If you or the doctor are still concerned, you can ask for a referral to an early intervention specialist. This can help you identify if your child qualifies for services and support for children with developmental delays or disabilities. Early intervention can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to overcome challenges and can increase success in school and life. You can learn more about Early Intervention resources in Montana by visiting the Montana MilestonesEarly Intervention Program. Keep an eye out for free screenings in your area to access resources for your child at little or no cost. Sarah Peterson is the Family Engagement Coordinator at Child Care Connections, where their work is all about quality child care. Visit or call 406-587-7786 for information on services for families and child care providers.



Reflections from Two


Holding my young children’s hands as we walked up enchanting luminaria and jack-o’ lantern lined paths at dusk one crisp fall evening, I was transported to a land of wonder, beauty and imagination. Our angelic guide sang as we were led from one magical story scene to another. The elves were cobbling their shoes, gnomes were mining their gems, and the stars were falling into the hands of wide-eyed children. I was mesmerized, but even more delighted to see how my children responded to the enchantment. Our journey into Waldorf education had just begun. With a background in early childhood and elementary education, I have always felt that there was more possibility for our current system, and I love that the Waldorf pedagogy engages the head, the hands and the heart. Through this educational paradigm I have been able to experience children learning in myriad ways. From handwork projects and beautiful May pole dances to storytelling, artwork and pioneer study trips… deep engagement and experiential learning are essential and meaningful. The Waldorf community celebrations throughout the year encourage

imagination and a sense of wonder, and they have become a way of life for our family. Thirty years later I am as committed as ever to bringing Waldorf-inspired education to families. I am hopeful that my grandchildren can experience more of what the Waldorf philosophy has to offer. I believe that now, more than ever, Waldorf pedagogy is what is so desperately needed for our young children, as well as for society itself. Children need the support of loving, caring and striving adults who understand the necessity of letting children have a pure childhood that allows them to be who they are, not who we think they should be. The World Family School here in Bozeman has been a magical place for young children for years, based on the Waldorf pedagogy. We hope to continue and build upon this foundation, and we have a vision of a thriving Waldorf School for our community here. We are offering parent/child education and experiences, vibrant festivals and workshops throughout the year, and ongoing information about Waldorf education.

Recently I was so inspired by master educator and Waldorf grandparent Paul Wiese’s wise words about the importance of Waldorf education. I asked him why Waldorf-inspired early education is so needed right now, and what sets it apart from other educational initiatives? Here is his response: “Rather than emphasize what sets Waldorf education apart, I will talk about how this unique educational impulse and understanding of the child can inform and enhance whatever system of education the child is already experiencing. Most western educational models are based on an idea concerning the innate nature of the child, that every child is a tabula rasa (empty slate) that must be taught how to behave, how to think and reason to understand the world and develop ideas concerning it. In this model, the more information and concepts written in the better. If we begin with a fragmented reality… this is math, this is science, this is chemistry… and then intellectually attempt to put it all back together again, it is like ‘all the king’s men trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.’

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

september 2021


In Waldorf education we begin with the idea, feeling and sense that the world is not fragmented but rather complete or whole. The universe and nature is a whole. The processes of its development are not finished or complete, but are integral and in constant concerted motion with every particle related to every other particle as the universe unfolds, grows and fades. The human child is an expression of this wholeness. We ARE geometry and chemistry, physics and mathematics in our own bodies and unfolding lives. Waldorf education and its initiatives, if understood and taught correctly, not only leads to knowledge of the world but knowledge of one’s self. This sense for wholeness is actualized in the preschool or classroom setting by relying on three humble and simple principles. The World is Good, the World is Beautiful and the World is Truthful. Each principle precedes out of each other and stands as a keynote for the child’s first three developmental stages. From infancy to about the age of 7, the child needs to know with every fiber of their being that the World is Good, which means it is life enhancing: with motion, breathing deeply, sleeping soundly and 30

