Annual Events

" Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for such a fabulous event. Everyone I talked to agreed it is a very special event and is so much fun for kids and parents. Also, a big thanks to all the staff who attended; I'm sure hanging out at a kids museum on a Friday night isn't necessarily the first place they want to be, but it is great to see them outside the classroom and is a true testament to the amazing support system in place at Gertrude Nielsen."
– Wilcox Family


GBN is a partner with each and every family. We foster community through family festivals, seminars, newsletters, and a parent resource library. Throughout the year we celebrate with families at the classroom level and school wide. Children celebrate their accomplishments and share them with their family. See some examples of our annual events.

  • Family Picnic - Kick back, enjoy a burger and some family fun.
  • Fall Festival - Students and parents get a chance to enjoy all the wonderful things that autumn brings. Decorate a pumpkin together and enjoy some treats.
  • Week of the Young Child - This week is designed to shine a spotlight on the needs of your little one. From educational seminars to family activities and book drives, each year we highlight a specific topic that we as families and communities must work together to address. The week is capped off with our Family Breakfast, so stop in before you head out for your day to enjoy breakfast with your little one.
  • Art & Sensory Festivals - Get creative with your child! From infants to kindergarteners, you and your children participate in all kinds of arts and crafts to help stimulate imagination and creativity.
  • Program Potlucks - Get to know some of the other room parents and enjoy a meal with your child at school.
  • Carnival Day - Games, games, games. From face painting and ring toss to bouncing in an inflatable castle, there is something for each preschool and kindergarten child to enjoy during Carnival Day.
  • Studio Day -Preschool and kindergarten students get acquainted with the fine arts, learning new techniques and using different mediums. Just wait until you see the works of art they bring home!
  • Kindergarten 100th Day - All things 100 are featured on the kindergarten's 100th day celebration! The kids learn how 100 pennies equal $1, participate in a 100-card scavenger hunt, attempt to do 100 sit-ups and have a celebratory get-together with parents.
  • Field Trips - Summer camp and kindergarten classes take several field trips throughout the year. Past trips included The Grove, the Morton Arboretum, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Marriott Lincolnshire Theater.

Parent Seminars

We regularly work with our staff and outside experts in the community to cover topics of interest to parents. Each year we poll parents to ask them what issues they are interested in learning more about. Here are some examples of some recent seminars and the professionals who present them:

The Moral Development of the Young Child

Presenter: Katherine McLellan, M.ED*
The moral development of the young child is discussed using both theoretical research as well as practical experience from the classroom and the home.

*Katherine McLellan is the recipient of the 1997 Kohl/McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Award, a graduate school instructor at National Louis University and an early childhood teacher for 15 years.

Siblings without Rivalry: The Impossible Dream?

Presenter: Nancy Bruski, MA LCSW*
Few parents expect their children to get along perfectly, but many long for relief from frequent bickering. This seminar provides a framework for parents to examine their own feelings towards each of their children and to use this understanding to intervene more creatively and positively when conflicts arise, including a new definition of "fairness" which can help parents reduce competition among siblings.

*Nancy Bruski is a clinical social worker who has spent the last thirty years working primarily in the field of Early Childhood. She has been on staff at a private counseling practice based in Evanston and at an early childhood daycare.

Family-Friendly First Aid

Presenter: Karen Crawford, RN, BSN*
Our biggest concern as parents and caregivers is the health and safety of our children. This seminar is based on Pediatric First Aid for Caregivers and Teachers by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Red Cross First Aid & Safety Handbook. Karen discusses steps to take in general first aid and pediatric emergencies. A bound first aid booklet is provided as a take away.

*Karen Crawford is a registered nurse and has been Nielsen's health nurse consultant since January 2004. She graduated with her BSN from Northern University.