September 2022 - Early Childhood

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Pediatric Care

We’re Moving Tuesday, September 13

Courtney Handlin, DO Pediatrics

Sheila Idzerda, MD Pediatrics

Claire Kenamore, MD Pediatrics

We are so excited to move into our beautiful new building and to have all our other specialties and services under one roof.

Primary Care for Babies, Kids & Teens

Rely on our team when your child needs: • Preventive care, including vaccinations • Routine well-child checkups • School, daycare, camp, and sports physicals • Management of chronic and complicated conditions • Follow-up care for childhood cancer survivors 2

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Maggie Siska, MD

Pediatrics Diabetes/Endocrinology

Make your appointment today, (406) 522-KIDS (5437) Mon - Fri: 8 am to 5 pm 3905 Wellness Way Bozeman, MT


Since 1889








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20+ Years in Bozeman

Free Home Market Analysis

Representing Buyers & Sellers

What sets me apart from other Realtors is that I genuinely care and will represent my clients HONESTLY & CONFIDENTLY! When trusting me with your substantial purchase and asset, I promise to go above and beyond to make sure all bases are covered and no corners will be cut. Working with me is Fun & Stress-Free!

Ashley Crane REALTOR® (406) 580-7760

1001 West Oak Street | Bldg. C | Suite 111 Bozeman, MT 59715


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september 2022 Early Childhood Finding Your Village 12 YMCA Opens New Childcare Program 14 Parks & Recreation 2022-23 Program Guide 15 Introducing Young Children to Sports 16 Bumblewood Thicket Returns 18 Thank You for the Music 19 Activities for 5 and Under 20 Exploring Your Backyard with Your Toddler 26 Child Advocacy Centers and Caregivers Partner 27 WIC and Bozeman Health Partner 28

After-School Activity and PIR Guide


What’s Up? Montana


What’s Up? Big Sky 33 What’s Up? Bozeman 34 What’s Up? Helena 36 What’s Up? West Yellowstone 36

Columns Keeping it Real 37 Ask Flora 38 Ranch Life: Agtivity Boxes 40 Monthly Giveaway: Feltman Brothers 42


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Montana WIC is proud to serve Montana families! WIC serves pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women as well as infants and children up to their fifth birthday.

We would love to support your family.


This institution is an equal opportunity provider. :: 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 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



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Advanced Facial Esthetics in Bozeman Everyone deserves to have access to the most natural and advanced facial esthetic procedures in the country. At CARE Esthetics Bozeman, we pride ourselves on our kind, caring approach to improving the lives of the people in the community. Whether you want to look younger and feel younger or address a more concerning skin problem, relying on our team is a good choice. Contact us for more information about our treatments! Cosmetic Procedures Include: 1125 W KAGY AVE, STE 303 Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF) treatment BOZEMAN, MT 59715 Laser therapy using Fotona 406.587.2201 Microneedling with PRF :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2022 9 HELLO@SHINEDENTALMT.COM Bio-Fillers & many more!

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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:


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Life’s a garden…dig it!



All about children under 5: childcare, health, development, activities and more... After-School & PIR-Day Activity Listings p 29

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Out of all the places I’ve lived, Bozeman was the hardest for me to find my groove and my village. I moved to Buenos Aires solo and met friends more easily than here in Bozeman. Here it felt like everyone was either in their houses or in the mountains, and how was I to meet someone to hang with? I like to share this because I find other people often feel the same way. I moved to Bozeman after my family started transitioning here while I was in high school, and I traveled around a lot. So, even though I had family and connections, it was still hard. On top of that I know many of you moving here have new babies and young children. You’re also in a phase of life where you’re potentially even more housebound and feeling isolated. I eventually found my community in Bozeman and realized they were more my people than I had ever met before. I loved it! And yet when I got pregnant, I needed a whole new community. I needed mom friends who were in the same stage of new parenting that I was in. And who were local. Luckily for me, I started teaching prenatal yoga when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2015. I thought that the mindfulness and physical support would be the best part of it—but it turned out to be community. I was around women willing to be vulnerable and share how they were truly doing. I was around women all experiencing massive life transitions. I was realizing just how important it is be surrounded by others going through similar life changes, and to really feel supported by each other. In that time and in the years following, I also started offering baby yoga and co-led Fresh Air Mamas, a hiking group for families. I saw over 12

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and over again parents making new connections, meeting their people, finding their mom friends. It was truly so rewarding. Because the village we hear about doesn’t just magically show up. You have to show up yourself, and trust that over time you will indeed create that loving, supportive village for yourself.

Here are some ways I’ve seen people find their villages over the years. Ç Take a yoga class geared toward families, parents, moms, babies,

etc. I co-founded Our Yoga Family out of a desire to create a home away from home for families. I have seen year after year the wonderful connections that come from regular attendance to these classes. You find people in similar stages, and you become friends (sometimes immediately, sometimes over time). Before you know it, you know who to call for support or to enjoy kid playdates with. It’s so incredible to witness, and it blows my mind how many women (dads too) have found their friends in such a nourishing, supportive way. Be willing to share what’s hard – and celebrate what’s good. We all know that what’s missing from social media tends to be realness. So, when you’re in person (or online too, if you’re comfortable), share how things are truly going. The real life, behind the scenes messiness and beauty. It really opens others up to feeling you, trusting you and feeling less alone. We all need that, and it can spark so many beautiful connections.

Ç Ask for help! Set up that meal train for your postpartum

recovery. Ask someone on the hiking trail what set-up they use, if it looks like they have it going on. Ask that parent at the park if you can borrow some sunscreen or if they live close by. I find

people can often seem standoffish, but almost everyone I know around here opens up when it comes to lending a helping hand. Knock on your neighbor’s door or simply admit when you don’t know. I find this is especially true with the outdoors. It can be so intimidating to get started or get your family out and about, especially when it seems like everyone else knows what they’re doing. If you ask for help or advice in an earnest way, I almost always find you’ll learn some great tips and maybe a new friend.

Ç Invite new friends to kid-free dates.

Because toddler-free conversations, am I right? Sometimes, in order to get to truly know someone, it’s nice to not have your kid there.

Ç Find local events that are kid or baby

friendly. Go to them regularly! Check out the Montana Parent and Bozone online calendars. Try Books and Babies at the library, Sensational Babies at the Museum of the Rockies (Dino museum), baby or toddler yoga at Our Yoga Family, Fresh Air Mamas and Blossom mom at Roots Family Collaborative. Become a familiar face and soon you’ll feel a lot less alone. When I was a nanny, getting out of the house for an activity in the morning made the rest of the day feel complete, and the same held true when I had my own daughter. I find this especially helpful during the colder months, when you spend more time inside.

I know how hard it can be to find your people, with or without support. This is why I’m so passionate about creating spaces for families and parents to find community. It’s also why I love helping others understand what makes Bozeman so beautiful aside from mountains and nature – it’s the community.

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


So hopefully these tips are helpful and encourage you to be vulnerable, ask for help, show up regularly and go find your village. I promise they’re out there waiting! 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.