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sufficiently, playing, willing, laboring in the soil. The keynote for ages 7 to 14 is Beauty, and for ages 14 to 21 it is Truth… though any idea of both Truth and Beauty without Goodness is incomprehensible. Out of this premise of ‘wholeness’ arises all of the other pedagogical disciplines. This premise of knowledge encourages one inwardly to see the whole picture, a larger and perhaps more astute perception of the world, and through empathy the child enthusiastically and creatively responds to meet the challenges of that larger world picture.” We believe that Waldorf inspiration can help support the current challenges of our changing world and beyond. The time is now, and we look forward to this inspiration in our community.” Parent/infant and parent/toddler classes start September 14 at the World Family School. Please contact Elisa Fruh at teacherelid@ for more information. Michaelmas celebration, Lantern walk and Advent Spiral for the community will be held

in late September, November and December 2021… dates, times and locations are still to be determined. For more information about Waldorf education, upcoming celebrations and the World Family School, please contact info@worldfamilyschool. org. Paul Wiese is a 1990 graduate of the Waldorf Institute in New York, and was a class teacher at Shining Mountain Waldorf School in Boulder Colorado, and Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, New York. He has worked with local homeschool groups and parents incorporating a Waldorf curriculum into their children’s education in his home studio and online in Bozeman for the last 20 years. Maria Anderson Fahrner has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, background in Early Childhood, Elementary and Waldorf Education, and over 30 years of classroom and consulting experience. She founded the Mountain Independent Study program in Soquel, CA in 1993, an innovative alternative education model for local families, which is still active today. She co-hosts the conscious parenting podcast “The Moms I Know” with her colleague Sheila Walsh Dunton. She now lives in Bozeman with her husband, creating inter-generational experiences with her children and grandchildren.



Life With Three Kids, in a Nutshell WRITTEN BY LORI JO BERG

“How is life with three kids?” This is one question I heard on repeat during the last year. Now, as we celebrate my third child’s first birthday, I am reflecting on what life really is like with more kids than adults. The highs are higher (think all kids laughing and playing together) and the lows are lower (think all kids needing something right now while at least two are crying loudly to show their situation is much worse than the other’s). I’ve come to accept that my husband and I really can’t talk – like, ever. It may be possible when all the kids are sleeping but only if we have the energy. I’ve learned that the word “uh-huh” was invented for moms. I never wanted to be that mom who just appears to be listening as she throws out standard mom responses, but here I am. Life with three has seemingly caused us to lose our ability to sit down altogether. Not being able to recall when I last showered has become the norm. Multitasking is at a new all-time high – teaching math to my oldest while listening to an in-depth story from my middle child and changing the baby’s diaper while the insurance company is on hold. Getting in and out of the car multiple times counts as my exercise routine.

Five minutes of silence is considered a break, and if you have gone to the bathroom all alone at least once, you’re truly winning. Taking all three kids to the pool is really not smart and not advised. Damage control sums things up nicely. If I had to describe it with a picture, it’s like jumping from one fire to the other with a small glass of water in your hand. In other words, you’re doing your best to keep things from getting too out of hand. There isn’t enough room for all three kids to ride in the shopping cart. Unless, that is, they all stand up but I’m not sure the stares are worth that. The standards for mealtimes are at an all-time low. If there’s more food in their bellies than on the floor, we’ll chalk that up as a successful dinner. I’m not sure camping is all that fun right now. We want it to be, so we go, and we wonder why we go, only to do it all over again the following weekend. Life with three is fulfilling, exhausting, action-packed, maddening, hilarious and a true test of patience. And of course, we wouldn’t have it any other way. 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. :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

september 2021




Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library & kidsLINK


With the school year back in session, many parents are breathing a sigh of relief. Families with school-age children no longer have to scramble to find child care, summer camps and activities for their children every day of the week, and instead can rely on teachers and classes to engage their children. But what about families with children who are not school age? Or families that need additional care for their children after school? For these families, Greater Gallatin United Way (GGUW) offers programs for children ages 0-5 that require after-school care. Programs like the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and kidsLINK afterschool.

