Early Childhood | September 2023

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Early Childhood

september 2023 | mtparent.com

The Clinic does that.

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Billings Clinic Bozeman’s compassionate, expert OB/GYN team is here to take care of mom and baby every step of the way.

2 september 2023 OB/GYN
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This institution is an equal opportunity provider.




Our editor-in-chief, Leigh Ripley, is busy with a remodel this month so I’m stepping in to replace her.

My kids are now in high school and college, so early childhood feels far removed from my world at this point. So far removed, in fact, that I can hardly remember the whirlwind of those years. Honestly, in many ways, I missed my 30’s.

But what I can remember is that I couldn’t have done it without my early childhood educators. I was a full-time working mom – always. My kids grew up in various childcare facilities (many of them) over the years. Here are just a few: Little People’s Academy, ABC Kids, Middle Creek Montessori, with teachers like Terry Quatraro, Elies Adams and Cathy Suit. I am grateful to Ashley at ABC Kids, Marissa Sherkenney at MCM (who now owns Bozeman Montessori). I would also like to acknowledge the folks who support early childhood with nonprofits like Child Care Connections led by mom, Tori Sproles, who provides teacher training, scholarships for low-income families, childcare referrals and who monitors the safety of facilities so our kids are safe.

I could not have done it without this help, this nurturing care and personal support. At one point while working full time in a corporate job, I was paying more for childcare than for my mortgage. Those times were crazy busy and I’m glad they are over because – phew! – I now realize only a young person could handle that. All three of my kids have grown up fairly well adjusted. Two are in college at MSU (GO BOBCATS!!!) and one is finishing high school. And my amazingly talented childcare providers and teachers are the ones who helped raise my babies. Words can never thank them enough for caring for the most precious things in my life; for fostering their growth, learning and independence.

Anyway, sniff…sniff….onward – because I smell freedom, baby!

And a funny story:

Evelyn, at age 2-ish asked, “Mom, why do adults have hair on their butts? Do they take it off their heads and tape it there?”

I answered, “Because when children grow up their bodies mature and hair grows there.”

Evelyn, “Does that mean Katherine (her older sister) is going to get hair on her butt first?”

Me, “Yes.”

Evelyn starts crying and says, “I don’t want Katherine to grow up!!!”

Nowadays I remember the funny things more than the drudgery. Keep your chins up, mamas! There is lots of local support available should you need it, and, in the blink of an eye, you’ll hardly remember anything.

6 september 2023
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the QR code to explore more today!
Early Childhood Keeping it Real 14 Will You Be My Friend? 16 Transition to Early Childhood Education 18 Activities for 5 and Under 20 The Power of Play 25 Bumblewood Thicket Returns! 26 Common September Health Issues for Toddlers 27 Log Off. Lace Up. Boy Scouts of America 28 After-School & PIR-DAY Activity Guide 29 What’s Up? Montana 32 What’s Up? Big Sky 35 What’s Up? Bozeman 36 What’s Up? Helena 37 What’s Up? West Yellowstone 39 Ask Flora 40 Monthly Giveaway: Bozeman Farmers’ Market 42



















* 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


Kids ages 3 and up (potty trained only please)

*Prices are for drop-in or single use. Call or email to find out how to save with our Parent’s R & R Club! (Discounts for multiple kiddos!)

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 9 Hybrid Motion Gymnastics - Dance - Fitness for ALL ages Introducing Parent’s R & R
Kids get FUN-TIME and Mom/Dad get some KID-FREE-TIME Saturdays 5:30pm to 9:30pm - $55 Tuesdays & Thursdays 9am to 12pm - $45
Visit hybridmotionmt.com for more information or call 406.991.1005 Starting
September 1st


Tuesdays, 5-8 p.m.


June 20 - September 12, 2023

June 7-September 27, 2015

East Side of Lindley Park in Bozeman

Tuesdays, 5-8pm

Bogert Park’s Pavilion, South Church Avenue, Bozeman

Fresh Produce. Food. Art. Music & More

Fresh Produce. Food Vendors. Arts. Family Activities & Live Music

Volunteer, Sponsor and Vendor Info: bozemanfarmersmarket.org

Volunteer,  Sponsor  or vendor info: bogertfarmersmarket.org

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21st Anniversary

We offer complete dental care for you and your family in a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Our team of dental professionals are dedicated to providing you with the most comprehensive care, because good overall health begins with good oral health.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 11
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12 september 2023 + UNIQUE and BEAUTIFUL learning environment and community + Currently accepting applications and touring our school CONTACT US TODAY! bozemanmontessori.com (406) 600-8098 Lower Elementary Program for Children in 1st-3rd grades Meet Lead Teacher Kristina McKinney Please fill out an expression of interest on our website or email enrollment@bozemanmontessori.com ChildCareBusinessConnect.com WE CAN HELP! SUPPORTING YOU & YOUR CHILD CARE BUSINESS This project is funded in whole or in part under a contract with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The statements herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Department. Peer Business Mentoring FREE Online Resource Hub for Startup & Existing Child Care Providers Interactive Workshops Individual Business Consultation Community-Led Capacity Building

Early Childhood

All about children under 5: childcare, health, development, activities and more...

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 13
After-School & PIR-Day Activity Listings p 29

keeping it Real

Ah … summer vacation , we bid you adieu!

As the sun sets on our carefree days, a new chapter begins – the eagerly awaited back-to-school season. Both parents and kids can’t help but experience a rollercoaster of emotions, from sheer delight to utter despair. So, as we strap on our backpacks, let’s get ready to embrace these and all the things that come with a new school year:

1. Early Mornings: Remember that beautiful thing called sleeping in? Say goodbye to it because the crack of dawn is now our designated wake-up call. Trying to get our grumpy, half-asleep kids out of bed is like negotiating with tiny zombies – except zombies aren’t as moody.

2. School Supply Shopping: Let’s talk about the shopping frenzy that ensues when the school supply list is revealed. Elbowing our way through hordes of other parents, fighting for the last box of colored pencils…it’s an extreme sport that should be broadcasted on TV.

3. Lost & Found Mysteries: School backpacks become black holes where items mysteriously disappear. Has anyone seen our child’s lunchbox? We suspect it may have joined the Bermuda Triangle, only to reappear next summer.

4. “What Did You Learn Today?” Game: The dinner table interrogation begins! Asking our kids about their day at school often feels like pulling teeth. Instead of answers, we get vague mumbles and one-word responses. Oh well, it’s time to channel our inner Sherlock Holmes.

5. Parent-Teacher Conferences: Ah, the biannual parental evaluation session. We sit there, trying to act composed while secretly wondering if the teacher knows way more about our family than anyone really should. One year, our son told a teacher that his aunt sells drugs... mind you, he skipped the part about her being in pharmaceutical sales. Parental pride takes a hit when we hear, “Your child is a unique individual.”

6. Lunchbox Surprises: After carefully preparing a well-balanced lunch, we find the untouched vegetables staring back at us. Apparently, our kids believe that trading their apple for a pack of fruit snacks is a fair barter system.

7. Extracurricular Chaos: We enthusiastically sign our kids up for extracurricular activities, only to realize we’ve overbooked our schedules. Welcome to the “Homework-Practice-Rehearsal-Game” loop, where life becomes one big carpool nightmare.

8. Endless School Forms: The neverending stream of school forms is enough to make any parent weep. Maybe they’re just testing our patience?