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

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Opens New Childcare Program Belgrade Panther Den Early Learning Center The Gallatin Valley YMCA is well known for its youth programs in the valley. Their sports and dance classes keep kids active and involved with their peers. But did you know they also offer educational and functional childcare programs? These programs are not only fun but are also an ideal environment for kids to learn essential life skills and reach developmental milestones. The Gallatin Valley YMCA offers four childcare programs dedicated to youth development including YMCA After School, Child Watch, Hawks Nest Early Learning Center and their newest addition, the Panther Den Early Learning Center in Belgrade. Each of the childcare programs are equipped with dedicated, trained staff, a development-driven curriculum and a fun, engaging environment. One of their most prominent childcare programs is the Hawks Nest Early Learning Center, which operates out of Bozeman High School. Both Hawks Nest Early Learning Center and the Panther Den provide high-quality care for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Priority registration for ELC programs is given to teachers of the Bozeman and Belgrade School Districts and teen parents. This helps people in need of essential childcare get the assistance and care they need for their children. Additionally, both early learning centers accept Bright Beginnings and YMCA scholarships, ensuring no child is turned away for an inability to pay. With their Early Learning Centers, the YMCA is able to support our community and create an environment for children where they can develop personal relationships, experiment, make choices, solve problems, develop age-appropriate social-emotional and self-help skills, and develop school readiness skills. All while giving parents/ 14

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guardians peace of mind that their children are being well looked after and cared for. As kids age, their need for childcare doesn't go away but grows with them. The Gallatin Valley YMCA has started offering afterschool programs at both Gallatin Gateway School and Ridgeview Elementary. These after-school programs are offered only to students in grades K through eighth (Ridgeview K through fourth) who attend either Ridgeview or Gallatin Gateway Elementary Schools. In these programs, school-aged kids are provided with a fun and educational environment while they wait for their parent or guardian to pick them up. Both programs experiment with STEAM projects, construct creative crafts, play outside, work on homework and more – all under the supervision of a trained after-school staff. Another program well known to many YMCA members is the Child Watch program. Child Watch provides on-site childcare for children 8 weeks to 9 years during your visit to the YMCA facility. The goal is to provide a positive and fun experience for children in a safe and secure environment and give parents/guardians a reprieve while they focus on their health and wellness. Each day the Child Watch team uses a proactive and fun curriculum such as themed art projects, a movement space, storytelling and interactive play to help engage children in learning and fun. Whether it's all day, after school or even drop-in, childcare is an essential tool for many parents and guardians. The Gallatin Valley YMCA is proud to offer the staff, space, time and dedication it takes to provide parents with quality childcare. They are committed to expanding childcare offerings as our community and capacity grow.


Parks Par ks && Par Parks ks Recreation Recreation 2021 PROGRAM GUIDE 2022-2023 PROGRAM GUIDE

For People of All Ages

Read the

2022-2023 Fall +Winter Program Guide at or

CreatingCommunity CommunityThrough ThroughPeople, People,Parks Parksand andPrograms Programs Creating Parks • Recreation • Cemetery • Forestry • Aquatics Parks • Recreation • Cemetery • Forestry • Aquatics Trails • Open Space and Parks (TOP Program) Trails • Open Space and Parks (TOP Program) • 406-582-2290 • 406-582-2290 :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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Introducing Young Children to



“When delivered well, sports participation is one of society's best tools for addressing a range of larger challenges – from obesity prevention, cancer risk reduction and gender equity to the social inclusion of people with disabilities, racial bias and the restoration of civic trust across communities.” - The Aspen Institute’s “Project Play”

The right to developmentally appropriate play

“Children have a right to play at a level commensurate with their physical, mental and emotional maturity and their emerging athletic ability. They should be treated as young people first, athletes second.” - Project Play, Children’s Bill of Rights in Sports

Youth Sports: When is the right time to get in the game? Youth sports have a big impact on both children and the communities in which they live. According to Aspen Institute’s “Project Play,” physically active children are one-tenth as likely to be obese, their test scores are up to 40% higher than non-active children, they are 15% more likely to go to college and they have far lower levels of depression and self-derogation. Making movement a habit at a young age is important and can lay the foundation for positive outcomes later in life. But how early is it safe to start? What activities are age appropriate? Are competitive sports ok for young children? Dr. Claire Kenamore, from Billings Clinic’s Bozeman-based pediatric practice and Dr. Kathryn Lowe, another local pediatrician and author share their insight and expertise: 16

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What is the best age and way to introduce young children to sports? “For young kids, it’s all about movement, fun and establishing exercise habits as part of a healthy daily routine. For babies this will be basic, age-appropriate movements like learning to control their head, how to roll over, sit, stand and walk. As they grow into toddlerhood, physical activity may start to look more like sports. Things like learning to catch and throw a ball, running, tumbling, dancing and more. Starting off at home or at the park with friends and sampling a variety of sports and movements is a great way to begin,” Dr. Lowe said. “It’s never too early if kids are asking to participate,” said Dr. Kenamore. “So many families live in Montana to lead an outdoor

lifestyle and they are very intentional about it. Starting kids skiing, biking and hiking at age 3 is commonplace here, and as long as the child shows interest, it goes well.”

If you have a child who is hesitant to try new things, what can you do to persuade them to get out of their comfort zone? “For those shy kids who are reluctant to try new things, oftentimes they just need to be nudged to choose a sport. Parents in this situation can require an after-school activity but offer many to choose from. This is not authoritarian parenting, rather it is a way to help kids make new friends and memories while building skills along the way. The consequences of not participating are real,” explained Dr. Kenamore.

What activities and sports are best to begin with? “Introducing movement habits early and in a fun, lighthearted, child-led way is great to get kids interested in sports and to keep them engaged. Gymnastics is a great first sport for toddlers. It is a safe, fun, well-rounded environment that builds strength and balance. Some of the most accomplished high school athletes started in gymnastics,” Dr. Kenamore said.

“Variety is key for young kids. It's recommended that youth play multiple different sports throughout early and middle childhood, rather than specializing in one thing, as this can avoid overuse injuries and also helps develop more rounded athletes. Trying multiple sports also helps kids figure out what they love. Gymnastics, dance and swimming can be great introductions to sports as they emphasize movement and coordination, building strength and skill that will be a great foundation for other activities,” said Dr. Lowe.

What developmental milestones should my child reach before beginning to play organized sports? “To play organized sports, kids need to have developed some skills like running and throwing and need to be able to put them together. For instance, in soccer, kids will have to have the strength and coordination to run and kick at the same time. This develops naturally around the age of 6,” Dr. Kenamore said. “As children grow and mature, they’ll gain strength, coordination and attention span that will allow them to participate in more organized activities. Most sports can be adapted for different ages and developmental stages. For instance, U.S. Youth Soccer guidelines suggest that young children play on scaled-down fields with small goals, short game times and only four players per team on the field at a time,” explained Dr. Lowe.

When is it appropriate to introduce the competitive elements of sports? “Most children develop the emotional aptitude to handle competitive sports around the age of 8. At that point they are more prepared to handle the pressure of winning and losing. However, the most important part of playing sports for all kids, and especially young children, is to have fun and develop physically, socially and emotionally. The goal should be to grow as a person, learning how to win gracefully, lose with dignity, build friendships, develop adult mentors, hone leadership skills and take care of your body,” Dr. Lowe said.

Is it better to participate in team or individual sports? “Try both! Sports medicine specialists highly discourage focusing on one sport year-round. Even swimmers focus on dry land training these days. Not only is this good for their physical training but gives their brain a break from that black line. Most parents know when their child is ready for competition. Whatever that competition is, parents and coaches need to be fun, positive and really, really good at losing! If you show sportsmanship, they will show sportsmanship and it will hopefully last a lifetime,” said Dr. Kenamore. “Team sports have unique benefits like team building, learning how to be a team player and cooperate, learning how we are better together and more. But what’s most important is that

children choose a sport they love. Individual sports like gymnastics can have a team mentality as well,” Dr. Lowe explained.

Do you have any safety advice for parents and young athletes? “Teams should be made up of kids who are around the same age, size and skill level to help prevent injury,” said Dr. Lowe. “Make sure your little one is wearing proper gear that fits. Sports physicals start in middle school but we watch for the same red flags in younger kids. Reach out to your pediatrician right away for any episodes of passing out, chest pain or headache during exercise. These symptoms can represent more serious underlying conditions,” Dr. Kenamore said. 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. About Dr. Kenamore: Billings Clinic’s Dr. Claire Kenamore is a third-generation physician who believes in the importance of getting to know families. She prioritizes being available to her patients when needs arise so that families are secure in the care they are receiving. Dr. Kenamore practices in the Billings Clinic Bozeman pediatric office. About Dr. Lowe: Dr. Kathryn Lowe is a local pediatrician, professor and author of “You-ology: A Puberty Guide for Every Body,” where all parts of puberty are discussed, including the importance of physical activity.