For families with school-age children that live in Gallatin County, the kidsLINK Afterschool Programs will

again operate at local schools. GGUW partners directly with the Bozeman and Belgrade School Districts to offer quality out-of-school time programming from end of school day until 5:45 p.m. at all elementary sites. United Way also supports partner sites with funding and Professional Development including: Manhattan, Three Forks, White Sulphur Springs, Anderson School, LaMotte School and Gallatin Gateway School. We are pleased that we will be bringing back this service for families that help parents finish their work day while children are cared for and 32

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engaged. kidsLINK Afterschool provides a safe, fun place where elementary school-aged students can participate in outdoor activity, homework help, literacy, games, tech and art programs. After school is a time for nutritious snacks for hungry, tired kids, and staff helps to navigate those tender hours when children are finished with the school day, but not yet home with family. The kidsLINK Afterschool staff is trained in various evidencebased curricula, social-emotional learning, conflict resolution, health, well-being, academic enrichment, and STEM/STEAM. We strive to support students in multiple ways, encouraging them to find their spark in learning and expression. For Bozeman and Belgrade registration and information, including the community-focused middle school kidsLINK Afterschool Program at Belgrade Middle School, visit our website: www. Scholarships are available for Bozeman and Belgrade Schools, and this application is on the webpage. For partner sites, please contact them directly. If you are interested in working with children at an afterschool program, please contact our United Way office at 406-587-2194. We are looking to grow our staff to serve as many children as needed. GGUW kidsLINK will follow all Covid19 recommendations and mandates from the

school districts, the Gallatin County Health Department and the CDC. Our vision is a healthy Montana with open schools. If you are a resident of Gallatin County and have a child ages 0-5, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) is the perfect FREE program for you. DPIL puts books into the hands and hearts of children across the world. Through DPIL, Dolly wants children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books create. DPIL books are specially-selected, age-appropriate, high-quality books that are mailed to registered children at home each month from birth to age 5. And best of all, it is a free gift to the family. The National Commission on Reading states that, “the single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.” This is why Greater Gallatin United Way chose to be the local affiliate that offers the Imagination Library for Gallatin County families, because we believe educational success and early literacy are important for our community’s well-being. If you live in Gallatin County with a child under the age of 5, enroll for free at dolly-parton. Greater Gallatin United Way is committed to grow our youth through literacy, activity and community.



Integrating Science and Math into Toddler Play WRITTEN BY SARAH SNIDER

As older children head off to school and you find yourself at home with the younger kiddos, here are a few tried-and-true activities, which are not only fun but also incorporate science and math into play.

Shape Scavenger Hunt

In this activity, you and your toddler will explore the shapes of everyday objects found in your house. Sorting through a variety of shapes, your toddler will learn shape recognition, meeting early learning standards in mathematics.


» Paper (plain, whatever is on-hand) » Pencil (or other writing utensil) » Household items in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors

Directions: 1. To prepare for this shape scavenger hunt, take a quick

inventory of the items around your house. Notice the shape of items within eye-level and reach of your toddler. What common shapes do you see? Squares? Circles? Rectangles? Triangles?

2. Ensure there are items that are easily accessible for your toddler to move, lift and sort. Items that do not break easily work best for this type of activity.

3. Label pieces of paper with a shape’s name and a drawing of the shape.

4. Once all of the preparation is done, read the shape’s

name and show the shape (on the paper) to your toddler. Explain that the two of you will be searching for items around the house with the same shape. When you find an item with the same shape, you will add it to a pile. These steps can be repeated as many times, with as many different shapes as you would like.

Slime Time (MSC’s slime recipe)

Practice measuring skills and follow a scientific recipe with this sensory-based slime recipe. *WARNING! Kids love slime, parents loathe it. Leaving a child alone with slime is pretty much always a terrible idea and sure to end in the complete destruction of something in your home. Montana Parent suggestion: Store slime where children cannot reach it without an adult’s assistance.


