School Choices in Northern Colorado

In Northern Colorado parents have a choice when it comes to choosing a school for their children. If you’re considering opting out of your neighborhood school for the 2012-13 school year, you might want to brush up on your options first. Check out my article, “Finding the Fit,” which can be found in the January guide section of RMParent, and find the school that’s the right fit for your kids.

Northern Colorado Preschool Directory

Fort Collins

Bright Horizons: Providing childcare from infant to 12 years, plus preschool and kindergarten education.

Children’s Workshop: Part of a non-profit corporation providing programs for toddler through school-agers.

Christ United Methodist Church Preschool: A Christian-based parent co-op for 2- to 5-year-olds emphasizing social, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual growth.

Discovery Montessori: A school emphasizing learning through nature, with small class sizes and open floor plans.

First United Methodist Church Co-op Preschool: A Christian-based co-op where parents and teachers jointly develop the school program.

Fort Collins Preschool: This parent co-op is the oldest preschool in Fort Collins, and accepts incoming 3- and 4-year-olds.

Harmony School: A school emphasizing traditional values and character development through an experienced staff and frequent parent interaction.

The Learning House: Providing a science and math-based education to preschool through kindergarten children.

Rivendell School: Specializing in encouraging individual growth through creative learning in preschool through 5th grade levels.

Riversong Waldorf School: Providing a home-like setting for mixed age groups of toddlers and preschoolers to engage in activities such as baking, painting and storytelling.

St. Johns Lutheran Open Arms Preschool: A Christian-based preschool with small class sizes focusing on social and emotional growth.

TLC Preschool: A Christian-based school with a focus on teaching children love and respect and developing positive self-images.


Children’s Workshop: Part of a non-profit corporation providing programs for toddler through school-agers.

Discovery Montessori: A school which teaches preschoolers and kindergardeners through use of practical life, sensorial and academic/cultural tools. All students will also be enrolled in daily French lessons.

First Christian Church Preschool

Our Savior’s Parent Co-op: A parent co-op providing children ages 3-5 with lessons in science, math, art, music, literature, motor development, dramatic play, kindergarten preparation and Christian education.

Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Preschool: Providing a Christian education to 3- to 5-year-olds, with a focus on Jesus’s saving work.

Starline Preschool: Providing Christian morals and values through childcare and preschool programs.

Wee Love Preschool: A parent co-op teaching children through firsthand experiences, sensory perceptions, discovery and testing ideas through play.


Bright Horizons: Providing childcare from infant to 12 years, plus preschool and kindergarten education.

Children’s Workshop: Part of a non-profit corporation providing programs for toddler through school-agers.

Community Preschool: A parent co-op providing a caring and warm atmosphere and emphasizing play-based learning.

Discovery Montessori:  A school which teaches preschoolers and kindergardeners through use of practical life, sensorial and academic/cultural tools. All students will also be enrolled in daily French lessons.

Immanuel Lutheran Preschool: A Christian-based preschool providing learning experiences through the lessons of the bible for preschool through 8th grade students.

Loveland Paddington Preschool: A preschool specializing in teaching children problem solving, independence and self-sufficiency.

Loveland Preschool: A parent co-op providing a play-based curriculum and stressing community involvement of the family as a whole.

Small Fries Preschool: A program for 3- to 5-year-olds emphasizing kindergarten readiness skills, discovery, social/emotional development, physical development, hands-on activities and field trips.

St. John’s Catholic Preschool: Providing a Christ-centered education and emphasizing scholastic achievement, critical thinking and physical fitness.

Thompson Integrated Early Childhood: A preschool program provided through Thompson School District and available to those eligible through Head Start, Colorado Preschool and Children with Special Needs, with a limited number of tuition-based spots available.

Thompson Valley Preschool: A non-profit organization providing a quality and affordable educational program specializing in School Readiness.

Trinity Lutheran Preschool: A non-profit, non-denominational preschool providing Christian-based learning and promoting a positive self-image while striving to meet the physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual needs of students.

Heart magnets


In honor of the city of Love, we’re making Valentine’s Heart magnets (found at Disney FamilyFun) to leave on the refrigerator all year.

Not interested in turning your house into a year-round love nest? Craft stores sell thin wooden flower, airplane, car, bug and other shaped cutouts that kids can paint and stick magnets to. Just choose a theme your family can live with and replace those mix-and-match magnets with a set of hand-painted homemade ones!

Our felt board world!


The tried-and-true felt board never goes out of style. We used felt pieces and a thick piece of poster board to create a mini world, complete with a variety of ecosystems (in this case ocean, lake, swamp, forest, plains and arctic areas). Then, the kids counted out their piggy bank change and we ventured to the store for a set of miniature animals to live on their board. The kids took turns deciding where each animal belonged, then had fun playing with them on the board.