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Is there any place more magical than the woods? I used to ride my hand-me-down Huffy to the grove of trees on the edge of town. It was the perfect stage to play out the stories in my head either alone or with my friends from the neighborhood. Some days I was transported to other worlds. Other days I was an explorer with an important message to deliver. I strained my eyes to look for animals or anything else that would inspire my imagination. In many ways, I owe this sense of wonder to my parents who read me stories and diligently placed a quarter under my pillow whenever I lost a tooth. The early years of a child’s life are the perfect time to inspire wonder and whimsy. During a time of robust discovery and growth, children should be shown how to imagine and dream alongside learning new words and math equations. At Gallatin Valley Land Trust, they know how important it is to conserve spaces and develop trails that will benefit our children and future generations, and they are proud to sponsor the wonderful work Random Acts of Silliness does on Bozeman area trails for the community. Random Acts of Silliness have proven themselves to be excellent communicators with the fairy realm and have created this message on behalf of their fairy friends to ensure humankind knows when and where to visit fairy land: Random Acts of Silliness’s Third Annual Fairy Village will only be visible to human eyes from September 1 through 18. Located amid the winding, wooded paths of the Glen Lake Rotary Park, the village will contain all new fairy homes and business establishments created by talented Montana artists. Bumblewood Thicket Fairy Village is self-guided, free and open to all during park hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Visit for directions, details on all the village happenings and all the


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information needed to plan your visit. Warning: Side effects of a visit to Bumblewood Thicket may include giggling, waves of joy and increased happiness. Introducing young people to our fantastical neighbors can be an excellent way to encourage their imagination while teaching them the importance of stewardship of natural spaces. Remind your little ones to keep areas clean for their fairy neighbors and to not damage living flora. After all, that flower growing on the side of the trail that your baby wants to pick could be a fairy's house! The fairies asked us to share a poem with instructions on how to respect their space. Welcome, folks, to Bumblewood, a fairy town where all is good. Here once a year we show our place to bring a smile upon your face. Please don’t touch where fairies sleep, or where our magic stores we keep. If touched by hands, however good, we’ll have to hide our neighborhood! So, if you wish we fae to stay, we ask please keep your hands away! Look with your eyes and joyful heart but touch not lest it fall apart! Now cross the bridge into the town, and see your frown turn upside down. We share our home and offer trust. Magic, love and pixie dust! Bumblewood Thicket is produced by Random Acts of Silliness in partnership with Gallatin Valley Land Trust and Bozeman Parks and Recreation, with support from Bozeman Health. Nell Gehrke is a Big Sky Watershed Corps Service member.




the end of the Hello Song without me saying a word. Her magic is infectious and it sticks with little ones and adults alike. Go anywhere with Kate Bryan and you’ll see. I once attended a family concert at the library with Kate. Everyone in the crowd knew her by name and they all clamored for a hello and a hug.

“I was given the gift of music and a love of music from my parents. Music Together has enriched my life and allowed me to pass on that gift to others. Helping families create lasting musical memories – while experiencing the joy of making music together – has enriched my life beyond measure.” - Kate ‘Music Kate’ Bryan

It’s this rare combination of magnetism and determination that has fueled Music Kate’s success. In 2011, Kate left a career in marketing and engineering. Ready to make a change and find something more fulfilling, she decided it was time to follow her lifelong love of music down a new path. When she discovered the Music Together program, Kate immediately responded to its mission – to create musical families. Armed with a few guitar chords, her passion for connection and natural talent for music, Music Kate began teaching Music Together, building her following from scratch. She performed at trade shows, libraries, craft fairs. She peppered Bozeman with signs and fliers and worked to build her online presence so that more families could find her. She taught free classes, gave concerts and marched in the Sweet Pea Parade. But beyond all of the advertising, it was Kate’s heart that kept parents and kids coming back. Kate makes phone calls where others just make social media posts. She delivers class materials to your door. She remembers your name and the names of your little ones, long after they’ve gotten big. During the pandemic, she sang for neighborhood kids in their driveway, just to keep the music alive at a time when the world was upside down. She worked tirelessly for over a decade to create a beautiful community of families who love making music together.

Music Kate is like my favorite aunt. She’s got This fall, Music Kate is retiring. She is gracefully a smile that never dims. She often bursts into stepping away from all she has built to take some song. She owns a treasure trove of sparkly time for her family, after serving our families for so pompoms, puppets, cowboy hats, hula-hoops long. I have been honored these last few months to is the new owner of and shiny instruments big enough for a small learn from her. I couldn’t be more grateful for the Music Together Bozeman army of kids to run wild. She wears funky opportunity to build on her legacy. Music Together 818-621-3031 hats, neat jewelry and bell bottom jeans. She Bozeman goes forward under new guidance, but has that Pied Piper quality that makes kids with the same spirit intact. @musictogetherbzn want to follow her and do whatever fun thing she’s doing. And like the best aunts, Kate is As for Music Kate, she won’t be hard to find. She’ll generous. Over the last few months, she’s be making the rounds with her bands, Kate and become a friend and a mentor, and I’ve gotten the Alley Kats and the Treble Makers, directing a little glimpse into what all the fuss is about. Kate Bryan is a gem, a her choirs, the Singing Souls and The Groovin' Women, running bit of an icon, a staple in the lives of Bozeman families. the GirlSing Songwriting Camp and continuing to serve her community at Pilgrim Church. For Music Kate, the tune may I heard of Music Kate months before I met her. My brother-in-law change, but the music never ends. described the signature roll and whoop that begins each of Kate’s Sarah Henderson runs Wildarts LLC with her husband, Cody. They teach music lessons, Music Together classes and how much my nephews loved it. Flashtheater classes and, beginning this fall, Music Together. A heartfelt thanks to Kate Bryan forward a few years and there I was, teaching my very first Music for her generosity, passing Music Together Bozeman into their care. Together class in Bozeman, and all the returning families (prior students of Music Kate) rolled onto their backs and whooped at

Sarah Henderson

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Activities for 5 and



Bozeman Blitzz FC Recreational Soccer

Blitzz FC Recreational Soccer provides a fun introduction to sports for preschoolaged children ages 4 and up. Positivity and enjoyment are at the forefront while kids learn soccer fundamentals and develop social skills through team participation. Blitzz follows U.S. Youth Soccer developmental guidelines for play, starting young children on small fields with small goals and only four players per team on the field at once; this gives each player more opportunities to interact with the ball, develop their soccer knowledge and have fun. Blitzz FC and its sister club, Montana Surf, are committed to safe, age-appropriate play and developing key life skills in the context of sport.

Ç Registration includes six Sundays of

games, weekly practices and Pro Sessions led by licensed Montana Surf coaches for skill development. Blitzz FC has been Bozeman's favorite soccer team for 37 years and counting and was voted "Best Local Sports Team" and "Montana's Best Youth Sports Organization" in 2022. Register at programs/recreation.


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Blossom Mom Roots Family Collaborative

A welcoming and nurturing group for moms with babies in the first year who wish to connect about the joys and challenges of new parenthood while gaining wisdom from other mothers on the journey. For dates and to register, visit or call 406-570-0738.

Bozeman Parks and Recreation Programs

Parents or guardians are required to stay with their children and are encouraged to participate.

Preschool Rec Mobile

The Rec Mobile brings recreational opportunities to preschool-age children (ages 2-5 years) in neighborhood parks all across Bozeman on Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. Recreation leaders will lead activities and provide all equipment needed. The goal of this FREE program is easy access to recreation for ALL preschool-age children in our community.