» Water » Glue » Borax » Measuring spoon » Measuring cup » Bowl » Spoon » Optional: food coloring

Directions: 1. Pour equal parts glue and water into a bowl and mix well using a spoon. 2. If you wish to add color to your slime, add a few drops of food coloring until the desired hue is reached, and mix well.

3. To prepare the Borax mixture, dissolve 1 teaspoon of Borax per 1 cup of warm

water. You can make more solutions, too, depending on the size of your slime batch.

4. Once the Borax solution has cooled, pour an equal part of the Borax mixture

into the bowl with the glue, water and food coloring. At this point, you should be able to see the slime mixture forming.

5. Store in an airtight container or airtight bag. Sarah Snider is a graduate of the Early Childhood Education & Child Services program at Montana State University. She has served as the Program Coordinator for the Montana Science Center for the past two-and-a-half years. :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

september 2021


FALL/Winter 2021

After-school & PIR Day Activities

submit fall/winter listings now @ $50 per listing featured in print montly and in the online activity finder through January 2022 spring listings start Jan 1, 2022

Gallatin Valley YMCA PIR Day Programs

Montana Ballet Company

» 3673 Love Ln., Bozeman

Bozeman Barracuda Swim Club » 1121 W. Main St. » coachhans@ » 830-308-8593 » » cudaspublic » bozemanbarracudas Founded in the late 1960’s, the Bozeman Barracuda Swim Team has provided children of the Gallatin Valley the opportunity to learn, engage and compete in swimming for more than 50 years. Whether your child has just figured out how to kick and float, wants to be more competitive in high school or is pursuing Olympic dreams, the Barracudas have a place for them. An emphasis on technique, graduated levels of instruction and training gives kids a chance to progress at their own pace. The Barracudas maintain a team of 80160 swimmers, ages 5-22.


september 2021

» yprograms@gallatinvalleyymca. org » 406-994-9622 » » Valley.YMCA » YMCA PIR day programs provide students with a safe and nurturing environment where they can develop healthy relationships and learn foundational skills through leadership, teamwork, individual growth and healthy lifestyles. Each day includes activities supporting the theme of the day with an abundance of fun added in. Similar to our Summer Day Camps, we provide quality programming with trained, caring and fun staff. Campers should bring a sack lunch, swimsuit, water bottle and appropriate clothing for activity and/or weather. An afternoon snack is provided.

Kids Yoga (Ages 5-11)

» 2304 N. 7th Ave., Suite C-3 »

» 407 W. Main St.

» 406-582-8702

» ouryogafamily@gmail. com


» 406-209-9954 » » ouryogafamily/ This energetic, yet relaxing yoga class is designed especially for elementary aged-children. During class children will learn yoga poses, breathing and relaxation exercises to help them maintain a sense of calm, increase strength, improve flexibility, enhance gross and fine motor skills, and learn to focus. Kids also learn the power of affirmation + positive thinking, who doesn’t need that skill! Each class ends with a period of relaxation.

» montanaballetco/ » montanaballet/ Montana Ballet Company offers fine classical ballet instruction for all ages and abilities in a fun, educational and nurturing environment. Classes are held Monday through Friday, with performing opportunities available. MBC is a nonprofit arts and education organization in its 38th annual season. Classes are taught by a professional faculty with a focus on health and wellness and the whole dancer.

FALL/Winter 2021


to find freedom from stress by connecting with community, self, mindfulness, nature + creativity

Science Day Camps & After-school Programs

» Snapology

» 2744 W. Main St.

8 weeks to gather 8 sessions in studio 2 bonus hikes $360/person ~ snacks provided ~

» info@montanasciencecenter. org » 406-522-9087

Mountain Air Dance Aerial Arts School » The Emerson Center for the Arts » 111 S. Grand Ave. » cathy@ » 406-595-0909 » www.mountainairdance. org » mountainairdance » mtnairdance/ Mountain Air Dance is a nonprofit dance company founded in 2009 by Cathy Stone Werner, MFA. Their mission is to bring quality aerial arts to the Gallatin Valley and beyond through classes, workshops and performances. They strive to inspire and motivate people, help people find their inner-strength and to create more joy in life through aerial arts.

