102/104 Green Newsletter April

Room 102/104 Green Newsletter

      April 2016



This Month’s Theme: This month’s theme will be “Wonderful Weather!”. The children will look and listen to books about the weather and get to feel sunshine and watch clouds while spending time outside! We will explore different sounds like thunder claps and rain drops, and also get to observe squash plants growing inside the classroom. They will use sponges to paint white clouds on blue paper and explore the differences between light and dark with our light table.

Lesson Plan: Please see reverse side for this month’s curriculum.


Special Announcements: Monday, April 11th through Friday, April 15th, is the Week of the Young Child. We will have an Infant & Toddler Breakfast on Friday, April 15th to celebrate! This will take place from 7:30-9am and we will provide breakfast to enjoy in your child’s classroom.


Temporary Goodbye & Congratulations: As everyone knows by now, Erin is expecting a baby girl towards the end of this month! Although we will miss her while she is on her maternity leave, we couldn’t be more excited for our friend and wonderful new mom! Please help us all in congratulating her before she leaves!

Tidbit of the Month

Allergies in Babies

What is an allergy for a baby?

“An allergy is a sensitivity to something in the environment,” says Mark Moss, MD, pediatric allergist at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics. It’s essentially an overreaction of the immune system. For some reason, the immune system sees a harmless substance as harmful and goes into overdrive. When baby’s body is exposed to the allergen (the trigger substance), it produces an antibody called IgE. IgE then affects the organ systems, causing symptoms ranging from itchy, watery eyes and sneezing (if it’s an airborne allergen) to a belly ache (like with some food allergies).

What are the symptoms of allergies in babies?

Baby’s symptoms will depend on what organ systems are affected. Environmental, airborne allergies, such as mold and pollen allergies, typically affect the respiratory system, so baby might have a runny nose or difficulty breathing. Food allergies usually affect the gastrointestinal system, so baby could have lip swelling, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea if she’s allergic to a food. And some allergies affect the skin, so she could get a rash or hives after coming into contact with an allergen. In general, watch for any adverse reaction -- and if you see one, note which substance baby’s been exposed to. You’re looking for a pattern, not a onetime occurrence. Allergic reactions can increase in severity over time, so be sure to tell baby’s doctor if there are any noticeable changes. If your child ever develops shortness of breath or difficulty breathing after exposure to an allergen, seek medical help immediately.

Are there any tests for allergies in babies?

“To diagnose an allergy, we have to find the presence of IgE specific to the triggering allergen. That can be done with an allergy skin test, a blood test or an older type of allergy testing called an intradermal skin test,” Moss says. If you suspect your child has an allergy, consult her pediatrician. They’ll want you to describe her reaction to the offending substance (or substances) and also ask about her medical and family history. (A family history of allergies increases the risk of allergies, as does a past history of eczema.) If the initial pediatric evaluation suggests there could be an allergy, your child may be referred to a pediatric allergist for allergy testing. Skin-prick testing is the most common form of allergy testing in young kids; if your child develops hives when a small amount of allergic substance is “pricked” onto her skin, she’s probably allergic to that substance.

How did my baby get allergies?

Some children are more prone to allergies than others. Doctors have noted that babies who have eczema are more likely to develop food allergies and that kids with food allergies are more likely to develop environmental allergies and asthma. Family history plays a role as well. If you or your husband has allergies, your child is more likely to develop allergies. A lot of kids, though, develop allergies for no apparent reason.

What’s the best way to treat allergies in babies?

Avoidance. Avoiding your child’s trigger substances should be the cornerstone of her allergy management plan. So that may mean switching to a hypoallergenic laundry soap or keeping peanuts out of the house -- and instructing grandparents and child care providers to keep them away from your child too. Medications may help ease your child’s allergy symptoms. An antihistamine (such as Benadryl) can control the itching, hives and runny nose that accompany certain environmental allergies. Your child’s doctor may also order daily meds to control allergy symptoms. Immunotherapy, or “allergy shots” that essentially expose your child to small amounts of the allergen in an attempt to desensitize her, can also be helpful. A lot of kids outgrow their allergies, though, so be sure to weigh the risks and benefits of any proposed treatment with your child’s allergist. Children with severe, life-threatening allergies may need to keep an EpiPen, a syringe filled with a dose of epinephrine, with them at all times. If your child has a severe allergy, make sure that all caregivers thoroughly understand the symptoms of anaphylaxis and know how to use the EpiPen if it’s needed.