» Christie Park - South Black and East Mason Street September 7 and 14

» Harvest Creek Park - 725 N. Aster Ave. September 21 and 28

» Beall Park - 415 N. Bozeman Ave. October 5 and 12

» Oak Springs Park - 4001 Renova Ln. October 19 and 26

SuperTots Sports Academy Ages 2-5 years, preregistration is required

SuperTots Sports Academy provides sportbased development programs where children discover and develop athletic, motor and social skills. The curriculum is specifically designed to promote development alongside a healthy, active lifestyle.


These soccer-themed motor skill classes are very easy for youngsters to get into. Younger age groups (2-3 years) focus on developing motor skills and self-confidence; older classes (4-5 years) focus more on developing core soccer skills.


These classes focus on dribbling, shot technique, passing and team work. Adjustable hoops and appropriately-sized basketballs are used to always provide just the right amount of challenge.


Childhood Preschool Classes

(ages 2-5), preregistration is required

Fall Fun

September 9, 16, 23 Play in the leaves, create works of art with objects found in nature, snack on apples and stay moving with a variety of different fall activities.

Amaltheia Goat Farm Tour

September 30, 10-11 a.m. Learn the history behind the name of this farm and what the farmers produce using their goats. See the baby goats, watch the mothers being milked, wander through the pigsties and cluck with the hens in the hen house. Don’t forget to wear rain boots and clothes that can get dirty.

October Pumpkin Party

October 7 & 14 Go on a pumpkin scavenger hunt, create works of art with pumpkin themes and even find some time to have a pumpkin treat.

Halloween Party

October 31, 10 a.m. Get into costume early, grab your friends and head to the Beall Park Recreation Center to create spooky crafts, dance the Monster Mash and explore the inside of a pumpkin. There will be healthy treats too!

Bozeman Public Library Virtual Storytimes

Designed for kids ages 0-5 and their caregivers, the library’s YouTube channel or Facebook page are an opportunity to sing, read and play together.

Read to a Dog

Intermountain Therapy Dogs are available to be read to each Wednesday afternoon from 4 to 5 p.m. Families can register for a private 10-minute time slot at the Student Corner in the Children's Room. Studies have shown that reading to an animal encourages reluctant readers and increases children's self-esteem.

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

helena 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 to be a resource of "where can we go find...?" They also stock picks, mini-shovels and gold pans needed to find "treasure."

MAEVE Bozeman

Motherhood | Alliance | Equity | Village | Empowerment

MAEVE Bozeman Motherhood is a local chapter of a national nonprofit whose mission is to empower all who mother in support of one another and their communities. Join them for connection and friendship through weekly playgroups, field trips, moms' night out, special interest events, speakers, book club, service projects, meal trains and more. For more information visit / Facebook @maevebozeman.

Mini Movers

Montana Ballet Company

Mini Movers is a class specifically designed for toddlers ages 2 to 3 years accompanied by a caregiver (must be 2 years by September 10, 2022). The class focuses on joy of movement to different musical rhythms, social awareness, coordination, balance, listening and communication skills, and fun in the ballet studio. It is also a special opportunity to be creative and exercise while spending quality time together. Children who have turned 3 years old on or before September 10, 2022, are potty-trained and ready to separate from their caregiver can easily transition from Mini Movers to PreBallet, the next level in MBC’s Academy for students ages 3 to 4. To register visit www.

ART • DANCE • MUSIC NATURE EXPLORATION Full Day 9 a.m.-3 p.m. or

Preschool Science at the Montana Science Center

Montana Science Center’s Preschool Science Program takes place every Monday and Friday at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. This program includes story time, a STEAM activity and a take-home craft. Each month, the program focuses on a theme to engage learners such as, “The Ocean,” “Exploring Space'' and “Creepy Crawlers.” “This program is very special to me,” says Bailey Noonan, Program Coordinator at MSC, “I love being able to connect with kids and their

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 ::

september 2022



Childhood families in the community through science, and have loads of fun doing it.” The Montana Science Center is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m. They are closed on Wednesdays for field trips. Please check out the Montana Science Center website to find out more about youth, adult and family programs.

Motion Athletics Tot Movement

Get your toddler moving in this fun movement class where kids try basic tumbling, trampoline jumping, climbing through obstacle courses and much more. Each child athlete needs to be accompanied by an encouraging adult that can maneuver over bouncy, soft and uneven surfaces.

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. For more information and to register visit www.

learning style or stage of development. Each weekly class includes lots of music activities especially created for young children, led by a trained teacher who inspires everyone to join in the fun. Music Together offers mixed-age classes where parents and children, from infants to age 5, sing, play and move together. It's a fantastic way to make friends and make music a part of your week! Sign up to visit a class free and experience it for yourself, visit www.

Ridge Kids Fit Tots (Ridge members only)

Fit Tots, ages 3 to 5, will participate in kids’ group fitness classes, gym play, swimming, Play Zone fun, sports and outdoor play. Your kids will have a blast and will build a foundation for a healthy and active life. Instructors are trained and qualified to give your child a safe, exciting experience. Halfday options and sibling discounts available. Pick and choose individual days or an entire week.

Rocky Creek Farm Museum of the Rockies Sensational Babies

…inspiring people of all ages to


Read, talk, sing and play with your baby or toddler through sensory awareness activities, art, music and other grossand fine-motor explorations designed specifically for newborns to age 3 ½. This popular museum program promotes learning language skills with physical and social development and is an excellent opportunity to connect with other parents and caregivers.

Tours for Tots

For ages 3–5, this series of tours will examine different areas of the museum with an early education focus. Each uniquely themed program will offer a chance to ask questions as we explore each subject with a hands-on activity, art project and related story.

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


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Visit for current program dates.

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

Sentinel Ranch Alpacas Alpacaland

Free ranch tours allow kids to pet the alpacas and learn more about them. Walk to alpacas for pictures, learn about ranch life and even feed the alpacas right out of your hand with their special grain blend. Special events are offered throughout the year including cria (babies) born from AprilOctober, shearing from May-June, fiber sorting August-October, alpaca herd health and alpaca “runs” all year long. Visit www. to learn more and schedule a visit.

Spire Climbing Center Youth Activities

» The Saturday Morning Youth Program is Music Together

Babies, toddlers, preschoolers and big kids all love Music Together! Their playful music classes for kids support every child, no matter their

for ages 3-5. Class includes lots of roped climbing, as well as climbing-based games and exercises. The program is progressive, with each session building upon skills taught in previous classes. This program


Childhood runs during the public school year and is offered in six-week sessions.

» This 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 the walls. All gear is included. Instructor ratio 1:3.

State of Play

State of Play is a creative play space for children and their grown-ups. It was designed by an early childhood education expert with 10 years of teaching experience and a master’s degree in art therapy. Each material and play thing is picked out and displayed with intention and consideration for the child and grown up's experience. Parenting can be challenging, exhausting and isolating. This space was designed to encourage community and facilitate wonder. Young children approach the world without judgment or insecurities. Playing with them offers grown-ups an opportunity to remember what that was like. They believe in encouraging innovative thinking and collaborative problem-solving in children and how it applies to an ever-changing world.

The Orchid Club

The Orchid Club parent support group is a virtual and physical gathering of parents of children with special needs. While some Orchid Club activities are geared toward children 5 and under, families of children of any age are invited to the quarterly events, which are a safe space for children with differences to experience Halloween, Santa photos and more. Parents can also receive support online via the Orchid Club Parents Facebook group.

Our Yoga Yoga for the Whole Family

Our Yoga Family offers kids yoga classes for ages 1-5, while their parent or caregiver takes a yoga class in the room next door. It's perfect for 'first time away moments,' parents wanting to do something for themselves (while also knowing their kids are having an enriching experience) and as a regular weekly activity the whole family will benefit from. The studio also offers baby yoga pods to get your healthy movement and mindfulness in while bonding with your baby. This family-centric studio aims to create an experience the whole family looks forward to coming back to, again and again.