14 september 2023
Early Childhood
Wishing all of you Montana parents a safe and happy school year.
Blair Fjeseth is a working professional and proud Montana mom. You can reach her at blairparker.inc@gmail.com. Follow her Instagram @blair_mt for more adventures.
:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 15 ART • DANCE • MUSIC • NATURE EXPLORATION Full Day 9 a.m.-3 p.m. or Half-Day 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Options - Monday through Friday Year round Art and Naturebased Preschool for 3-5 year olds 346 Gallatin Park Drive, Bozeman (406) 579-7692 www.creativeartspreschool.org www.outdoorscience.org info@outdoorscience.org • (406) 219-3899 • P.O. Box 502 Bozeman, MT 59771 • 2104 Industrial Drive, Bozeman MT 59715 Preschool Nature Walks Mondays | 9:30 - 10:30am 9/11 – Indreland Audubon Wetland Preserve 9/18 – Tuckerman Park 10/2 – Northern Pacific Park Find schedules, programs details, registration info and more online! Be Bear Aware on the Trails! Adult Short Courses Fairy Lake & Northern Bridgers 9/6 evening + 9/9 Day Field Trip Paradise Valley Geology 9/27 evening + 9/30 Day Field Trip Gallatin Valley Fridays School’s-Out-Friday based in Manhattan Grades K – 5 Fridays | 9 – 3pm – Your Wild Watershed – What’s Under Your Feet? – Bison Bonanaza – Building Mountains – MT Animal Adaptations K-8 HomEschool Fall Semester Monday, Sept. 18 4 – 6:30pm MOSS Office Hosted by MOSS’s Animal Ambassadors Fall Adventures At MOSS! Outdoor Science Programs for kids! 9/13 | 5:30 - 7:00 pm $10 suggested donation Adults and kids 12 years+ welcome (with a parent or guardian) Kids (Grades K–5) PIR Day Camps Bozeman Livingston Spring Break Camp Monday - Friday March 11-15, 2024

Will You Be My Friend?

Moving to a new place is hard, especially if you don’t know anyone. Finding friends can be even harder. It can be difficult to find those with similar interests, who have kids, or don’t have kids, and who you genuinely get along with. It can be overwhelming just knowing where to start and, if you have a family and a job, it may feel like you just don’t have the time.

Believe me, I know. When I moved here 10 years ago, I was 27 weeks pregnant and didn’t know a soul, except for my husband. With a baby on the way and a new business, we quickly learned that we didn’t have the time, nor did we know where to start looking for friends. We were entering a new chapter in our lives with our first baby on the way, and hitting up the local pub or brewery just didn’t work the way it used to. With us both wrapped up in our new business and settling into that, we were also exhausted and didn’t have the energy to go out after work and do the things that had always made it easy for us to find friends in the past. It was a new stage in life, but the harder we worked and the more we stayed at home, the more we realized we needed to find good friends.

As an extrovert, I didn’t take long to realize that I needed to get out and meet people. My job created a great opportunity for me to talk to people and learn about the fun things for a pregnant woman or new mom to do around Bozeman. As a pregnancy and pediatric chiropractor, I am lucky to have patients who talk about all the things they liked to do and places they liked to go when they come into my office. It was nice that some of them became my friends, but I still felt like I had to get out and make my own.

My husband likes to joke that our weekends were spent doing what we loved and me constantly on the lookout for people that seemed fun. He was always mortified when I would start talking to someone and if we were getting along, I would ask them if they would be my friend. Yep, just straight up say, “I like you. Can we be friends and can I have your number?” I know that may sound a bit crazy, but at the time it was what worked for me. And while my contacts may still have names and (parentheses) around them with a note about where we met or something to remember them by, I still have quite a few of those “random” people that are a part of my village.

Once our son was born, I felt like making friends was even harder. I now had a new baby and trying to find the balance between that and having time for myself was a struggle. Again, my patients would remind me of all the wonderful playgroups, bible studies, mom meet-ups and other various activities that catered to mom and baby. What did I do? Well, I tried them all. Yep, again my husband thought I was crazy, but I would pack up our son and do all the things. And while some were better places than others to make friends, they all helped me meet people and bond with my baby. While I never made a new friend at Books and Babies at the library, my son and I still went every Tuesday and Thursday mornings, because it was great to get out of the house and watch him in that setting. I did make tons of friends at MommiesRfit and got a good workout in as well. And going to weekly MOPS groups was what my soul needed to reconnect to myself.

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Early Childhood

Now, 10 years later—despite knowing no one when we first moved here—I have a village. I have great friends that I call family and, of course, I am always looking for more. As my kids grow and make friends, so do my husband and I, and I still like to embarrass my husband now and again by straight up asking someone new that I’ve clicked with to be my friend.

My patients also still keep me up to date on all the new mommy-and-me groups, and even though I am done having kids, I love that our community is still very much connecting new people to new friends.

Here are just a few of the many groups out there to help you make new friends, whatever stage of life you are in:

Ç Bozeman and Belgrade Public Libraries

Ç Roots Family Collaborative

Ç Girl Get After It Bozeman

Ç Sky Oro

Ç The Mom Walk Collective Bozeman

Ç Mommy and Me Bozeman

Ç MommiesRfit

All of these organizations can be found on good old Google, Facebook and Instagram. Many will lead you to even more groups as well. I also know there are many more than I mentioned, but that’s a start.

So, get out there, join some groups and don’t be afraid to ask the question…Hey, will you be my friend?

Dr. Ali Schweitzer is owner and chiropractor at Active Family Chiropractic & Wellness. As a busy mom of two she knows it’s sometimes hard to get out there, but having a few good friends really makes it easier!


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.


The Ridge offers year-round group swimming lessons for members and non-members and students of all abilities! There are currently openings in our Fall sessions.


:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 17
4181 Fallon St., Bozeman, MT 59718 • (406) 586-1737 ridgeathletic.com


The start of the school year can be an exciting and scary time for both parents and children. For children it’s the next step in their educational career and the opportunity to develop social skills, navigate self-management and grow emotional intelligence. After what was likely an unstructured or loosely structured summer, kids may have a hard transition period as they adjust to the more rigid schedule of school along with a busy new learning environment and expectations. As an adult, you have the benefit of years of practice, but kids are learning in real time how to adjust to new routines, unfamiliar learning environments and more demanding, changing social dynamics. Here are some tips on how you, as their parent and their safe person, can support your kids during this time and set them up for success both in school and at home.

Creating Structured Routines and Emotional Management Techniques. Establishing some simple, structured routines that integrate emotional management time is crucial for a smooth back-to-school transition. This will provide your child with a sense of stability and predictability, reduce anxiety and help them adjust to their new schedule.

Your Children
During the Transition to
…inspiring people of all ages to FLY! After School Classes Aerial Fitness Mama & Me Teen/Adult Classes Private Lessons Find us online MountainAirDance.org (406) 595-0909 Summer Camps Birthday Parties Performances Aerial Bartending The sky is the limit!

Ç Creating some downtime between school and home. When your child gets home, they may need some time to decompress after their day – not much different than how you can feel after a big day at work. Downtime may look different for each kid and family. It might be having a snack, coloring a picture, listening to music or watching a favorite show, but the most important thing is that this time be unstructured and without too many demands on your child, giving them an opportunity to mentally reset.

Ç Having an easy meal or snack that doesn’t require a lot of additional thought or decision-making. Some favorites in my family are apples with peanut butter, crackers with cheese, or a hard-boiled egg – these are easy to prepare ahead of time, too.

Ç Planning for 5- to 10-minutes of uninterrupted one-on-one time to be present with your child. Creating this space can go a long way in helping your child fill their cup and feel seen and heard. With my kids, I ask about specific things in their day to elicit easy dialogue (especially if I have an agenda from their teacher), or I simply sit with them and provide closeness to help them navigate their thoughts.

Ç Planning for an earlier bedtime by an hour or so can help recharge a child’s mind and body for the next day. This means planning for both an earlier wind-down routine and bedtime hour to ensure proper rest.

Most importantly during this transition period, remember that it is normal for your child to have more meltdowns or struggle to stay emotionally regulated. The best thing we can do to support them is be present and hold the space to sit in the hard moment with them while they are getting their cup filled back up.