What can I do to prevent my baby from getting allergies?

It’s not clear whether you can. Doctors used to advise waiting until your child is older (over nine months or one year) to introduce common allergens, such as wheat or peanuts, but there’s no solid evidence that this approach works to prevent allergies. And now, some research actually seems to suggest that introducing small amounts of potentially allergenic food early on in a child’s life can prevent food allergies. Talk to your doctor to get the latest information on allergy prevention.


Have a wonderful month!

Lana, Erin, Katie & Madi

106-108 Green Newsletter April 2016

106-108 April 2016 Infant Newsletter

Room News:

~ Our theme this month is “Springtime.”  The teachers have collaborated to come up with a variety of activities that will interest the children.

~ Please wish Mia “Happy 1st Birthday!”  Her birthday is on Thursday, April 21st!

~ Please wish George and his family all the best as he transitions into the Toddler I Program!  We will miss you very much!  Good Luck!

 Family Outings:

~ The Chicago Botanical Gardens – Miles of paths to see beautifully designed gardens brimming with plants; twenty-three garden areas showcasing the best plants for the Midwest; native habitat areas featuring native and endangered flora of Illinois. For more information: 1000 Lake Cook Rd.; Glencoe 60022; (847) 835-5440;

~ Independence GroveIndependence Grove offers outdoor recreation and education opportunities centered on a 115-acre lake. Surrounding prairie and woodlands provide a picturesque backdrop for hiking, biking, picnicking and other fun activities.  For more information: 16400 W Buckley Rd; Libertyville 60048; (847) 968-3499;

 Timely Topic:  "The Importance of Spring Cleaning"

~ What do most people expect from spring cleaning? – Most people clean in the spring because it’s a tradition or habit they’ve developed because when their house has that clean feeling, it makes them feel better about themselves and their belongings. They get an opportunity to open up the windows and let some fresh air in, something they may not have been able to do since the late fall season (especially those who live in cold weather climates).

~ Who should really do spring cleaning? – Everyone, especially those who suffer from allergies, asthma and other breathing disorders. All winter long the house has been shut and one’s carpet becomes a breeding ground for airborne bacteria, mold spores, dust mite feces, pet dander, cat saliva, pollen, pollutants from ice melt chemicals, mud, dirt, sand and grit that we and our pets bring in from the outside. All of these things get lodged in our carpets, furnishings, bedding and draperies and they need to be cleaned. By reducing these allergens, dust particles and pollutants, we make our homes far healthier than if we didn’t clean it.

~ When and how often should you clean? – You should be as proactive as possible.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies tells us that our carpets should be cleaned every 6 to 12 months, especially if you have young children and/or if anyone who exhibits a breathing condition.


 School News:

~ April 11th-15th: “The Week of the Young Child” – More details to follow.

~ Friday, April 15th: Please join us for our Infant/Toddler Family Breakfast from 7:30am-9am to celebrate the Week of the Young Child. 

Did you know?

 ~ We value the partnerships that we have with our families and recognize the importance of meaningful two-way communication.

 ~ Our school has a beautiful inviting environment that respects our sense of order and provides a refreshing and cheerful place to spend our days.

 ~ The teachers use formal and informal assessments to help track your child’s progress.  These are shared through touch-base phone calls and at conferences.

 ~ At GBN, we pride ourselves on documenting children’s learning.  This is why we call our hallway boards “Documentation Boards” rather than bulletin boards.