Our Yoga Family offers summer camps for ages 3 to 5, as well as fall and spring options for toddlers ages 2 and 3 (that don't need to be potty trained), and preschool kids ages 3-5. Teachers are trained as preschool and youth yoga teachers that kids trust and look forward to seeing. Their yoga camps and pods focus on teaching healthy movement and stress-relieving habits through yoga and breathing. The teachers help each individual child gain invaluable skills around getting their needs met, being patient and how to make lasting friendships.

Gallatin Valley YMCA Pre-K Sports Rookies Clinics

» Soccer/Basketball: The Rookie Soccer

and Basketball clinic series teach your little player the basics of the active game, greater coordination and focus through skills development and drills.

» Flag Football: Learn to throw, catch and »

run during the four-week season.

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

Pilgrim Preschool

Small Fry (ages 3-5)



Soccer: Small fry soccer is an introductory league, running for six weeks and consisting of three practices on the first three Saturdays and three games on the following three Saturdays. Games and practices will last approximately 45 minutes between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The program is designed to teach fundamentals, rules, techniques and safety practices of the sport. T-ball: Small fry T-ball is an introductory league, running for six weeks and consisting of three practices the first three Saturdays and three games on the following three Saturdays. Each practice and game last approximately 45 minutes between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The program is designed to teach fundamentals, rules, techniques and safety practices of the sport.

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.

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

Visit our website or call to enroll your child. 406.586.6060

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Childhood YMCA Wellness Programs Mini & Me Class: Mini & Me

Bootcamp was created for parents/ caregivers with kids ages 6 months to 6 years. No matter their age, kids participate in a fun way to help strengthen and tone our bodies in the most supportive and comfortable setting imaginable (among other parents/caregivers and their kids).

Afternoon Warmup: Burn off that energy with a total body conditioning class for kids. The Y sets the foundation for strength and functional movement through basic exercises, cardio activities and games. YMCA Childcare Programs Child Watch: The Gallatin Valley

YMCA Child Watch program provides on-site childcare for children 8 weeks to 9 years during your visit to their facility (members only). Staff is CPR/First-Aid Certified, receives a background check and regular training to ensure the safety of the children. Each day the Child Watch team uses a proactive and fun curriculum such as themed art projects, a movement space, storytelling and interactive play to help engage children in learning and fun.

Hawks Nest/Panther Den:

For children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, Hawks Nest and Panther Den offer an environment for children where they can develop personal relationships, experiment, make choices, solve problems and develop age-appropriate social-emotional and selfhelp skills as well as develop school readiness skills.

HELENA Helena New Parent Group

Instagram: @helenanewparentgroup Connecting and supporting new parents in Helena.

Exploration Works

ExplorationWorks Science Center’s Early Explorers education program gives preschoolage children an opportunity to experience interactive science activities led by skilled educators passionate about learning. Early Explorers Classes are geared for kids ages 0-5 and their caregivers.


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Gym406 Open Gym

Open Gym is for preschoolers ages 1 to 5 and is held Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. No instruction is available during these times but a supervisor will be on hand to assist you with your questions. You get the run of the complete gym including trampolines and foam pits. These times are great for moms and dads looking for a way to “blow off” the extra energy the kids always seem to have.

Lewis & Clark Public Library Preschool programs begin September 27

Books & Babies

Mondays at 10:30 a.m. in the Children's Area This is story time for babies who are not walking yet and their caregivers. Enjoy 20 minutes of gentle fun featuring songs, rhymes, bounces, finger plays and very short stories. Bond with your baby during story time and then stay for a 30-minute open-play session to meet other caregivers and help your babies socialize. Siblings are welcome.

Toddler Tales

Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. in the Children's Area Dance, sing, rhyme and read during this energetic story time designed to help toddlers acquire fundamental knowledge such as shapes, numbers, colors and more. Geared for toddlers up to 3 years old and their caregivers. Toddler Tales is approximately 30-minutes long, followed by an open-play session. Siblings are welcome.

Preschool Storytime

Tuesdays at 4 p.m., Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. in the Children's Area Stories, songs, rhymes and finger plays. This interactive story time reinforces a natural learning environment through movement, sounds, rhythms and fun. Geared toward children from age 3 to 6 and their caregivers. Storytime runs for 30 minutes, followed by an optional craft in the Large Community Room. Siblings are welcome.

MOMS Club of Helena The MOMS Club of Helena offers a fun calendar that appeals to moms and kids of all ages. Members range in age from their early

20s to mid-40s, and kids run the gamut from prenatal to college. Activities are designed around what the moms want to do, so there is something for every mom, no matter how old her kids may be. Annual dues are $20 per mom, and moms are never turned away if they cannot pay their dues. For questions and more information email or visit the MOMS Club of Helena’s Facebook page www.

Queen City Football Club

Offers spring and fall soccer starting at 3 years old and also indoor soccer in the winter starting just as young.

Symphony Kids

Each season hundreds of children and families join the Helena Symphony for these free 30-minute performances at St. Paul's UMC Helena to learn about symphonic music. Be sure to mark your calendars!

Symphony Kids 1: The City Mouse &

The Country Mouse – Saturday, October 1

Symphony Kids 2: Ralph the Runaway Rabbit – Saturday, November 5

Symphony Kids 3: But the Music Spoke... Beethoven's Story – Saturday, February 4

Symphony Kids 4: The Little Red Hen – Saturday, April 1


Tinkergarten offers early childhood education classes where kids learn skills like persistence and grit, creativity, focus etc. all through playing outdoors. While kids learn and play, parents also get lots of amazing resources on how to support early development at home. Visit www.


Mon-Thur. 9am-4pm Friday Field Days M.O.S.S. Partnership!

Our MISSION is to provide equal access to world class education through a small group & project-based approach to STEAM; Social-Emotional Learning & Leadership; and Community Impact.

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


K-4th 129 S. Main Street 5th-8th Wild Rose Lodge, Livingston

september 2022




Better than Wonderland


Engaging busy toddlers can sometimes feel like an impossibly overwhelming task. Their little bodies dart this way and that, up and down, creating all manner of messes, increasing our frustration and exasperation as they go. The secret for parents is to find activities that keep busy fingers and growing minds engaged so that we can take a breath and enjoy a bit of fun with our tiny tots. Here are a few ideas to keep your tot busy in your own backyard.

Small Wonders

There are two things that seem to captivate a toddler’s attentions: BIG things and little, tiny things. We can captivate this interest by going on a backyard safari and discovering all the little bugs that share our green spaces. If bugs give your toddler the heebie-jeebies, look for pretty pebbles instead, go for a pinecone hunt, or simply follow your toddler’s own exploratory urges, wondering at all the things they find to be so fascinating. Just watch out for those “chocolate chips” left behind by Mountain Cottontail bunnies! While exploring the “wilds” of our backyard and neighborhood, guide your tot to explore with all his senses: What does it sound like? What does it smell like? How does it feel? Enrich her language development by talking about what she sees, discovers and all the wonderful things she does. Enrich budding math skills by talking about size and amounts. Count the pinecones or the pebbles that you find as you put them in a bowl…and pour them back out to experience the fun all over again. Toddlers are busy scientists who love to explore the world around them and there is nothing better than sharing their explorations with a loved family member.