Structured routines can provide a safe and supportive environment for our children to feel a sense of control, to decompress from their day and get comfortable talking about their worries

and fears. Here, we can teach them the tools for developing resilience and problem-solving skills so they can handle more of life’s challenges and changes with confidence.

Setting Realistic Expectations and Celebrating Progress. It’s important to recognize that adjusting to a new learning environment takes time, and for some kids, it may mean a more permanent schedule change during school months. Encourage your family to set achievable goals and celebrate the accomplishments along the way by talking through them.

My family’s favorite way to do this is through a game we play almost every day called “Changes, Gratefuls and Wonders” (others may call this “Highs and Lows” or “Joys and Concerns”). Usually at dinnertime, sometimes after school in the car or at bedtime, we all share what parts of the day we wished had been different or were challenging, what we were grateful for or enjoyed during the day and then things that have been on our mind. In full disclosure, my kids included the “Wonder” portion to the game about a year later and it has been a great addition to these conversations. This game has allowed everyone in our family a safe space to share what is happening in their life. Some days, our kids will go on and on about all the things they are grateful for or want to change and other days we’re lucky to hear just a few words. Regardless, this has been a great way to connect with our children, stay involved and invested in their days, and demonstrate that we’re here for them whether it was an easy day or an emotionally taxing one.

Melissa Eastlick, MSW, Medical Social Worker, Montana Pediatrics. Melissa has been working with families across Montana for most of her professional career. Beginning her career in early childhood professional positions, she later became a Family Support Specialist and found a passion for working with parents who had children with developmental delays and disabilities. Over time, this love led to her pursuit of a Master’s degree in Social Work. Now, she balances helping parents across the state bring more fun and ease into their parenting and helping Montana Pediatrics build a care coordination program for families of children with medical complexities.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 19
Call 406.222.3541 Visit LivingstonHealthCare.org Call on our team of experts to provide you with award-winning care. We'll help you stay healthy in every stage of life. Health— within reach. Your

Activities for 5 and under


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 www.rootsfamilycollaborative.com or call 406-224-5530.

Bozeman Public Library

Baby Storytime

(babies from birth to 35 months)

Ç Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:15 a.m.

Ç Children’s Room until September 14

Ç Community Room starting October 3 Sing, rhyme, read, and dance with your little one, and then stay for community, sensory exploration and playtime.

Toddler & Preschool Storytime (3- 4- & 5-year-olds)

Ç Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:15 a.m.

Ç Children’s Room until September 15, Community Room starting October 4

Ç Sing, rhyme, read, and dance with your

kiddo, and then stay for community, hands-on learning and playtime. Kids may be invited to use tools like scissors, glue, or tweezers during this program and may handle materials that are choking hazards for babies.

Family Storytime (newborns to 5-year-olds)

Ç Saturdays, 10:15 a.m.

Ç Children’s Room

Ç Singing simple rhymes and songs for babies, moving and grooving for tots, reading a longer book or two for preschoolers – this program has it all! Then stay for community, sensory exploration, hands-on learning and playtime.

Breakfast with Santa Bozeman Parks & Recreation

Ç December 15

HOHOHO! He will laugh with you and take your holiday wish lists……that’s right, Santa is making a special trip to Bozeman to have breakfast with you. From 10-11 a.m. on December 15, come take pictures with Santa,

snack on healthy breakfast items, make reindeer food and a holiday craft. Held at the Story Mansion for kids under 5 years.

Ç Preregistration is required. Fee: $20 city of Bozeman Residents; $28 nonresidents.

Dads’ Group

Becoming a father is a major life transition. Dads’ Group is a safe place to take a breath, be real and deal with things head on. Facilitated by a fellow dad and held the first Wednesday of the month from 6:30-8 p.m.

Ç Contact: www.rootsfamilycollaborative. com / 406-224-5530.

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

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Early Childhood

Fresh Air Families

Fresh Air Families is a weekly program for parents to explore local trails and parks while creating community, embracing the benefits of fresh air and instilling a love of nature in our next generation. Schedule varies with the season. See our website for more detailed information.

Ç Contact: rootsfamilycollaborative.com / 406-224-5530.

Gallatin Valley YMCA

Pre-K Sports Rookies Clinics (ages 3-5)

Soccer / Basketball: Rookie soccer and basketball clinics 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.

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.

First-Aid Certified, receives a background check and regular training to ensure the safety of the children. Each day our 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.

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, meals trains and more.

Ç For more information visit www. maevebozeman.org / Facebook @ maevebozeman.

Mindful Mamas

This powerful and dynamic workshop is open to all new and expecting mothers, and is facilitated by psychotherapist and fellow mom, Lexi Newhall, MA, MFT, LCPC. Runs spring and fall. Visit the website for more detailed information.

Ç Contact: rootsfamilycollaborative.com / 406-224-5530.

Mini Movers & Pre-Primary Classes

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, 2023). 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.

Music Together

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

Ç Sign up to visit a class for free and experience it for yourself, visit www.musictogetherbozeman.com.

Parent Place Thrive

Experience the benefits of Parent Place programs at no cost. These homegrown, evidence-based programs are thoughtfully designed to enhance your parenting skills, foster connections with other families and create a sense of community. Visit www.allthrive.org to find the right activity for you and your family.

Park and Play

Preschool Rec Mobile

(No Park and Play 10/20, 11/10, 11/24, 12/22, 12/29)

The Story Mill Community Center gym will be open on Friday mornings from 10-11 a.m. and full of fun activities for preschoolers (ages 2-5) to explore at their leisure! No preregistration is required. Parents or guardians are required to stay with their children.

Preschool Science / Preescolar Ciencia en Español

Montana Science Center

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/

Children who have turned 3 years old on or before September 10, 2023, are potty-trained and ready to separate from their caregiver can easily transition from Mini Movers to PrePrimary, the next level in MBC’s Academy for students ages 3 to 4.

Ç To register visit www.montanaballet.org.

Montana Science Center’s Preschool Science Program takes place every Monday and Friday at 10 a.m. in English and 11 a.m. in Spanish. This program includes story time, a STEAM activity and a take-home craft. Each month, the program focuses on a theme to engage learners.

El Programa de Ciencias Preescolares del Centro de Ciencias de Montana se lleva a cabo todos los lunes y viernes. 10 a.m. en inglés y

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 21

11 a.m. en español. Este programa incluye la hora del cuento, una actividad STEAM y una manualidad para llevar a casa. Cada mes, el programa se enfoca en un tema para involucrar a los estudiantes.

Ç The Montana Science Center is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed on Wednesdays).


re:born is a free monthly gathering open to all parents who wish to feel supported and connected while raising children in the Gallatin Valley. We know sharing the joys and challenges of early parenting can help us feel less alone and more confident in our role as parents. Held on select Sundays throughout the year. See our website for more detailed information.

Ç Contact: rootsfamilycollaborative.com / 406-224-5530.

Rocky Creek Farm

Tours, field trips and farm visits, Halloween pumpkin patch, cider press and more.

Ç Visit www.gallatinvalleybotanical.com for more information on upcoming events.

Sacred Motherhood Gathering

Ç September 10, 2023 from 7-8:30 p.m.

Ç Emergence Movement & Wellness, 521 E. Peach St.

Ç www.emergencemovement.us/ event-details/sacred-motherhoodgathering-2023-04-30-19-00

Led by Cora De Santis, Reiki Master, this gathering draws inspiration from the book Sacred Motherhood to remind ourselves we are sacred, even if we don’t feel like it at times in our current state of mothering. For mothers with children of any age. Cost is $10 – no one is every turned away for lack of funds.

Ç www.instagram/@playbozeman

Welcome to Art Class! This drop-off afterschool program will focus on a variety of art materials ranging from clay and paint to wood and fiber. Join State of Play educators as your child explores a plethora of art experiences such as weaving, sculpture, collage, self portraits and still lives. Children will be learning about different artists and how the materials we use connect us to our everyday world. Art Class is held from 4-5 p.m. on Tuesdays for 3- to 5-year-olds.