» www.MontanaScienceCenter. org » montanasciencecenter » montanasciencecenter Montana Science Center hosts a variety of after-school and PIR day camps throughout the year to add hands-on exploration in science and high-tech to the school year. Day Camps take place in the classroom, outside and in the high-tech makerspace, STEAMlab. Afterschool programs include Ultimate Science in the classroom and Open Lab + Teen Tech Squad in the STEAMlab. Let’s Connect Science and Play after school at the Montana Science Center!

STEAM education using LEGO® bricks, K’nex, and other technologies

September-November Led by Emma Capulong of Outside Wellness

sign up today + tell a friend!

Seasons » 407 W. Main St. » » 406-209-9954 » » ouryogafamily/ Seasons is an eight-session, after-school opportunity for safe, supportive and super fun intentional connections for female-identifying girls in sixth through eighth grade. In addition to two bonus hikes, we will go through each season of the year over our time together: Spring/ Intentions, Summer/Adventure, Autumn/Creativity and Winter/ Rest. In each session we will offer new skills and strategies for stress management and self-care. 4:30-6 p.m. on Mondays or Wednesdays this fall (Sept - Nov) At Our Yoga Family (407 W. Main St.) Led by Emma Capulong of Outside Wellness. $360/person.

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

» Held at Pilgrim Church in Bozeman and various Helena locations » steph.scott@snapology. com » 406-438-7241 » www.helena@snapology. com » snapologyhelena » snapology_of_helena/ Snapology uses LEGO® bricks, K’nex and other technologies to teach more than 1,100 hours of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) education. Their lessons are very engaging and the kids are learning valuable STEAM concepts. They are passionate about sparking early interest in STEAM fields. Every child that has taken a Snapology class has had a blast!

september 2021



FREE COVID-19 TALK LINE If you are experiencing emotions such as anxiety, depression, stress, sadness, or fear, we are here to listen.



Montana Crisis Recovery is a COVID-19 specific Crisis Call Center. Call a Counselor now! We are here to listen.

CALL (877) 503-0833 OR VISIT


september 2021

If you are having thoughts of suicide, please contact (800) 273-TALK or (800) 273-8255. You can also text “MT” to 741741



Please visit for the latest family events happening in Southwest montana! EVENT INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO POSSIBLE COVID RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE VISIT EVENT WEBSITESseptember BEFORE ATTENDING. :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: 2021 37


Shakespeare in the Parks Montana Shakespeare in the Parks 2021 season will feature performances of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Cymbeline.

Most Appreciated

Touring for its 49th year, the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks company will travel almost 7,000 miles putting on productions of the famed English playwright’s works throughout Montana and neighboring states. All performances are offered free. Below is a sampling of the 2021 tour locations, for the full schedule visit BELGRADE

» September 6, Cymbeline, 3:30 p.m., Lewis & Clark Park BOZEMAN

» September 3, Bozeman Family/Grad Housing, Cymbeline, 3:30 p.m., Family/Grad Housing


» September 2, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 6 p.m., Stodden Park LIVINGSTON

» September 4, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 6 p.m., Shane Center parking lot MANHATTAN

» September 5, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 5 p.m., Altenbrand Park


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Open Community Auditions for The Nutcracker &

Bozeman Library Community Forum Freedom: Yours, Mine and Ours September 22,2021

Company Auditions for the 38th Annual Performance Season Montana Ballet Company (MBC), under the direction of Elizabeth DeFanti, announces open community auditions for its 38th Annual production of The Nutcracker. MBC’s 38th annual Nutcracker will be performed on December 4 and 5 at the Willson Auditorium in Bozeman. MBC will collaborate with world-renowned guest artists and the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra to create its much beloved Nutcracker, a true Bozeman original and treat for the entire family. All community dancers ages 6 and above are welcome to audition and take part in this treasured holiday tradition. NUTCRACKER AUDITIONS