101/103 Green Newsletter March 2016



*On Thursday, March 17th, meet and greet with Karen Crawford, our school nurse from 4:30-5:45 p.m. All are welcome to attend with any questions.

*Please note that our school will be closed on Friday, March 25th for Spring Break Day. Enjoy the long week-end!


Did You Know…?


1.     GBN is a cell phone free zone.  We value and respect children so we avoid distractions.

2.     Parents are responsible for their children upon signing out in the evening.  Please exit the building by the 6 p.m. closing time.

3.     At GBN, we practice fire drills, severe weather drills, and lock down drills.

4.     We require that family members and visitors park only in designated parking spaces to avoid accidents.


This Month’s Theme: “Play Ball” (See Curriculum)

 Balls can be a wonderful learning tool for young children. Even the youngest infant can improve their fine motor skills and attention span while reaching for, grasping and staring at an interesting ball. An older infant can begin to push a ball back and forth with an adult, learning about cause and effect and improving literacy skills by listening to what an adult is saying. A toddler can walk with a ball, drop it and watch it bounce.

 Article: “Play Ball” from Sears Parenting Library

“Play Ball!”  By Dr. Sears

 In a world of electronic toys with flashing lights and stimulating sounds, it’s easy to forget about the classic simple toys that have been around for centuries. The Ball is one such toy. It’s so simple, and yet so versatile. It delights kids of every age. Its uses grow and change as a child develops and discovers new uses and games to play. Balls are perfect for solo play, one on one with a parent, or in a whole group of kids. Here are some great ideas you can use to interact with your baby during playtime while stimulating baby’s motor and social developmental skills:

Start young. Small, hard rubber or plastic balls are great toys for a growing infant starting around three months of age. Baby is just learning to push up on her tummy and lift her head up high to see what is on the floor in front of her. Baby is also practicing her reaching and grasping skills. At this age, baby is learning the “palmar” grasp – she is grabbing things with her whole hand (finger grasping comes later). A small ball, about 1 ½ to 2 inches across, will fit perfectly into baby’s tiny grasp. A few colorful balls placed in front of baby on the floor will stimulate her pushing up, reaching and grabbing skills. Babies also love to explore items with their mouths, and firm rubber, plastic, or even soft plush balls are favorites for baby’s curious mouth.

Sitting up. Around six months of age baby is beginning to sit up without falling over. This is the perfect time for parents to begin one-on-one ball play with baby. Sit in front of baby on the floor and roll a ball towards him. His reaching and aiming skills will get a great work out as he pounces on each ball that comes his way. Baby is also learning to transfer objects back and forth between hands. Watch as baby picks up a ball with one hand, passes it to the other, and then brings it to his mouth for a taste. Then roll in a second ball and watch as baby grabs it too. A third ball rolled into the game really begins to stimulate baby’s thinking. Watch as baby realizes he is out of hands, puts down one ball to pick up the third. This exercise really enhances baby’s decision processing skills. Of course baby is also teething at this age, so make sure the balls are small enough for baby to soothe his sore gums on, but big enough so they don’t fit completely into baby’s mouth.

Talk it up. As you play ball with baby, be sure to verbalize what you are doing. The word “ball” is such an easy word for baby to learn to say, since “ba” is often one of the first babbling sounds baby makes. Playfully say the word “ball” to baby throughout your playtime. As baby grows, add actions to your words, such as “roll the ball”, “bounce the ball” and “get the ball”. Baby will learn what these words mean much faster if you associate the words with actions as you play.

Around nine months of age baby begins to learn about object permanence – the ball still exists even though you’ve hidden it behind your back. Playing “where’s the ball” together is a great way to stimulate baby’s curiosity.

As baby grows into a toddler, balls are perfect for teaching baby her colors. Place a variety of colored balls in front of baby and show her “this is the RED ball”, etc. Then test baby’s learning by asking her to pick up each color in turn. Start out with only two colors and work your way up as baby learns.