STEAM Saturday

Montana Science Center

STEAM Saturday at the Science Station is held every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon for all ages. Included with admission or membership, STEAM Saturday features a local community STEM professional or MSU student sharing their science and technology field through hands-on activities. 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.

Story Mill Sprouts

Preschool Camps

Bozeman Parks & Recreation

Story Mill Sprouts (ages 3-5 years)

Must be toilet trained to attend without guardian.

Ç The popular Story Mill Sprouts preschool program is back, where “sprouts” will discover, learn and grow in a fun environment that encourages them to be their own unique selves.

Ç Sessions are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Story Mill Community Center and lunch is included.

themed party on October 25 for all Story Mill ghosts and goblins.


Ç October 30-November 20

Ç We all have a lot to be thankful for and this is the perfect time of year to celebrate that. Participate in a variety of activities and crafts that will get you into the Thanksgiving spirit. From leaf prints and friendship games to gobbling like a turkey and creating centerpieces for the holiday table. Our gratitude will weave its way through all of our activities.

Ç Fee: $90 city of Bozeman residents; $126 nonresidents.


Ç November 27-December 18

Ç ‘Tis the season for dancing like snowflakes, singing your favorite carols, laughing like Santa and discovering how people around the world celebrate winter holidays. Create holiday crafts, make decorations and prepare yummy food. Fee: $90 city of Bozeman residents; $126 nonresidents.


Ç January 3-31

Ç Bozeman Parks & Recreation loves snacks and they have some of the best recipes ever to share with you. They will bring artistic culinary style into recipes for trail mix, homemade bread, fruit leathers and find fun ways to make apples slices silly and yummy. Plus, you will publish your own recipe book to take home so you can create your favorites at home with your family!


Ç February 5-28

Art Class

(After School) at State of Play

Ç info@stateofplay.co

Ç 406-404-2374

Ç www.stateofplay.co

Ç www.acebook.com/@playbozeman

Ç Preregistration is required! Fee (per session): $100 city of Bozeman residents; $140 nonresidents (unless otherwise noted) .


Ç October 2-25

Ç Pumpkins mean fall and Halloween are almost here. This camp will focus on fun pumpkin play and spook-tacular activities. The program will end with a Halloween-

Ç The month of February means it’s time to break out the heart-themed crafts and activities that are so SWEET. It will truly warm your HEART to see the all the red, pink, purple and white art projects that will be coming from this program. Make heart-shaped bird feeds, see if you can make conversation hearts dance in a science experiment, print your own Valentines, paint happy rocks to place on a trail next to your home and taste a little sweetness.

Ç Fee: $90 city of Bozeman residents; $126 nonresidents

22 september 2023
Early Childhood

Super Tots Sports Academy

Ages 2-5

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

Ç For program details and to register visit register.skyhawks.com and enter your zip code.


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. Instructorto-student ratio is kept small to maximize individual development and, above all else, promote FUN!

Cubs: Ages 2-3

Session 1

Ç Saturdays, September 16-October 7

Ç 9:30-10:10 a.m.

Ç Location: Beall Park, 415 N. Bozeman Ave.

Session 2

Ç Saturdays, October 21-November 18

Ç 9:30-10:10 a.m.

Ç Location: Story Mill Community Center Gym, 600 Bridger Dr.

Early Childhood

Session 3

Ç Thursdays, October 19-November 16

Ç 5:30-6:10 p.m.

Ç Location: Story Mill Community Center Gym, 600 Bridger Dr.

Bears: Ages 3-4 Session 1

Ç Saturdays, September 16-October 7

Ç 10:20-11 a.m.

Ç Location: Beall Park, 415 N. Bozeman Ave.

Session 2

Ç Thursdays, September 14-October 5

Ç 5:15-5:55 p.m.

Ç Location: Beall Park, 415 N. Bozeman Ave.

Session 3

Ç Saturdays, October 21-November 18

Ç 10:20-11 a.m.

Ç Location: Story Mill Community Center Gym, 600 Bridger Dr.

Grizzlies: Ages 4 -5.5

Session 1

Ç Saturdays, September 16-October 7

Ç 11:10-11:50 a.m.

Ç Location: Beall Park, 415 N. Bozeman Ave.

Session 2

Ç Saturdays, October 21-November 18

Ç 11:10-11:50 a.m.

Ç Location: Story Mill Community Center Gym, 600 Bridger Dr.

Session 3

Ç Thursdays, October 19-November 16

Ç 6:20-7 p.m.

Ç Location: Story Mill Community Center Gym, 600 Bridger Dr.

Rookie Soccer: Ages 4-6

Ç The goal of Rookie Soccer is to introduce kids to a variety of more advanced skills while delighting and engaging them. Skills taught will include dribbling, passing, ball, control, offense/defense and scrimmage. Class will be 25 minutes of instruction followed by 12 minutes of scrimmage.

Session 1

Ç Thursdays, September 14-October 5

Ç 6– 6:40 p.m.

Ç Location: Beall Park, 415 N. Bozeman Ave.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 23

Early Childhood

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.

Thriving Dads

Thriving Dads, an event organized by Thrive’s Parent Place, is a monthly opportunity for dads, uncles, grandparents or any male role model to spend quality time with the child they adore. Each event is free and dinner is provided. Visit www. allthrive.org today or call 406-587-3840.


Helena New Parent Group

Ç Instagram: @helenanewparentgroup

Ç Connecting and supporting new parents in Helena.

Exploration Works

ExplorationWorks Science Center’s Early Explorers education program gives preschool-age children an opportunity to experience interactive science activities led by skilled educators passionate about learning. Early Explorers classes are geared for kids under age 5 and their caregivers. For more information, including dates and times of the Early Explorers program, visit ExplorationWorks.org.

Lewis & Clark Public Library

Preschool programs

Books & Babies

Ç Mondays at 10:30 a.m. in the Children’s Area

Ç 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

Ç Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. in the Children’s Area

Ç 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

Ç Tuesdays at 4 p.m., Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. in the Children’s Area

Ç 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 through 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

Ç www.momsclubofhelena.org

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 $25 per mom, and moms are never turned away if they cannot pay their dues.

Ç For questions and more information visit www.momsclub.org or the MOMS Club of Helena Facebook page www.facebook. com/MOPSHelena

24 september 2023

The Power of Play

The Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department believes in the power of play. Play keeps us active and trying new things, and it also keeps our minds stimulated and our senses alert.

Local parks are a great place to get outside and play, especially with your toddlers. The Bozeman Rec Mobile brings play to you, in our local parks, with outdoor games and crafts. Meet new families and make new friends while actively engaging in games. And don’t fret…play doesn’t stop when old man winter shows up and freezes our landscapes. Our winter program, Park & Play (as in park your car and come into the gym), moves into the Story Mill Community Center gym space where we continue the fun.

Kiddos can create murals, ride Strider bikes indoors, play mini hoops, tumble on mats and make new friends, all through playtime.

The Rec Mobile and Park & Play programs bring simple equipment into outdoor and indoor settings that boost toddlers’ creativity and movement and get the mind and body working together. The greatest thing is all ages can play. It is universal! Bozeman Parks & Recreation wants to encourage our community to get out and play: Play with your children, swing and climb in your local parks, find a friend and come play with Bozeman Parks & Recreation.

Rec Mobile locations can be found online at www.bozeman.net/recreation and come to Story Mill Community Center gymnasium this winter to join the indoor fun. Park & Play is offered on Fridays from 10-11 a.m. (No Park & Play October 20, November 10 and 24, December 22 and 29). No preregistration is required. Parents or guardians are required to stay with their children. Let’s laugh and move together. Just Play!

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 25 Early Childhood

Bumblewood Thicket Returns!