Busy Bees

Toddlers not only have fast-growing minds but fast-developing bodies too. Busy bodies need to climb, jump, run, tiptoe, push, pull, pour, hang, rock and splash to finetune all the amazing things their bodies can do. Help your toddler explore how to move their whole body by taking a walk around the block. Watch what catches your toddler’s attention and help them safely explore how their bodies work. Maybe a low cement border catches their attention as they practice balancing, or cracks in the sidewalk draw them to practice hopping. Join in or hold a hand to ensure safe exploration. The goal of the walk is to see what interests your toddler and to safely support 26

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their practice of new motor skills. Maybe the walk only goes as far as the next door, maybe you make it all the way around the block. It’s not the destination that matters but the journey itself. Once you are back home there is nothing like water play to help toddlers develop their hand muscles (which they will use for writing later). Bring out a basin with a couple inches of water and plastic cups, a funnel, sponges, spoons – whatever comes to hand in the kitchen that your toddler might enjoy exploring. Your toddler will spend a lot of time trying to fill and empty containers and be fascinated by how water moves and reacts (science and math). Stay close by to be sure that play stays safe for your little one. If your toddler does not like to get wet, then try bringing out a tub of sand instead (or all those gathered pinecones). Another fun activity is to paint sidewalks and walls with water. All it takes is a little container of water and a brush (you can even make your own brushes with a pinecone, a stick and some grass, or a feather). Your toddler will happily paint along with you and the best part is that clean-up is a breeze: the water dries right up in the warm sun. Another fun activity is to try making your own bubbles (use this recipe from The Artful Parent: Not only are bubbles fun to make but they are even more fun to chase. Trying to blow the bubbles also strengthens their lungs and develops the breath control that comes in very handy when speaking.

The Biggest Wonder of All

The biggest wonder of all in your backyard for your toddler is YOU. Being with their loved ones is the very best way for a kiddo to spend the day. And the best play equipment is climbing all over mommy and daddy, getting tickles and having raspberries blown on their bellies. When the world gets too big and overwhelming, your arms are the perfect spot, and you are the best emotional safekeeper to identify their feelings and provide reassuring comfort. Then after a long, busy, day your cuddle is the best place for their bodies to calm and get ready for sleep. Even better with a cuddly item, your voice softly reading a bedtime story or recounting the day’s adventures and all the adventures they will have tomorrow.



Child Advocacy Centers and Caregivers Partner for


Have you ever wondered what happens when a child in your community is sexually or physically abused? While no one wants to think about it, it’s important to understand the services available. You never know when you, a friend or family member may need it. Child Advocacy Centers (CAC) exist across the country and provide a safe place where children can receive coordinated care and services following allegations of abuse. In 2021, there were 939 accredited CACs in the United States. In Montana, there are 10 accredited CACs, with more working toward accreditation. The Gallatin County CAC, a program of Help Center, Inc., opened in 2015. Located in Bozeman, the space is a converted condo, providing a non-threatening and welcoming location for children and families. In this space, law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, victim advocates, mental health professionals and medical professionals work collaboratively during the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases. At the CAC, children and families receive forensic interviews, support and advocacy services, traumainformed mental health services and referrals to specialized medical exams. A family's interaction with CAC begins when law enforcement or child protective services (CPS) receive a report of suspected child abuse. Local law enforcement agencies and CPS work together to respond to these allegations to avoid duplication of interviews and services. This collaborative approach to the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse is evidence-based and helps reduce trauma and improve outcomes for the child and family. In addition to providing support and information in the event of an abuse allegation, the counselor-advocates at the CAC can also help to provide information on and facilitate conversations on topics of body safety. Body safety covers a wide range of topics including

talking to your child about their body and personal boundaries, helping them to identify safe adults and taking steps to ensure that children are in safe environments with safe caregivers.

So, what can you as a caregiver or parent do to prevent abuse?

Parents and caregivers can educate children about their bodies and healthy boundaries and empower them to feel comfortable asserting those boundaries. Some of the steps you can take to help include using the correct names for all body parts (including genitals) when kids are learning to identify them. Having the correct names for body parts allows a child to effectively communicate when talking about their bodies. Caregivers should have regular conversations about “OK” and “not OK” touches, or “private part rules.” Discuss with your child that a medical provider may need to see or touch private parts of their body, and this can be OK. Similarly, a caregiver may need to help younger children clean or use the restroom. Help your child to understand that once they can use the restroom and bathe on their own, they should not accept help with these activities from adults or other children. Outside of these situations, no one should ask to see or touch the private parts of their body. Let your child know that it is never OK for another person to ask the child to look at or touch that person’s private parts. As with other rules, kids will need regular reminders about private part rules. Another step caregivers can take to empower children is to teach them that it is OK for them to say no to hugs, kisses or other physical displays of affection, even from family members. Caregivers may need to help other adults understand and respect their child’s boundary. This can look something like “My child let you know they didn’t want to give hugs right now; you can ask for a high five instead.”

This helps to give young children power and autonomy over their own bodies. Finally, parents can speak with their children about the difference between good and bad secrets. A secret that has a time limit, like a surprise birthday party, is good because it isn’t one that is kept for a long time. If a child is asked to keep a secret forever, it is not OK. Throughout these conversations, caregivers should help children identify the safe adults in their life and encourage them to tell one of these trusted adults if something doesn’t feel right. Ultimately, child safety is an adult responsibility and caregivers can take steps to ensure that their children are being looked after by safe caregivers in a safe environment. These steps include things like asking your babysitter for a background check and making sure that any programs your child attends requires background checks, interviews and reference checks for any adult who has access to children. Observe your children with others and trust your gut – if you are uncomfortable with the way someone is interacting with your child, step in!

» If you need to report child abuse or neglect, please call the 24/7 Montana Child & Family Services number at 866-820-5437. » To learn more about the Gallatin County CAC, visit: www. » To learn more about the Children’s Alliance of Montana: www. Sage Lambert is the Gallatin County Child Advocacy Center Program Manager.

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

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WIC and Bozeman Health Partner to Make

Programs More Accessible Nurturing a young child and creating healthy habits for the whole family can take a village. That’s where WIC comes in. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has served Montana families since 1974 by providing nutrition education and healthy food options, breastfeeding support, developmental milestone assistance and more. They also offer eligible participants access to nutritionists or registered dietitians with the ultimate goal of promoting long-term wellness for Montana families. WIC includes approximately 29 local agencies and over 80 clinic sites on average across the state, which provide services to all 56 counties and seven Tribal reservations across Montana. Now, the Gallatin County Health Department WIC clinic has partnered with the Montana Nutrition Access Program and Bozeman Health to pilot a new model of outreach—an alternative to families needing to apply for services at their local WIC office. The staff from the Health Department have developed a relationship and agreement with the Mother-Baby unit at Bozeman Health hospital to visit several times a week to meet new moms and their infants. During their hospital stay, families or individuals will receive a free screening of food security needs. Those who qualify for WIC, and other health services, are in the unique position of applying for 28

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benefits at the hospital. In fact, several women or families who have participated in these screenings have left the hospital with active WIC benefits at their disposal. In addition to applying for WIC benefits, it is common practice of WIC local agencies to refer families to other community resources that may be useful to them. In addition to applying for WIC benefits, families can be given free children’s books and provided with information about public health nurses and family support workers who offer free in-home parenting support to families with children ages 0-5. These in-hospital screenings are so tremendously useful to new mothers or families who lead a busy life. Findings from the WIC Needs Assessment Survey 2021 show that the major barriers to care for the Montana WIC population, as perceived by WIC staff, are transportation concerns and the time required of participants to take off from work or school or other commitments to apply for services in the physical WIC office. “This system allows for better coordination between providers and WIC, making it easier to enroll in WIC and have data sent to WIC, which will then lessen appointment [waiting] time,” said Kate Girard, Montana WIC Director/ Section Supervisor. Before they even leave the hospital, new families can apply for WIC benefits, along with several other services, like SNAP and TANF.