Play ball. Around fifteen months, or once baby is walking well, it’s time to really play ball. Most babies will automatically learn to throw a ball themselves, and you can join in the fun and through back and forth. Be sure to keep a variety of ball types and sizes around for baby’s varying moods and skills. Large beach balls are great for two-handed picking up and throwing, as well as kicking. Large rubber inflated balls are perfect for bouncing fun. Smaller plastic balls will give baby’s arm a good workout. As you join baby in his throwing, bouncing, and rolling play, encourage his advanced actions by verbalizing “kick kick kick!”, “bounce bounce” or “good throw!” For any sports fans, turn on football, baseball, basketball, or whatever sport you enjoy, buy baby her own ball to match, and include your child in what you are watching. Then join her on the floor to teach her how each game is played with its own unique ball. Getting your child interested in sports early on will enhance her motor skills and may generate interests that will keep her active as she grows through childhood. And be sure to take the game outside as often as you can. Outside play keeps you both in shape.


106-108 Green Newsletter March 2016

106-108 March 2016 Newsletter

Room News:

~ Our theme for this month is “Dr. Seuss”.  The teachers have collaborated to come up with a variety of activities that will interest the children.

 Family Outings:

~ Cosley Zoo – Get up close to a large variety of domestic farm animals and native Illinois wildlife. You'll see cows, horses, sheep, goats, llamas, deer, birds, raccoons, rabbits, chickens, pigs, birds of prey, coyotes, burro and foxes. Offers paved pathways which are accessible for strollers and persons with disabilities. Cosley Zoo Information: 1356 Gary Ave.; Wheaton 60187; (630) 665-5534;

~ Skokie Public Library – Come enjoy our great spaces, collections, and services for babies through 8th graders.  Check out all the kid-friendly areas in our first floor: Youth Services area. Infants are able to hang out safely in their very own Baby Garden.  Children can listen to a story in our Program Room, make fun projects in our well-stocked Craft Room, or play with Lego’s or puppets in the Preschool Area.  Skokie Public Library Information: 5215 Oakton St.; Skokie 60077; 847-673-7774;

 Timely Topic: Consistent Care at Home and Child Care Centers

~ Maintaining consistent routines and experiences for children across home and childcare is important for a variety of reasons.  Having elements of familiarity can relieve children’s anxiety about separating from their family.  Continuity helps children predict what is going to happen next and encourages them to feel as though they have a sense of control over what is occurring in their environment.  This empowers children and supports their developing independence.

~ While childcare centers should try to accommodate your child’s specific needs, it is important to understand that the individual attention that your child receives at home may not always be replicated in a group care environment.  Childcare professionals must implement practices that comply with licensing regulations, quality assurance standards and what is currently the recommended best practice(s) for children.  As such, childcare professionals may not be able to meet all requests from families for specific, individualized practices.

~ By working together with your child care professionals to combine the knowledge that you [as the parents] can offer about your child with the experience and formal training of your childcare professionals, a range of routines and strategies can be developed that will work both at home and in group care.  (Source: “Bridging the Gap Between Home and Child Care” by Georgia McKay)

 School News:

~ Thursday, March 17th from 4:30-5:45 pm: Come to our “Meet and Greet” with our school nurse, Karen Crawford. Please bring any questions/concerns you may have!

~ Friday, March 25th: GBN is closed for our Spring Break Day.  Enjoy your 3-day weekend with your family!  We will reopen on Monday, March 28th.

Did you know?

 ~ GBN has an open door policy – you are welcome to visit your child during the day.   We also have phones in every classroom for both parent and teacher convenience.

~ GBN uses the Ages and Stages (ASQ) questionnaire as a developmental screening tool for each child.

~ A parent area is located on our GBN website.  Visit  Click on Parent Area. The user name is Parent, and the password is Parent 123.

The Nielsen Center is play based and encourages children’s learning through exploration and discovery.

102/104 Green Newsletter March 2016

102/104 Green March Newsletter 2016


This Month’s Theme: This month’s theme will be “Start Your Engines”.  The children will be reading books about cars, trucks, and all different kinds of transportation. They will get to roll toy cars through paint and shaving cream, and even wash the paint off using sponges in the sensory table. We will sing songs like ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ and get the chance to paint a cardboard box that we will turn into a pretend car for our classroom.