It’s fairy season in southwest Montana! The fairies are returning to Glen Lake Rotary Park for the Fourth Annual Fairy Village from Random Acts of Silliness (RAS). Bumblewood Thicket is a free, self-guided outdoor art installation offered by RAS in partnership with Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department and the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, with support from the Bozeman Health Foundation and Heyday.

The village is composed of 20 all-new fairy houses and businesses created by Gallatin Valley artists and makers. RAS partnered with GVLT to bring the first fairy village to Bozeman in 2020. Since then, it has grown into a local institution that drew an estimated 15,000 visitors last year and was recently voted Bozeman’s Best Annual Event.

New this year, fairy architects of all ages are encouraged to showcase their work at the Build Your Own Bonanza on September 16 (preregistration is required via RAC website).

This play is free and performed at the Boylan Road entrance to Glen Lake Rotary Park. For showtimes and to reserve your spot, please visit  www.randomactsofsilliness. com/2023-the-magic-ofbumblewood-thicket-a-fairyplay

Bumblewood Thicket is open daily from August 26 to September 17 during the park’s hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. (except on August 26, when it opens at 2 p.m. due to another event). The village is a 10-minute trail walk from the main parking lot of Glen Lake Rotary Park. It is recommended visitors download the map and directions before their visit. For accessibility information or to visit with a group, please email hello@randomactsofsiillsiness.com. For more information visit www.randomactsofsilliness.com/2023bumblewood-thicket

26 september 2023
Also new this year is an original play inspired by Bumblewood Thicket. The Magic of Bumblewood Thicket: A Fairy Play is the tale of a serious scientific investigation hijacked by fairy hijinks.
Early Childhood

Common September Health Issues for Toddlers

Pediatrics is a truly seasonal profession. Sometimes we see twice as many patients during flu season compared to the rest of the year. Back-to-school physicals in August keep us hopping as well. Our fantastic staff gets used to the rhythm of the year. You would think our two pregnant nurses planned their births around our work schedule, as they are due within one day of each other at the end of October—our slower season. Thank you, ladies!

Back to the busy season, September is known for certain diseases commonly seen in toddlers, described below:

Ç Strep is a year-round infection but with kids going back to school, it tends to surge. 2023 has already seen unprecedented rates of strep and school is just starting. Impetigo is commonly seen infecting kids’ scrapes and mosquito bites, while it more commonly infects the nose and face during cold and flu season. If the area of “honey crust” infection is smaller than the size of a nickel, antibiotic ointment applied twice daily will likely cure it, but if the area is larger than that or spreading, then oral antibiotics are usually needed. Preschoolers also get “strep butt” manifesting as intense redness and pain in the perianal and prevaginal areas. This is thought to be due to close contact in daycare and the way they slide off the potty seats. Sometimes strep throat presents without a sore throat but with more headache and stomachache.

Ç Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common virus that causes fever and sores in the mouth along with other parts of the body (hands, feet, face, diaper area, knees). It runs its course without any treatment other than keeping the children hydrated and comfortable. The sores can be so painful that kids drool or refuse to walk on their feet, but fortunately it goes away in a few days. As with any fever, we always want to see the children if the fever lasts longer than three days. Some preschools require a note for us to help families decide when their child is no longer contagious. Typically, this is 24 hours after the last fever and once the sores are dried up.

Ç Stomach flu caused by enterovirus is a notorious summer and fall virus. Kids will usually start with 24 hours of vomiting followed by several days of diarrhea. Some toddlers only want water or milk when they are vomiting, but water doesn’t maintain their blood sugar enough to prevent development of ketones, making them more nauseated. Milk upsets their stomachs. Pedialyte has the ideal electrolytes but many kids over age 1 find it so salty that they refuse to drink it. In this case, we recommend Gatorade instead because it tastes better. Broths are also well received by this age group. They only need to take about two ounces per hour to keep up. If they are having at least one wet diaper every six-to-eight hours they are not dehydrated. Some kids

skip the vomiting and diarrhea phase and only manifest the rash part of this virus, which comes at the end of the contagious period.

Ç COVID-19 is still going around. Toddlers may manifest this virus with minimal symptoms to a high fever for three days. Kids over 6 months of age are eligible for the vaccine.

Ç Allergies are often seen in toddlers, just as in adults. Allergies ramp up in March and wind down by November. Spring is tree allergy season, summer is grass allergy season and fall is weed allergy season, especially ragweed. Beginning in preschool, we use 24-hour nonsedating antihistamines like Children’s Zyrtec and Claritin along with Flonase. Prescription Singulair is safe and effective but has a slightly increased risk of causing nightmares or temper tantrums. Just stop the medicine if you think this is happening … I know, it’s hard to tell sometimes! All of these problems will continue up until RSV and flu season with the beginning of the holidays.

Whatever the time of year, we are always available for same-day appointments. Our Pediatric staff is ready to answer your questions and get you in to see us quickly. We pride ourselves in working together to provide comprehensive, timely and efficient care. We have lactation, pediatric cardiology and pediatric endocrinology in-house and round out the rest of the specialty offerings with visiting pediatric specialists from Billings Clinic and Logan Health.

At Billings Clinic Bozeman, pediatric walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment, please call 406-898-1950 or book online at www. billingsclinicbozeman.com. Hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 27
Pediatrician Claire Kenamore, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician at Billings Clinic Bozeman with extensive experience providing expert care to children of all ages, from newborns to teenagers. She has cared for children in Montana since 1998.
Early Childhood

Log Off. Lace Up.

Depending on a child’s age, one to two hours a day is the amount of time kids should spend with TVs, computers and video games, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP says, “Excess screen time in childhood is associated with many adverse health outcomes, including sleep problems, obesity and a range of mental health issues.”

We see it and hear it all the time; our kids never want to go outside and more and more they choose to communicate online. Especially as we continue to readjust post COVID lockdowns, kids are connecting with peers less, and real, in-person conversation is minimal.

The ultimate consequences of excess screen time are still being researched. Many tools are being offered, through organizations like the AAP, for families to better understand and manage the extent of technology’s hold on their kids.

For the youth here in Montana, the Boy Scouts of America is an antidote to the trend of lethargy and apathy, replacing it with mental wellness, personal growth and civic responsibility.

Scouting encourages groups of youth to interact in the real world, get outdoors and work together to accomplish tasks. Young men and women discover and build character in fun and engaging ways. Scouting provides a blend of recreational and educational activities that allow youth to explore the outdoors, try new hobbies, learn new skills, serve their community and build relationships with families and friends.

In 2016, a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that

adults who were in scouting as a child had 18% lower odds of mood or anxiety disorder by age 50.

“Joining groups like scouting has the potential to offer young kids and teens opportunities to stay mentally healthy in multiple ways,” Rebecca Schwartz-Mette, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Maine, told U.S. News and World Report in a 2017 article about the study. “Scouting, for both girls and boys, involves a variety of activities, including the development of healthy peer relationships, self-confidence, service to others, community engagement, physical fitness and even financial literacy through sales.”

In other words, the BSA believes in providing the tools for each scout to build strong values so they can become future leaders with fulfilling and successful lives.

Everyone knows that scouts go camping, hiking and learn outdoor skills. There is also volunteerism, donating time and giving back through service projects.

Scouting provides in-person, active programs that are a safe place for kids of all ages to explore on their own. They build confidence while becoming the best possible versions of themselves. They choose their own path to success along the way. They are taught to “Be Prepared.”

Through Cub Scouts (K-5 grade), Scouts BSA (ages 11-17), Venture (ages 14-21) and Explorer Post (ages 14-21) programs, boys and girls get outside, boost leadership skills through fun and exciting challenges and create memories that will last a lifetime.

“Scouting is for the whole family,” said Montana Council Scout Executive and CEO, Jory Dellinger. “It means more time hiking, exploring and being involved in the community. It means getting to be part of your child’s path of adventure as they grow into ethical leaders. And the best part? It’s tons of fun!”