» September 11, 2021

10 a.m. - Ages 12+ 11:45 a.m. - Ages 8-11 1 p.m. - Ages 6-7 To register visit In addition to open community auditions for The Nutcracker, MBC is pleased to announce Company auditions for its 38th Annual Performance Season. MBC has a three-tiered performing Company for serious dancers ages 11 and above who have achieved a certain level of artistry and technical ability and have demonstrated a dedication to the art form. While MBC Academy classes are open to all dancers and all levels, acceptance into the performing Company is competitive and by audition only. Professional, post-high school dancers, pre-professional high school-age dancers and younger trainees are all welcome to audition.

Company auditions will be held in conjunction with upper-level Nutcracker auditions on September 11, 2021, from 10-11:30 a.m. For those auditioning for the Company, please register for Company Auditions only. To register, visit Preregistration is required for both Nutcracker and Company auditions. Auditions are open to the community. Please contact Montana Ballet Company at 406582-8702 or for more information. Photos, Lauren Brown Photography.

What does a person need to be “free?” Freedom has certain conditions beyond being left alone. Freedom has its rights and responsibilities—and its limits. “My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins.” In her talk, Dr. Sara Rushing, MSU Associate Professor of Political Science, will explore the complex questions around freedom in a democratic society. As one core value among many, how does freedom relate to questions and concerns about public health, social equality and justice? Individually and as a community, how do we grapple with questions of freedom and its conditions? Sara Rushing’s recent book, The Virtues of Vulnerability: Humility, Autonomy, and Citizen-Subjectivity, was published by Oxford University Press in 2020. She lives in Bozeman with her family. This Library Community Forum, Freedom: Yours, Mine and Ours, will be held in the Large Community Room of the Bozeman Public Library on September 22 from noon to 1:30 p.m. This event is free and open to everyone. The Library Community Forum is offered the third Wednesday of each month, September through May, as a Bozeman Public Library program of civic engagement sponsored by the Bozeman Public Library Foundation.


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september 2021


FALL FEASTIVAL OCTOBER 2, 2021 Join Gallatin Valley Farm to School, Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department, and other community partners for a FREE day of fall activities to celebrate local agriculture and kick off Farm to School month. Bring the whole family along to Story Mill Community Park, where you can participate in games, learning and other fun activities to celebrate fall harvest time and the bounty of our community. Drop in anytime on October 2 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to join in on the fun.


RUN FOR YOUR LIFE A fun race for a deep purpose

OCTOBER 24-30, 2021 goes around the stadium and ends through the Bobcat Football Head. We have some fun surprises up our sleeves this year for the kids’ run (don’t worry, no scary characters)! It’s a crisp fall morning, you are enjoying your run or walk and then BAM…a ZOMBIE pops out! Run for Your Life has been a fun Halloween community tradition in Bozeman for the past seven years. This Halloween-themed 5k and Kid’s Fun Run is the Help Center’s largest fundraiser, supporting their suicide prevention, intervention and community outreach efforts. This event aims to bring awareness to suicide prevention, de-stigmatize seeking mental health help, remember those we have lost to suicide, promote healthy activity and fundraise for vital Help Center services. Run for Your Life was also voted as the #1 run/walk in the 2020 Bozeman Choice Poll. Grab the whole crew on Saturday, October 30 and head over to the MSU Football Stadium parking lot for a 5k run/walk through the southside with some spooky characters along the way. The Kid’s Fun Run is for all ages and

Got a four-legged friend who might look good in a tutu? Let them join in on the fun (on leash). Costumes are encouraged, but not required. Prizes will be awarded to race winners, as well as prizes for best costumes for both dogs and humans alike. There will also be a virtual option to participate from ANYWHERE between October 24 and 30. You can run, walk or ride your 5k and Kids’ Fun Run. Pick when to wake up and your route. We will have some fun prizes just for our virtual participants.