It’s important to note that income requirements for WIC are less stringent than some other supplemental programs. Meaning WIC is accessible to a broad range of socioeconomic statuses. Nearly 50% of all babies born in Montana qualify for WIC. Though WIC services are primarily geared toward pregnant women, breastfeeding and postpartum mothers, they also extend to other caregivers like grandparents, foster parents, single fathers and kinship placements. “We want to get in front of every new family member and reach people who don’t even know they qualify,” said Amie Gatterdam Maternal Child Health Services Group Manager at the Gallatin County Health Department. So, if you’re a mother or family expecting, or have a toddler under the age of five, reach out to your local WIC office to see if you qualify for benefits. These services are available to Montanans with the goal of making us stronger, happier and healthier as a whole. “I do believe WIC is necessary and important. I believe that there are people out there who are shy or have some sort of stigma about needing help. It’s OK to need help,” WIC participant Brandy said. Visit for your local WIC office information to learn more about this program, services offered and eligibility.



e activity guid

Fall-Winter 2022

bozeman Art school

State of Play Ç 221 E. Oak St., Suite 1-C Ç 509-939-5383 Ç Ç Ç Ç After school DROP-OFF art school for children ages 4 and up will start at State of Play this fall! Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m. and will last all fall semester. Choose one day or both. Sign up NOW, space is limited.

Classical Ballet Instruction for All Ages Montana Ballet Company 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

(PIR) Camps and Tuesday Science Ç 4056 Bridger Canyon Rd. Ç 406-582-0526 Ç Ç Ç Ç 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 afterschool program.

Science Day Camps

Montana Science Center Ç 2744 W. Main St. Ç 406-522-9087 Ç Ç Ç MontanaScienceCenter

Ç Hands-on, interactive science-themed day camps each day while school is out. Join MSC for engineering, science and chemistry activities each PIR Day and Winter Break. Each camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes time in the high-tech makerspace, STEAMlab. Optional aftercare available. :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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e activity guid

Experienced midwifery for the birth and care you desire.

STEAM Exploration

Bozeman Public Library Ç 626 E. Main St. Ç 406-582-2420 Ç enewell@bozeman.







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

Ç Ç BozemanPublicLibrary


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.

Waldorf Forest School

Epoch Ç 1778 Moffit


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


Ç 512-680-1671 Ç Ç Ç Epoch is a Waldorf Forest School for grade school students. Planning to add an early childhood program soon, Epoch offers afterschool clubs, enrichment classes, community dinners, traditional Waldorf festivals year-round 30 september 2022 and culture trips.





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



e activity guid After-school


e activity guid



After-school & PIR DAY

Friday Field Day Program

in Partnership with Montana Outdoor Science School

EDUCATIO Rad School Ç 129 S. Main St. Ç 406-202-8201 Ç Ç Ç Ç Fridays throughout the school year EDUCATIO aims to get kids outside exploring their backyard and learning about themselves and our world. This fall and spring they will be partnering with Montana Outdoor Science School for STEM curriculum and activities. In the winter session they will head to Bridger Bowl for skiing. Fall Theme: WATERSHEDS! Ecology, Change and Stewardship Students will observe plants, animals, invertebrates and geology of our local watersheds; investigate how they change and the power, impacts and benefits of floods; and discover all the gifts of this shared treasure and how we can give back as stewards.


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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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. For these family-friendly events, the park opens at 6 p.m. and music starts at 7:15 p.m. 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: » 9/1: The Last Revel » 9/8: Pinky and The Floyd

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

september 2022



Montana Ballet Company's 39th Annual Nutcracker Auditions 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 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

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

» September 10

» Nutcracker Auditions for ages 6-7, 10-11 a.m. » Nutcracker Auditions for ages 8-10, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. 34

september 2022

Gallatin Valley Mall Hosts

Back to School Food Drive Benefiting the Gallatin Valley Food Bank KidsPack Program Through September 10, 2022 Did you know one in six Montana children struggle with hunger. The Gallatin Valley Food Bank KidsPack Program provides nutritious, kid-friendly foods over the weekend during the school year. The bags are distributed to elementary children across 21 schools in Gallatin, Jefferson and Madison counties. Each week they distribute an average of 450 bags. While KidsPack bags aim to support the children in a family, they often supplement the entire family’s food budget. Gallatin Valley Mall invites the public to donate items from the KidsPack wish list to help ensure that children arrive at school fed and ready to learn on Monday. To view the Wish List, visit Donations can be dropped off at GVM Guest Services (located near Macy’s).

Most Appreciated Downtown

Art Walks

September 9, 2022 The last Art Walk of the summer will take place in downtown Bozeman on September 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. More than 30 businesses and galleries will feature artists’ openings and receptions during the event.


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Fall Feastival

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September 24, 2022 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 September 24 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to join in on the fun.

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


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september 2022



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Food Truck Challenge September 16 & 17 2022 Enjoy two days of eating, drinking...and eating some more at the Helena Kiwanis Club fundraiser, HKC Food Truck Challenge. Montana's finest food trucks will gather on Friday & Saturday, September 16 and 17 at Pioneer Park in Helena. The music lineup includes local bands El Wencho, SunsAh406 and Sweetgrass Blues Band. All proceeds will support service projects such as Head Start Christmas Gifts, PAL High School Mentoring, Youth Service Clubs - Circle K at Carroll College and Key Clubs at local high schools, and encouraging local fourth and fifth grade students to excel in school.

» Music Cover Charge: $5/daily or

$10/weekend | ID Wristbands for alcohol purchase: $5

» Friday, September 16

3 p.m. | Gates Open - food and drinks available 5-8 p.m. | El Wencho

» Saturday, September 17


Noon | Gates Open, food and drinks available 1-4 p.m. | SunsAh406 5-8 p.m. | Sweetgrass Blues Band september 2022



Music in the Park September 3, 2022 The Music in the Park summer concert series concludes with Arron Davis and the Mystery Machine on September 3. 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.

Yellowstone national Park


Entrance Days 2022 » September 24: National Public Lands Day » November 11: Veterans Day


The light reflects off the water and glistens in his eyes. It makes him look older, wiser and more miraculous than he already is.

He practices patience, but it's just so hard, knowing what could be, no, what will be.

He tosses his line. He is sure that this cast will land the big one.

He lets out a "humph" as he casts again.

He hopes his determination can will magic to happen.

He hears his mom call, "It's time to go."

He summons the trout with all his might as he slows his reel, giving the scaly mystery more time to catch up to his lure and bait.

"Just one more mom," he pleads. They both know it will be one more cast plus one more cast plus more after that.

He tosses and tosses and tosses some more. Each time his hook hits the water, his heart skips a beat. The tension is building on both line and spirit.

He stands tall as he looks out afar. He tosses his line like a star quarterback throws the ball, with precision, length and tact. "Plop" goes the line as it hits the water's surface.

"Is that a nibble?" he thinks as his bait hits the rocky floor. His tempo quickens to see what the snag is, only to find algae, a twig and some abandoned fishing twine. With disappointment simmering underneath, he steps even closer to the water's bank.

His focus can't be broken, he is in the here-and-now, and nothing matters more to him than snagging a river monster. The line comes up empty. His eyes burn from holding back tears. He looks at his mom and then at his dad; without a missed beat, he declares, "I'll get him next time for sure."

Blair Fjeseth is a working professional and proud Montana mom. You can reach her at Follow her Instagram @blair_mt for more adventures.

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september 2022



Question 1: “How do you handle lying? We keep having

an issue of sneaking into mommy’s makeup and then lying about it even though the evidence is all over her face (makeup everywhere).” Alison D.

Answer: common.

The first thing to know is that lying is very developmentally

“Conventional wisdom long held that young children were not capable of lying. More recent research, however, has found that most children learn to lie effectively between the ages of 2 and 4.” - Wondering about the motivation behind lying can cause you to feel irritated, defeated or angry. All of those feelings are also completely common. It is best, however, to take a step back and consider the behavior from the child’s point of view. A young child lying about taking your makeup (when it’s clearly all over her face) is likely lying to protect against an unwanted consequence or to avoid taking responsibility and feeling shameful. Essentially, we can see the lie as the child wishing they didn’t have to take responsibility for what they did. So, here’s what I recommend:

1. Don’t set the child up for lying: If you see the makeup on her face, instead of asking “Did you get into my makeup?” say, “I see you got into my makeup.”