Montana is an incredible place to be a scout. With access to some of the most pristine wilderness, the trail to adventure is limitless. To start your son or daughter along the path of adventure, social bonding, good citizenship, community impact and self-discovery, visit www.montanabsa.org/montanaparent. Click “join” to find a unit in your neighborhood.

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

To connect with local Scouting opportunities:

Bozeman, Belgrade, Gardiner, Ennis and Livingston

Ç Renee Stephens

Ç renee.stephens@scouting.org

Ç 406-585-0272

Butte and Helena

Ç Blake Chase

Ç blake.chase@scouting.org

Ç 701-214-1121

28 september 2023
Early Childhood
Boy Scouts of America provides tools youth need to get off screens and onto the trail of personal growth

After-school & PIR-DAY activity guide bozeman

fall 2023

Offering After-School and/or PIR-Day activities this year?

submit listings


Classical Ballet Instruction for All Ages

Montana Ballet Company

Ç 2304 N. 7th Avenue, Suite C-3

Ç info@montanaballet.org

Ç 406-582-8702

Ç www.montanaballet.org

Ç www.facebook.com/montanaballetco

Ç www.instagram.com/montanaballet

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 40th annual season. Classes are taught by a professional faculty with a focus on health and wellness and the whole dancer.

Hybrid Motion PIR-Day Camp

Ç 141Baxter Ln. W., Suite 9

Ç HL@hybridmotionmt.com

Ç 406-991-1005


Class (After School)

State of Play

Ç 406-404-2374

Ç info@stateofplay.co

Ç wwo.stateofplay.co

Ç www.acebook.com/@playbozeman

Ç www.instagram/@playbozeman

Welcome to Art Class! This drop-off, after-school program will focus on a variety of art materials ranging from clay and paint to wood and fiber. Join State of Play educators as your child explores a plethora of art experiences such as weaving, sculpture, collage, self-portraits and still lives. Children will be learning about different artists and how the materials we use connect us to our everyday world. Art Class is held from 4-5 p.m. on Tuesdays for 3- to 5-year-olds and Thursdays for 6- to 9-year-olds.

Ç www.HybridMotionMT.com

Ç www.facebook.com/profile. php?id=100093274673827

Ç www.instagram.com/hybridmotionmt

Keeping the kids busy while teachers are in pupil-instruction-related courses and school is out. For ages 5 and above, the day includes beginner level dance, gymnastics, PE games, crafts, lunch and two snack-times.

Rhythm Kids®

Held at Pilgrim Church

Ç 2118 S. Third Ave.

Ç sarah@wildartsbozeman.com

Ç 818-621-3031

Ç www.musictogetherbozeman.com

Ç www.facebook.com/musictogetherbzn

Ç www.instagram.com/musictogetherbzn

Rhythm Kids is a high-energy, interactive group music class for children ages 5-9 (K-second). In each weekly music class, participants will drum, sing and move. Each semester brings a new song collection with drumming patterns and tunes inspired by musical traditions from around the world, adapted for children to learn through playful phrases about animals that children love. Rhythm Kids® sets kids on the path to independent music making. It’s the perfect "next step" in your child’s music development. Classes run year-round in 10-week sessions.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 29

Science Day Camp

Montana Science Center

Ç 2744 W. Main St.

Ç info@montanasciencecenter.org

Ç 406-522-9087

Ç www.MontanaScienceCenter.org

Ç www.facebook.com/MontanaScienceCenter

Ç www.instagram.com/montanasciencecenter

Stay curious and come discover science during Day Camps at Montana Science Center. Hands-on activities, STEAMlab high-tech time and discovery on MSC’s exhibit floor are included in a full day of science fun.

MOSS Kids Programs

Montana Outdoor Science School

Ç 406-219-3899

Ç info@outdoorscience. org

Ç www.outdoorscience. org/gallatin-valley-fridays

Ç www.facebook.com/MontanaOutdoorScienceSchool

Ç www.instagram.com/mt_moss/

Montana Outdoor Science School teaches place-based, outdoor science education through fun, engaging, hands-on lessons utilizing the diverse landscapes and ecosystems of this incredible place we live. From preschool nature walks to schools-out Friday programs to PIR Day and spring break camps, MOSS offers a variety of programs for kids during the school year. Program locations vary. Please visit the MOSS website for full program details.

30 september 2023
After-school & PIR-DAY activity guide Offering After-School and/or PIR-Day activities this year? Make sure families know and post your listing in the Montana Parent fall/winter 2024 After-School & PIR-Day Activity guide submit listings @mtparent.com/submit-your-afterschool-activity-listing 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 now through December 31, 2023. 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. After-school & PIR-DAY activity guide Register fall/winter 2023 activities now! FOR MORE INFO CONTACT CORA DESANTIS: CORA@MTPARENT.COM | 406-579-0746 After-school & PIR-DAY activity guide
:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 31 Now enrolling for evening and Saturday care! Monday - Thursday from 5:30pm - 9:00pm Saturdays from 9:00am - 4:00pm Parent Interest Form Forma de interes para padres 406-209-8498 risingstars@familypromisegv.org

Welcoming Dr. Kathryn Bertany, Pediatrican ... and Bozeman Health’s First

Female CEO

Bozeman Health is proud to introduce Kathryn Bertany, MD, MBA as the new chief executive officer. Dr. Bertany is an accomplished hospital executive and pediatrician with 30 years of clinical and leadership experience who initially came to Bozeman Health in 2019 as president of Deaconess Regional Medical Center and Big Sky Medical Center. She transitioned to interim CEO in November 2022. Dr. Bertany previously served as executive medical director at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise, Idaho.

Dr. Bertany on her experience in pediatrics: “I really enjoy working with kids and families. I like being able to spend time explaining to both parents and the child what is going on with their care. I also really like the continuity of watching a child grow up, getting to know them and being there for them to promote health every step of the way.”

Dr. Bertany on her current role in pediatrics: In addition to her executive leadership role, Dr. Bertany still works one weekend per month seeing pediatric patients at Deaconess Regional Medical Center. “I just love being a pediatrician and taking care of kids and their families. Being able to practice in our health system affords me two things: It allows me to stay up-to-date on my clinical skills. I am able to interact with our care team members as part of the team and I believe that helps people get to know me better.”

Dr. Bertany on her leadership philosophy: “I don’t have all the answers; I am open to innovation and ideas or solutions I wouldn’t think of myself. I believe that as a team we make better decisions. I want to help remove barriers to get things done. It is really the care team in our clinics, on our hospital units, the people in support services, that are helping to get things done. It takes everyone.”

To learn more about Dr. Bertany visit www.bozemanhealth. org/news. For more information about Bozeman Health pediatric care services, visit www.bozemanhealth.org/ services/pediatrics/.

Bozeman Symphony

Announces Interim Choir


Maren Haynes Marchesini joins the Symphony’s artistic team for a two-year appointment

The Bozeman Symphony is pleased to announce the appointment of Maren Haynes Marchesini to the position of Interim Symphonic Choir Conductor.

Maren grew up in Bozeman (playing with the Bozeman Symphony from 2000-2002) and returned in 2022 to serve as Director of Music and Worship at Hope Lutheran Church. She holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Washington where she studied with advisor Dr. Christina Sunardi and many diverse expert musicians. While at UW, she studied choral conducting under Dr. Geoffrey Boers and Dr. Giselle Wyers, also singing with the UW Chamber Singers. Prior, she earned a BA in Cello Performance from Whitworth University. To learn more about Maren Haynes Marchesini, visit bozemansymphony.org/conductors.

“Shaping choral sound, developing vocal technique and connecting to our shared purpose and passion fill me with joy. Thus, the opportunity to direct the Symphonic Choir, an excellent ensemble with capable and committed singers, is a dream,” says Haynes Marchesini. “The Bozeman Symphony’s exciting artistic vision brings together a passion for the tradition of Western art music, as well as a commitment to its future, supporting living composers, young artists and unique, diverse collaborations. I look forward to working with BSO Music Director, Norman Huynh and the many talented, committed musicians in the choir (and orchestra) as we bring this vision to life!”