Lesson Plan: Please see reverse side for this month’s curriculum. 

Welcome: Please help us all in welcoming Riley Yoon and his family to Room 102-104! He started Monday, February 29th, and we are thrilled to have him. Nicholas DeBartolo and his family are also a new addition to our classroom! Nicholas will be starting on Monday, March 7th in 104 and we are very excited to have him.

School Announcements: On Thursday, March 17th, from 4:30-5:45, there will be a meet-and-greet for parents with our school nurse, Karen Crawford. Feel free to come with any questions you may have for her.

- Our center will be closed on Friday, March 25th, for Spring Break. We will reopen on Monday, March 28th. Have a wonderful long weekend!



Self-Soothing Techniques 

How do I teach my baby to sooth himself to sleep?

You can't really teach your baby how to self-soothe, but you can provide him with the opportunity to teach himself. Given the right circumstances and the right stage of development, usually between 3 and 6 months of age, it will happen on its own. It's like learning to crawl: If you always carry your baby, he'll never have a chance to discover crawling, since he'll never be on the floor long enough to figure it out. It's the same thing with self-soothing: If you always nurse or rock your baby to sleep, he'll never have a chance to learn how to soothe himself to sleep.

How can you help your baby do this? First, you need to set the stage, which includes two things: a regular bedtime and a consistent routine. A bedtime that occurs at the same time every night will set your baby's internal clock so that he's naturally sleepy at a predictable time. The bedtime routine should happen in the place you want your baby to sleep and include three or four soothing activities, such as taking a bath, reading a story and having a cuddle, that let him know it's time for "night-night." When the bedtime routine is finished, put your baby to bed drowsy but awake.

Many babies will surprise you and drift off to sleep without much protest. Other babies, especially older ones who may have come to depend on being nursed or rocked to sleep, will need a bit of practice. Remember, self-soothing is just like crawling — it takes time and opportunity. You can teach your baby all at once and wait outside your baby's room, checking on him as frequently or infrequently as you wish. Or you can make it a more gradual process, sitting next to your baby's crib and easing yourself farther away each night — sitting in the middle of the room, sitting in the doorway and so on.

If your baby is used to breast- or bottle-feeding as he goes to sleep in your arms, you'll have to break his need to suck to sleep. You can move your child's feeding to earlier in the bedtime routine or slowly reduce the number of ounces or number of minutes of this feeding. Or when you see your baby starting to drift off during a feeding, promptly end his meal and finish the rest of the bedtime routine before laying him down.

Although some people believe that you should never wake a sleeping baby, keep the big picture in mind. On any particular night, waking your baby after he's drifted off may seem crazy, especially when you're beat and have a million things to do before turning in yourself. But when you remember your long-term goal of helping your baby develop the ability to soothe himself to sleep, both at bedtime and when he naturally wakes up during the night, it's well worth doing.

What happens if you've given your baby plenty of chances to self-soothe and he just can't seem to do it? Take a step back and try to figure out why. Perhaps he's simply too young and doesn't yet have the developmental ability to self-soothe, just as a 3-month-old can spend hours on the living room floor yet still won't be able to crawl .In this case, wait a few days, weeks or even months before trying again.

Or maybe your baby is too tired — and thus too overwrought — to settle down by himself. In this case, try moving his bedtime a bit earlier so he isn't a complete wreck by lights-out. Finally, think about whether you're really giving your baby an opportunity to find ways to soothe himself, or are rushing in to comfort him at his first peep and depriving him of the chance to figure it out on his own.

Most important, keep your goal in mind: Developing the ability to soothe himself to sleep will enable your baby to snooze for longer stretches and put himself back to sleep when he naturally wakes up during the night, allowing him to get the rest he needs to grow and thrive. What's more, self-soothing is an important life skill that will serve your baby well not just at bedtime but also in other situations, such as when he's separated from you at daycare or even when you momentarily walk out of the room, when he gets frustrated trying to master all those other important skills such as — you guessed it — crawling, or when he's just feeling fussy.