2. Focus on learning, rather than shame:

“I have told you my makeup is off-limits. That was a sad choice, that you got into the makeup anyway. I know that I have made sad choices sometimes too, and didn’t do what I knew was the best thing to do. Mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn.”

3. Involve them in taking responsibility for the error:

“What do you think is a reasonable consequence?” or “How can we make this right?” *Start by asking, instead of telling. If they don’t have any ideas, then you can add what you think is reasonable and related to the behavior. Many parents struggle to find consequences that are effective. Reach out if you’d like help with this.


september 2022

“Ask Flora”, where you can ask your parenting questions (about kids between 2 and 10), to Flora McCormick, Licensed Counselor & Parenting Coach at Sustainable Parenting.

Question 2: “What are some

coping skills we can teach daughters at a young age that will help them with the hormonal emotional roller coaster they will inevitably face when puberty starts creeping in?!” - Erin C.


Here are three ways to equip young kids with strong social-emotional skills for their future:

1. Establish open communication. Practice listening without fixing/lecturing: When

your 6-year-old comes to you upset about a friendship, this is a great time to practice first listening and then problem-solving (without judgment or lectures): “Oh. X happened, and then you felt like Y. That sounds really frustrating.” Then pause and listen. After the child has been able to vent their thoughts and feelings, use asking instead of telling, to work toward a solution: “I wonder what you want to do about that?” This builds a solid foundation where the child feels supported and safe in bringing upsets to you.

2. Name it to tame it. Every time you name an

emotion, that’s a repetition toward the child learning to name that emotion themselves. When we can identify what we are really feeling, we are able to seek more effective solutions. If we label all feelings as “mad” it’s easy to think it’s everyone else’s fault and others need to keep from making us mad. When we start naming things as disappointing, frustrating, sad, confused, etc., we learn to

understand the complexities of that pounding in our heart and the hotness on our cheeks and chest. And I can promise you, this was covered in counseling 101: When you name a feeling correctly for someone, it helps that feeling’s intensity to decrease. Something in naming it helps to tame it.

3. Help your child build the key emotion-management understanding that feelings rise and fall like waves in the ocean, and it’s best to problem-solve/talk after we first manage the wave.








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This is a skill that many parents are still working on mastering, so this may be a great opportunity to work on growing this skill together. Developed by Dr. Gloria Willcox The next time you or your child are having big emotions, try these emotionmanagement strategies:

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

» Notice the feeling without jumping to control or fix that feeling: “You seem (insert feeling word).” Then pause and give seven seconds of silence.

» Model emotion-management by taking one-to-two slow and long breaths. It may

Call or email to book today!

feel good to ground yourself physically by sitting down, and then doing some “squeeze breaths:" shrugging your shoulders to your ears during the inhale, and wobbling your shoulders loosely after the exhale.

» Pause, with intention. Detach from the argument or disengage from the power

struggle by saying, “We can talk more about solving this when our voices and bodies are calm.” You can return to solve the problem when the emotion wave has eased up.

Christina Dear

For more tools to build up your child’s emotion-management skills, check out Chapter 1 of How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen or reach out to for direct parent coaching support.


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

september 2022


family Life on the Ranch

Agtivity Boxes Bring Agriculture to the Kitchen Table WRITTEN BY REBECCA COLNAR PHOTOS ARNZTEN FAMILY

Imagine providing children hands-on experience growing crops or working cattle without leaving the kitchen table. That's the goal for Krista Arnzten, a former teacher who has recently embraced the agricultural lifestyle and has developed a unique idea for bringing agricultural practices into the home. Krista grew up in Great Falls and taught special education classes for 12 years in Lewistown and Winifred, then for the Central Montana Resource Center. In 2013, she met Kevin Arnzten, who is involved in the family ranch in Hilger, well-known for their Black Angus breeding stock. She and Kevin were married in 2016. After their first child, Knox, was born she continued teaching, but once the couple had their second child, Knealy, in 2017, Krista decided to teach part-time so she could spend more time with the children and help Kevin on the ranch. "However, once I left teaching full-time, I realized I missed the classroom," Krista said. Still using the skills she gleaned as a teacher, Krista devised a way to bring the agricultural lifestyle to families: Agtivity Boxes. Each Agtivity Box supplies lessons and activities that children can do with their parents. The 35-year-old mom said that by staying home with the children she learns daily about agriculture through her children's eyes which, in turn, inspires many of the boxes. “My first agtivity box featured ranching, with ear tag matching, balloons to serve as a pen for calves, with a flyswatter as a sorting stick,” Krista said. "I used our work on the ranch as a theme for an Agtivity Box. For instance, if we were tagging and branding calves, that became a theme for the box. Kids can learn numbers by writing their calf number on an ear tag included in the kit. The box might contain a small combine if it's harvest season." Krista explains that the boxes are only a guide for parents to follow, so they can be as creative as they want. "I created boxes mainly for kids until they go to school and learn about farming and ranching through Ag in the Classroom. There is a gap when 40

september 2022

parents send their children to preschool or homeschool, and there is not much education regarding what it’s like working at a ranch. The activity boxes are a start where parents can talk about what farmers and ranchers are doing before their children enter first grade. I feel a lot of misconceptions begin once they get to school.” There are currently eight Agtivity Boxes for sale. Each box contains five activities, one being a hands-on lesson or something sensory to do with farming or ranching. Currently, Krista sells the Agtivity Boxes through her website and Facebook page. "At this point, most families buying boxes are other ranching moms, which is wonderful, but my goal is to sell them to people who don't work cattle or grow crops for a living. Many parents and children know very little about agriculture, so this is an educational yet fun way to introduce them, and its handy and easy for moms." Krista said that it's an ideal way to get everyone doing a project as a family. The boxes contain early childhood concepts, cutting, writing and creative play. “Spending time with your child is very important. Learn about agriculture as a family. Sit down, get off devices, then take time to learn something important about agriculture in Montana.” “I didn’t grow up in agriculture and when I see our children being raised on the ranch, I wish I’d had the luxury of what I’ve had to learn as an adult,” said Krista. “I didn’t know anything about agriculture until I met Kevin. I love being rural and having kids around. In this lifestyle you are able to bring your children to work with you every day. They don’t need to go to daycare. You pack them up and bring them with you. It’s worth the effort.” To learn more about Agtivity Boxes, visit www. or email Krista at Rebecca Colnar is Director of Public Relations for Montana Farm Bureau and a freelance writer from Custer, Montana.

∂ win ENTER TO

$100 gift card from Feltman Brothers



How to enter:

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

1. Like the post and Tag one friend 2. Follow Montana Parent magazine on Facebook and Intagram (if you don't already!) 3. Follow Feltman Brothers on Facebook and Instagram too!

Other info:

Introducing the new Fall Collection from Feltman Brothers. Adorable and comfy, these knit sets are just the thing for your little ones to crawl and play in, while the classic design makes them just as perfect for a family outing, birthday celebration and more. Since 1916, Feltman Brothers have been providing the world with authentic clothing for babies and toddlers in classic tradition using hand embroidery and hand detailing.

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


september 2022

To learn more about Feltman Brothers, visit:


Since the early pioneers first made their way west, Montana has earned a reputation for producing first-quality wheat and grains packed with nutrients and bursting with flavor. That’s why we established Wheat Montana here years ago, and we’re glad to share Montana’s natural goodness with friends and neighbors like you.

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WHEATMONTANA.COM • 800-535-2798 •

september 2022

• Montana Born & Bread


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! 44 september 2022

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