For anyone interested in joining Maren and the Bozeman Symphonic Choir, auditions will be held on September 7 starting at 7 p.m. Experienced singers of all voice types are welcome and encouraged to email maren@ bozemansymphony.org to schedule an audition. Auditions will include vocalizations and sight reading, but no prepared repertoire is required.

During the 2023/24 season, audiences can hear the Bozeman Symphonic choir at the annual Holiday Spectacular, December 15-17, 2023, “O, Fortuna” Orff’s Carmina Burana, May 18 and 19, 2024, and At the Movies: The Music of John Williams, June 7-9, 2024. Tickets can be purchased at www.bozemansymphony.org or by phone at 406-585-9774.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 33
A WHAT'S UP? Montana

Family Promise is Expanding Their Childcare Services

Rising Stars Early Learning Center is now open Monday – Thursday from 5:30 – 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Family Promise of Gallatin Valley received $1 million from the state’s ARPA Health Advisory Commission to expand its early learning childcare center services. In total, Rising Stars provides high-quality, licensed, STEM-based childcare more than 100 children, ages 4 weeks to 5 years.

According to the Director of Rising Stars ELC, Holly Smedley, “We are proud to pilot an innovative and inclusive program offering affordable early learning opportunities to Bozeman’s workforce. Providing flexible, reliable and stable childcare will allow families to have a sense of security within their careers and their households. Expanding our services allows us to support families in a holistic manner, regardless of income or work schedules.”

Rising Stars Early Learning Center is focused on offering a safe, trusting, accepting, respectful and secure learning environment for all children and their families. All children are taught with the Creative Curriculum, focusing on being innovative, responsive, supportive, comprehensive and developmentally appropriate.

Each student is provided two nutritious meals and snacks. All necessities are provided by the center, such as diapers, wipes, formula and more.

According to the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, licensed childcare capacity meets only 56% of the potential demand, which leaves many families with illegal or unsafe options for childcare, or no options at all. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, childcare is considered to be affordable when it costs no more than 7% of a household’s income. In Montana, the average cost of infant and childcare is between $8,365 to $9,518 per child. According to the Child Care and the Community 2021 Gallatin County report, a typical family spends over 25% of their income on childcare for one infant and one toddler—a percentage that is over three times higher than what is considered affordable.

To apply or learn more about Family Promise’s Rising Stars ELC, visit familypromisegv.org.

34 september 2023
A WHAT'S UP? Montana

What is it like on other planets?















How is Earth changing?

Pinky and the Floyd

September 7, 2023

all concerts are free and take place in len hill park music starts at 6:30 with opening bands please no dogs • food and beverage vendors available bigskyarts.org

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. 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. The final concert of this family-friendly series will take place on September 7, featuring Pinky and the Floyd (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. For more information visit www. bigskyarts.org.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 35

MSU’s Towne’s Harvest Garden

September 10, 2023

Bring the family for a tour of Montana State’s Towne’s Harvest Garden on Sunday, September 10 from noon-2 p.m., followed by a picnic lunch featuring THG produce and yard games on the garden lawn. Cost is $15 per person and $5 for children under 12. Registration includes a picnic lunch featuring THG’s produce and a non-alcoholic beverage. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and/or picnic blankets for lunch on the lawn. THG is located at 2730 W. Garfield St. Space is limited to 50 people; please RSVP by September 4, 2023 by emailing rsvp@msuaf.org


40 th Anniversary Nutcracker Auditions

September 8 & 9, 2023

Nutcracker auditions for ages 6 and up (must be 6 years old by September 9) will take place on Friday, September 8 and Saturday, September 9. Auditions are open to all community dancers. Preregistration is required. To register visit www. montanaballet.org. For questions or more information email info@montanaballet. org or call 406-582-8702.

Run for Your Life

Halloween 5k Walk/Run & Kid’s 1k Fun Run

In-Person: Oct. 28th in Bozeman

Virtual: Oct. 22-28 from anywhere!

A fun run for a deep purpose to support the Help Center’s 24/7 suicide prevention services. Grab your friends, family and dog for a Halloween-themed run/walk. Costume contest prizes and some spooky characters along the 5k route will get you in the Halloween spirit AND support a good cause! In-person event starts and ends at the MSU football stadium parking lot and the Kids' run will end through the MSU Bobcat head! Or sign up for the virtual event and run, walk, or even bike on your own course.

Register, Donate, or Volunteer at www.run4yourlifemt.com

36 september 2023

Fabulous Firsts

Every child deserves an equal opportunity to learn and succeed. We honor the importance of reading in a child’s learning process by providing each first-grade student with a brand new, hardcover, ageappropriate book to keep, and we celebrate with a reading event at each elementary school. Fabulous Firsts helps to introduce students to the joy of reading, which serves as a foundation for their academic journey.

Each elementary school will host a distribution and reading event at which first graders and their families can gather, snack, listen to this year’s books being read aloud or sit down to read them on their own. For more information visit www.hefmt.org/events/fabulous-firsts/

2023 Fabulous Firsts

Distribution and Reading Events

Carnival Classic

September 10, 2023

The Carnival Classic is a city-wide celebration of public education and kick-off to the new school year held annually at Memorial Park. Student organizations, PTOs, sporting and academic groups and other school-related groups participate with booths and games from which they retain 100% of their proceeds. Other youth-related, nonprofit organizations in the Helena area participate with performances or informational booths. The 2023 Carnival Classic will be held on Sunday, September 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Memorial Park. For more information visit www.hefmt.org/events/carnival-classic/

Third Annual Septemberfest Soapbox Derby

September 15, 2023

The Third Annual Septemberfest Soapbox Derby will start on September 15 at 4 p.m. with a “car show” in the walking mall in front of Ten Mile Creek Brewery. The derby cars will be lined up on the walking mall for everyone to come check them out and chat with the racing teams. This event will be paired with a safety check by technicians from Point S Tire & Auto. The technicians will go from car to car to ensure they meet safety requirements. There will also be a small kids’ event, where kids can decorate their own (toy-sized) model cars and then race them on a short course on the walking mall.

The annual Kids’ Fall Festival will begin in Pioneer Park at 10 a.m. and go until 1 p.m. The event will include a pumpkin patch, balloon animals and several other vendors including a bounce house!

Following the events in Pioneer Park, activities will shift to the Derby at the Chamber of Commerce with race heats commencing at 2 p.m. The awards will be presented after the Derby in Constitution Park and there will be live entertainment at both Ten Mile Creek Brewery and Mt. Ascension Brewery to keep the festivities going! For more information visit www.septemberfestderby.com/

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 37
9/1 Bryant 2:45 p.m. 9/12 Broadwater 2:30 p.m. 9/12 ....Kessler
2:45-3:15 p.m. 9/14 ....Central
...2:45 p.m. 9/15 Jim Darcy 2:40 p.m. 9/15 Smith 2:30 p.m. 9/18 Hawthorne 2-2:30 p.m. 9/18 Warren 2-2:30 p.m. 9/20 Jefferson 2:45 p.m. 9/20 Rossiter 2:30 p.m. 9/22 Four Georgians 2:45 p.m. the

Opening Day of Applestem Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

September 16, 2023

The first day of the 2023 Corn Maze season at Applestem Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch will be September 16, from 1-9 p.m. There are miles of trails to be explored and hours of fun to be had. Entry fee is $11. For more information visit www.applestemcornmaze.myshopify.com

1K for the United Way

September 17, 2023

Join United Way of the Lewis & Clark Area for their first 1K for United Way in Centennial Park on September 17. Wear your silliest costume and come as you are. This familyfriendly extravaganza will include bounce houses, sweets at every turn, and awards for the many. All funds raised will support United Way of the Lewis & Clark Area's mission to bring resources, organizations and people together to advance the health, education and financial stability of every person in the community. To register visit www.runsignup. com/Race/MT/Helena

An Evening Under the Stars

A Montana Learning Center Fundraising Event

September 23, 2023

We all know the importance of making sure Montana’s K-12 and college students are adequately prepared to be the employees and entrepreneurs of the future. To make that happen, teachers must have the tools they need to do their jobs well.