                                       Have a great month!

                                                                                         Lana, Erin, Katie & Madi


101/103 News Letter Feb 2016


 Wednesday Feb 17th 2016 from 4:30-5:45 we will have a Pot-Luck event for our infant parents.

We welcome Ezra Patterson and his parents, James and Karena to our Infant Room. We are happy that you are here.


                                Did You Know?…

  1. Gertrude B. Nielsen is a peanut free zone.
  2. We request that parents and children wash their hands upon entering the classroom.  This helps keep our children, families and staff healthy.
  3. Allstate offers the use of their internal road system for Nielsen’s family’s safety and convenience.  Ask the front desk about the safest route to and from our Center using the Allstate road.
  4. Tuition is due each Monday if paid weekly and by the 8th day of the month if paid monthly.


This Month’s Theme: Let’s make Music

 Music plays a vital role in an infant’s brain development in numerous ways.Various studies have shown and proven that early exposure to music increases an infant’s abilities in many academic areas, including math and language development.  Early exposure to music also serves as a positive impact on an infant’s physical development, particularly with premature infants.  Early music exposure for infants can be the road to calm and self-soothing baby.



Building Baby’s Brain: The Role of Music” by Diane Bales, Ph.D.

The Importance of Music in a Baby’s Brain Development

  It is just NEVER to early to start children on music.  (I had fun adding pics of my own kids playing around when they were little.)  Enjoy reading about these simple, yet effective ways to build those sweet little brains.  

My son Zach at age 2

Music has an influence over everyone’s emotions, young and old alike. As adults, we know certain types of upbeat music will lift our spirits, while slow, sad songs may send us on a tearful trip down memory lane. But music also has a much deeper affect on our brains. In fact, research (Diane Bales, Ph.D.) has shown music plays an important role in a baby’s brain development. Music, singing or playing an instrument does not necessarily make a child smarter, but it does improve cognitive skills, which in turn lead to developmental advancements at every stage of life.

How Music Works
We are all born with billions of brain cells. During the infant and childhood years, those brain cells form connections with each other. As we grow, the brains connections we use most often become the strongest. Listening to music helps strengthen the music related cell connections which strengthen thinking and reasoning skills.

Turn on the radio or your iPad and listen to some music. As soon as the first note is played, your brain begins to think and reason what the name of the song is, the timing of the first word in conjunction with the music, the name of the band or singer and recalls all the words to a favorite song so you can sing along. Several other subconscious thinking skills were involved with you being able to sing along to a favorite song. Those skills were encouraged and created when you were a baby and listened to music.

Get Baby Rocking
Experts are in semi-agreement to what kind of music helps a baby’s brain develop best. All agree that classical music is the best due to the complex structure of the musical composition. However, most of them also agree while Mozart and Beethoven are the best, pop, country and even a little rock and roll will strengthen brain cell connections.

My daughter Grace at age 1

Play Music
A simple thing like turning the radio on in the nursery can help your baby become smarter. Keep soft music playing in the background while baby plays or naps. While the music plays, brains cells are connecting and outside noise is blocked so Baby can sleep more soundly. The type of music will also impact a baby or child’s mood, so be selective about the music you chose. A lullaby will soothe a baby or toddler while a heavy metal beat may increase activity and energy level.

Sing To Baby
Sing to your baby to accelerate brain development. Your baby or child will not care if you don’t sing well, and it’s a great way to have bonding and play time with your child. Sing all the baby lullabies and silly childhood songs that you loved as a child (which you remember because of the strong musical brain cell connections) and your child will love them too.

Early Music Lessons
If you plan on providing music lessons for your child, start early. Even very young children can learn to keep rhythm on a tambourine or maracas. Introduce them to the piano, drums or other instrument before they start school to help foster a love for music and strong thinking skills that will serve them well throughout their lifetime.