event, we will switch to a virtual format. The Help Center is the local suicide, crisis and resource line, operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and has been serving Gallatin County and the surrounding 12 counties for 50 years. Since COVID-19 began in Montana, they have seen a 55% increase in the need for their services. When you need help, the Help Center is there at 406-5863333 or 211. For more information visit www. To register, volunteer or donate visit

Signing up for the event isn’t the only way you can participate. The Help Center has a variety of volunteer opportunities for all ages, become a Fundraising Champion or donate directly. Last year this event, like others, shifted to a virtual format. We will continue to monitor CDC and local guidelines and adjust our event, as necessary, if guidelines or mandates change. In the event we need to cancel our in-person


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Oktoberfest Block Party Music in the Mountains Music in the Mountains wraps up this month with The Waiting on September 2 and Pinky and the Floyd on September 9. The Waiting is a roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll band from Bozeman, that celebrates the music of Tom Petty. Not exactly a cover or tribute band, The Waiting is—in the spirit of The Heartbreakers—first and foremost a BAND: A motley mix of musicians and friends interpreting the songs of one of rock’s greatest legends. Since its inception in 2008, Pinky and the Floyd has exploded in popularity, selling out nearly every show, wherever they travel. Their performances strike the perfect balance between intimacy and intensity, and the energy and stage presence is unprecedented. The band performs more than 80 songs, and seven full albums worth of Pink Floyd music making them one of the premier Pink Floyd tribute acts in the industry.

Keep your calendars open for September 25, 2021, from 4 to 8 p.m. Downtown Helena will be shutting down Jackson Street to celebrate Oktoberfest as a community. Expect some great local food trucks, amazing local beer and a stellar local band to round out this block party. Oh, and did we mention the stein-holding and costume contests? Stay tuned to events for more information.


IN-PERSON: OCT 30* VIRTUAL: OCT 24-30 A fun run for a deep purpose to support suicide prevention. *in-person subject to change.


Anxious? Exhausted? Worried? Frustrated?

These family-friendly events are held at Center Stage in Len Hill Park, one of the best outdoor venues in the state, right in the heart of Big Sky. The park opens at 6 p.m. each week, and there are food and beverage vendors (including alcohol) and an arts activity tent for kids. Music typically starts at 7:15 p.m., but please check the Arts Council website for more details on these events. **Due to park construction, some concerts may be moved to the Town Center Plaza.

Time to remember why you are a mama and that you are enough. Now offering customized flower essences and meditation to thrive, not just survive.

Considering the current COVID situation, the concerts will be presented in a way that fits into any restrictions that may be in place. Like many things related to the pandemic, the need to be flexible and ready to adapt to Gallatin County guidelines is important. Concert attendees will not be required to wear a mask, but the Arts Council of Big Sky asks that you please respect those who choose to do so. The CDC recommends that those who have not received the vaccine continue to wear masks and advises anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms to avoid crowds and stay home.

Special $100 sessions for Montana Parent readers The Sacred Center | 611 N Wallace Ave 400 hour certified yoga instructor & flower essence practitioner 406 599 6663


september 2021


H west


Farmers Market on the Museum Lawn Thursdays from 5-8 p.m.

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

Call or email to book today!

Christina Dear



september 2021

Music in the Park September 4, 2021 The Music in the Park summer concert series features regional and local talent. Held September 4, this concert is a great opportunity to spend a summer evening outdoors. Grab a lawn chair or blanket and come to City Park for live music, a barbecue and plenty of outdoor space for kids to romp in the grass. Admission is free.

family Life

on the Ranch

Brand Inspecting, Ranch Work and Parenting It’s all in day’s work WRITTEN BY REBECCA COLNAR PHOTOS BY LEWIS FAMILY