The felt pieces aren’t glued down, so we can use the plain green felt board for other projects later on.

Recycle your craft time

The kids and I loved the idea submitted by Paula Harnish in the Dec/Jan edition of Disney FamilyFun magazine, but I didn’t love wasting all the ”dirt” I was tossing out afterwords. We found a way to recycle our materials from the first craft to create a whole new activity.

For the Kitchen Construction Zone:
Pour cornstarch onto a baking pan and let your kids go wild bulldozing, flattening and scooping the powder with mini toy tractors and bulldozers.

Recycle that cornstarch! When the kids (and your kitchen floor) have had enough, dump the used cornstarch into a bowl and, little by little, add water and have your kids knead the mixture with their hands until it becomes slimy in consistency. Kids will love mushing and squishing the goo between their fingers, and the slime is easy to clean up when they’re through.

Loveland Public Library

Many Loveland parents are familiar with the increasingly popular storytimes presented by Miss Lolly and Miss Kris on weekday mornings, but if storytime is the only time you visit the loveland library you’ve been missing out.

The kids and I often visit the library on evenings, when the atmosphere is quiet and serene, and on weekends, when the building is buzzing with Brickmasters Lego Club participants, families and individual readers. The kids’ faces light up each time I suggest we pay a visit, and we’ve been known to spend hours reading together, browsing books and playing on the AWE learning computers in the kids section.

If you haven’t visited in awhile you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The library was remodeled over the past year and is now much bigger, including an upstairs area, large children’s section with multiple secluded seating areas for peaceful reading, and a new entrance with an outdoor book drop.

So next time you’re looking for some free entertainment and an escape from home, check out what the new Loveland Public Library  has to offer!

Loveland Recreation Trail

Love the Loveland Rec Trail! We were out today riding bikes. The paved trail is completely clear of snow– one of the few places that is after our blizzard earlier this week.

The trail runs from Wilson Ave. (just south of Eisenhower with parking along the west side of the street) all the way to Boyd Lake, with plenty of entry/exit points along the way. It also passes Centennial Park at Taft Ave. and 1st St. where we often stop for playtime and a picnic before turning back on warm days.

Chilson Recreation Center- Gymnastics

  • Children learn through the use of balance beams, bars, and tumbling mats
  • Ages 1 1/2 to 12
  • Mid-level instructors, with some experience
  • Day, evening and weekend classes
NoCoFamily review: We’ve tried the parent/tot and tumbling tots classes (ages 2-4). Classes were loosely structured, with instructors laying out an obstacle course and having kids spend most of class repeating their way through it. Kids enjoyed the class but instructor-assisted learning was minimal. In the parent-tot class kids often lost interest in the obstacle course and started running around before the end of class. The tumbling tots class was a bit more advanced but instructor was not able to assist and monitor more than one child at a time in a class of 4-6 preschool-agers due to the size of the gym. In the toddler/preschool classes $21-26/month basically gives kids a chance to get the feel for different equipment and to get exercise, which isn’t a bad deal.
Chilson Recreation Center
700 East Fourth Street
Loveland, CO 80537

Loveland Dance Academy

  • Ballet, tap, jazz and hip-hop
  • Ages 2 1/2 to adult
  • Knowledgeable instructors with impressive combined experience
  • Day, evening and weekend classes

NoCoFamily review: We’ve taken classes with Miss Jenni and Miss Shelly. Both were professional and good with kids. Our preschooler enjoyed the classes and learned different ballet and tap positions and routines. Both instructors were patient and made the classes fun for the kids. Twice a year participants are invited to take part in a recital for parents and the public.

Loveland Dance Academy

126 W 4th Street

Loveland, CO 80537

970 667-2091

Cell: 970 290-7673

Director Jenni’s blog

Car ride boredom-buster

Turn a boring car ride into a learning opportunity by asking your child to navigate on the way home from a familiar place. Tell them you won’t turn until they tell you to, and let them decide whether to go right or left. I play this game with my 4-year-old on the way to and from dance class, school, and the grocery store. If she misses a turn I get us back on track and let her try again once we hit a familiar landmark. I also challenge her to remember where we’d end up if we turned on other major streets along the way. She loves having the opportunity to take the reins on our outings, not to mention the chance to boss me around;) Lately my 2-year-old has gotten into the game too, paying more attention to where we’re going when we’re in the car. The game has turned our mundane car trips into learning experiences for the kids, as well as opportunities for them to practice their communication skills. Best of all, the usual complaints of, “Are we there yet?” have been replaced by ceaseless giggles with each missed turn!