Support Montana Learning Center by attending "An Evening Under the Stars" on September 23 and be a part of furthering both of these critical priorities. The evening begins at 5 p.m. with cocktail hour, followed by a dinner reception at 6 p.m., facility tours, a live/silent auction, and an evening under the stars with Montana’s largest public-use telescope.

Tickets are $75 each and include a catered meal with unlimited drinks.

For Students: In the last few years, MLC has expanded the number of unique, hands-on, summer science camps it offers to K-12 students, which has led to year-after-year record breaking attendance. It also offers several NASA-affiliated programs for Montana middle and high school students available only through MLC.

For Teachers: MLC offers online and live continuing education courses that show science teachers how to incorporate Next Generation Science Standards into their curriculums, how to use MLC’s remote robotic telescope with their students and more.

To learn more about MLC and its programs, go to www. montanalearning.org/. To buy tickets for the fundraiser visit www.forms. gle/93NvUfB2ZrQD5wZZA

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helena D


Little Engine That Could (with Carnival of the Animals)

September 30, 2023

Created for children ages 5 to 10, these imaginative 30-minute performances with narration and actors, introduce children to the world of music and instruments and impart life lessons through interactive stories. Following each concert, children are invited to try instruments at the Instrument Petting Zoo (sponsored by Piccolo’s Music). This free performance will be held from 10-10:30 a.m. at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. For more information visit www.helenasymphony.org/event/ symphony-kids-the-little-engine-that-could-with-carnival-of-the-animals/

Montana Balloon Sculpture Festival

October 20-22, 2023

This new event is a fundraiser during which Helena will be decorated with large balloon displays. United Way LCA will be collecting donations for 20 nonprofit organizations in Helena; each of which will have a beautiful balloon sculpture representing their organization on display, compliments of a local business partner.

Friday, October 20, beginning at 5 p.m.

» Twenty custom-designed balloon sculptures will be on display on the Helena Walking Mall and at various participating locations.

Saturday, October 21 at the Downtown Walking Mall

» 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ~ Balloon sculptures on display

» 4-6 p.m. ~ Quick Twist Competition: Cheer on the artists as they compete head-to-head in a twisting competition tournament consisting of 15-minute rounds and live voting.

» 6-7 p.m. ~ Balloon Twisting Class: Learn the basics of balloon twisting.

Sunday, October 22 at the Downtown Walking Mall

» 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ~ Balloon sculptures on display

» 5 p.m. ~ Raffle Drawing / Awards

» 6 p.m. ~ Balloon Popping Party

For more information visit www.montanaballoonsculpturefestival.com/.

Entrance Days 2023

September 23: National Public Lands Day

November 11: Veterans Day

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 39
Fee-Free Yellowstone National Park

Ask Flora

Q: Our 4-year-old son is scared at bedtime and doesn’t want to sleep in his own room. We have a sound machine and night light and he shares a room with his brother so he’s not alone. But what can we do to help him transition into sleeping there, instead of in our room?

A: First, I want you to know that fear of the dark is a very common challenge at his age, and can occur even if the child was never afraid of the dark before. One of the main causes is that the child is growing and developing in their pre-frontal cortex in exciting ways. This growth leads to the development stage of “Object Permanence,” where children are starting to realize that things can exist even if they can’t see them. So, first just know that it doesn’t have to be that your child saw something scary or you did something that “caused” this new fear.

Here are a few ideas to help your child through fear of the dark at bedtime:

1. Solve as many problems as possible, to give the child a feeling of control. Does he want a second night light? A flashlight so he can see anywhere easily if he needs to? Maybe the transition out of your bed could be helped by putting one of mom or dad’s shirts on a teddy bear so he can snuggle it and smell you. Providing these options is meant to increase the child’s sense of control because research tells us our fears are often fueled by feeling out of control in a situation.

2. Teach him how to calm his mind: Have a kind and firm attitude of, “We have solved all the challenges. Now it’s your job to remind your heart and mind that you are safe, and your room is just as wonderful at night as it feels in the day.”

In this column, you can ask your questions about parenting kids from ages 2 to 10 to Flora McCormick, Licensed Counselor & Parenting Coach.

Here are a few great resources that help to teach a child to see the beauty in night time.

» “Daniel’s First Sleepover” (Daniel Tiger - PBS Kids) - mentions a shadow and Daniel shines his flashlight. Emphasizes a song that says “See what it is, you might feel better.”

» “Nighttime in the Neighborhood” (Daniel Tiger - PBS Kids) where Daniel and his family walk to the library at night and point out the neat sounds they hear.

» The Very Lonely Firefly board book - talks about beautiful things at night.

» If he is struggling with scary “What if...” thoughts, you can discuss ways to “change the channel” on those thoughts. Something like, “You know what’s cool about our thoughts? We have the power to shift to NEW

40 september 2023

thoughts, just like we can switch to a new show on the TV, or new song on Spotify. You simply think of the new thought and focus on that. You can shift to telling yourself a story, or replaying a recent cartoon you watched, or singing a song to yourself that you love to dance to.”

» Teach him how to calm his body. Many children (and adults) don’t realize that fear can be effectively addressed through the body, just as much as through the mind. Here’s what I mean: Fear shows up as a parasympathetic response in the body, so it can be calmed through the body. You can also teach a child to calm their heart racing, tummy aching or jaw clenching by using “steel and spaghetti.” This is a kid version of progressive muscle relaxation to help the child “squeeze out” any worries in the body. You can Google the term: “Child progressive muscle relaxation” and find several simple videos and visuals. But the basic approach is that you start at your head and work your way to the opposite end of the body with moments of squeezing one muscle group for five seconds (while taking a breath in), and then relaxing the muscle group over five seconds (while you exhale).

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 contactflora@gmail.com. A special thank you to those who submit monthly questions.


:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM :: september 2023 41
NEW PODCAST NOW ON APPLE & SPOTIFY S u s t a i n a b l e P a r e n t i n g . c o m
Online courses & daily guidance that fills the gap between overly gentle & overly strick... so you can parent with kindness & firmness at the SAME time.

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 Instagram (if you don’t already!)

3. Follow Bozeman Farmers Market on Facebook and Instagram too!

Other info:

ENTER TO win Bozeman Farmers Market SWAG BAG

Enter for a chance to win a Swag Bag from Bozeman Farmers Market

Fresh Produce. Food. Art. Music & More

Head to the market on Tuesdays, from 5-8 p.m. until September 12th. There will be a produce only market on September 19th. The market is located on the east side of Lindley Park.

The Bozeman Farmers Market is a place for families and friends to gather, socialize, support local and share in a fun-filled community environment!

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

For more information about Bozeman Farmers Market, visit: bozemanfarmersmarket.org

42 september 2023
SEP 2023
44 september 2023 Meet our providers! BOZEMAN HEALTH PEDIATRIC SPECIALTIES Learn more at BozemanHealth.org or call Bozeman Health Pediatrics at 406-414-4570. SAMUEL WITTEKIND, MD, MS SPECIALITY Cardiology PATRICK PARENZIN, PA-C SPECIALITY Orthopedics Bozeman Health is proud to expand access to pediatric special�es in collabora�on with Sea�le Children's. Pediatric cardiology and pediatric orthopedic care is now available for pa�ents ages birth to 26. Conveniently located at Bozeman Health Pediatrics on the Bozeman Health Deaconess Regional Medical Center campus. JOSEPH FOX, MD SPECIALITY Orthopedics
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