For those not involved directly with livestock, the title “brand inspector” might sound like something from the old days of the Wild West. Even more so, one wouldn’t expect a brand inspector to be a young woman toting around an 18-month-old in a backpack. Meet Augi Lewis. She is a county brand inspector working for the Montana Department of Livestock who travels to farms and ranches in Golden Valley County checking that the brand on an animal matches the proof of ownership. Once that is proven, the brand inspector allows the animal to be moved across county lines. Augi is a little different from other brand inspectors, however, in that she is often accompanied by her 18-month-old daughter, Dawn. “I put her in my backpack and go to work,” said Augi. “She loves being around the cows, horses, cats and dogs. Some of her first words were ‘Dixie,’ the name of our border collie, and ‘cow.’ I love that she can be involved even at this age. It takes a little longer to get ready to go out, and I try not to go out with her when it’s really hot, but we do quite a bit together.” Augi primarily grew up in Worland, Wyoming, but her family owned a ranch in the Nebraska

Sandhills until she was a junior in high school. The family often traveled back to help with ranch work. In Worland, they owned 20 acres, had horses and she and her father would help other local ranches on weekends. She was very involved in FFA in high school.  “I really enjoyed FFA because I had the opportunity to be around people in agriculture and around people who were passionate about agriculture,” Augi noted. “In addition, we were taught life and leadership skills.” While she was working toward a degree in Farm and Ranch Management at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, she met her future husband, Vic Lewis, who hailed from a ranching family in Ryegate, Montana. They were married in September, 2018, and settled on the family ranch. Augi was offered a veterinary assistant job in Harlowton, Montana, which she did for a little more than a year. “I really enjoyed that job, but it was a 100-mile round trip journey every day, and after a while, spending money for gas and the time it took, I was only breaking even, so I opted to work for a ranch I had worked on previously,” she said. “I

worked full time for that ranch until it was sold to investors, and now Vic’s family owns it. So, I am now working full time there, as well as being a county brand inspector.” Augi says that with the move, Vic can now be with Dawn more. “She can be more involved now and he can take her here and there. I use a Pack ‘n Play a lot. It’s my go-to for outside activities, and she’s also really good in the stroller. When she was really little, she would just nap in the stroller while I worked.” The 25-year-old ranch mom explained that raising kids on a ranch is great. “It will be so good to have her grow up and see what a real work ethic is, and appreciate what’s around her because she’s helped care for cows or put up hay. She will know where her food comes from.” Best of all, Augi loves that she can bring Dawn to work with her. “If you have a career where you can take your kids with you—it’s so worth it.” Rebecca Colnar is Director of Public Relations for Montana Farm Bureau and a freelance writer from Custer, Montana.

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september 2021




∂ $159

2-day pir steAm camp with snapology



Enter to win a spot in Snapology’s October 21-22 PIR STEAM Camp ($159 value)! In Snapology’s Science of Superpowers program, children will learn about the science behind their favorite heroes’ powers. Students will learn about gravity, aerodynamics, forces, motion and much more as they learn about flight, super villain fights and superhero vehicles.

How to enter:

Look for this post on the Montana Parent Facebook page starting September 1.

1. Like the post and Tag one friend

2. Follow @mtparent on Facebook (if you don't already!) 3. Follow @snapologyhelena on Facebook too!

Other info:

Winner will be chosen at random and announced October 1. No purchase necessary.

For more information about Snapology of Helena and Bozeman, please visit


september 2021


Parks & Parks Recreation 2021-2022 2021 PROGRAM PROGRAM GUIDE GUIDE

For People of All Ages

Read the

2021-2022 Fall +Winter Program Guide at or

Creating Community Through People, Parks and Programs Parks • Recreation • Cemetery • Forestry • Aquatics Trails • Open Space and Parks (TOP Program) • 406-582-2290 30

september 2021

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september 2021


Here from the start. We’re here to help your child thrive from birth to adolescence, fostering health and wellness through all of life’s adventures. Schedule an appointment with one of our Bozeman Health pediatricians today.
















september 2021