Nick Hernandez writes about child development, parenting and education. His best work is about online education degrees.

Related posts:



101/103 Lesson Plan Feb 2016



Vocabulary: clap, shake, play, loud, soft


-         Down by the Station by Jennifer Riggs Vetter

-         The Itsy Bitsy Spider interpreted by Iza Trapani

-         Peter Rabbit’s Lullabies by DK Publishers

-         Book of Nursery Rhymes by Ian Penney

~ Children demonstrate interest in and comprehension of printed materials.


      Creative Expression: Music/Drama

Songs:   “Five Little Monkeys”; “The Muffin Man”

        “Pat-a-Cake”; “The Wheels on the Bus”

Music:              - Play music on CD from different cultures

              - Use different instruments to create music

Dramatic Play: Mimic different movements to the rhythm of the music playing on CD

~ Children demonstrate the ability to convey ideas and emotions through creative expression


             Science/Social Studies/ Math

Science:  On the stroller ride, listen to the birds chirp in the aviary


Social Studies: With the children, sit, kneel, or stand with them as you clap, sing, snap, stomp, jump, dance, etc.


Math: Practice counting as we clap our hands and stomp our feet


~ Children demonstrate interest and eagerness in learning about their world



    Physical Development: Movement /Outdoor

Activities: -

- Sing songs to the children on a stroller ride outside (weather permitting)

-Sway back and forth like the wind using colored scarves

-Take musical instruments outside to play on the playground (weather permitting)

~ An opportunity to be aware how objects and people move and fit in space. Also develop language and cognitive skills.


                                    Art Appreciation: Art/Sensory


- Finger paint while the music is playing in the classroom

- Paint with soft colors and bold colors

- Wash our instruments in the sensory bin

- Explore different cultural instruments in the sensory bin


~ Finding their creative ways to make art will inspire children and spark their imagination



”            Parent Participation


Parent Involvement Opportunities:


- If your child has a favorite CD that he or she likes to listen to at home, please bring it in to share with the classroom.

- Play a game of “Floaty Scarf”: fling a scarf in the air and let your child watch it settle or land on their head or the floor

- Sing songs to your child in the car, at the dinner table, in the bath, before bed, etc. 





102/104 Green Newsletter February 2016


This Month’s Theme: This month’s theme will be “Shapes & Colors.”  The children will be introduced and become familiar with different colors and shapes.  They will manipulate small colored blocks, push fire trucks across the floor, and explore colored water in the sensory table and paint with our hands and feet.  We will also read some books and sings songs about shapes and colors. The children and teachers will also have special days to dress in their favorite colors!

Lesson Plan: Please see reverse side for this month’s curriculum.

Special Announcement: On Wednesday, February 17th, from 4:30-5:45, we will host our annual Infant Family Potluck! It will be a great chance to have fun with your child and socialize with other infant parents and children from other classrooms. We hope to see you all there!

Tidbit of the Month

Color Changes in Your Baby’s Stool

 All parents acquire a sudden interest in their baby’s stool. “Should I be concerned when the color is green, yellow or black? Is my breast milk or formula causing an issue? Is there something wrong with my baby’s digestion?” These are some of the questions parents ask regarding baby health. The following are the basics to get a parent through a baby or kids health in regard to the color of his or her bowel movement.

The minute a newborn is delivered, the parents expel a hefty sigh of relief. However, for most parents, that feeling will not last long. A throbbing soft spot, birthmarks, jaundice, crossed eyes, skin rashes, and various bumps can all be very scary to a parent. The color of a baby’s bowel movement is a common health concern.

About Bowel Movements

A baby’s first bowel movement is called meconium. It is of a greenish black color and is thick and sticky. The color and consistency of the first bowel movement should never be seen again and doesn’t indicate bad baby health. It is normal and is actually a positive sign of a baby’s health.

After this first stool, all other stools will be affected by what is fed to the baby. The baby swallows fluid, which is digested by stomach acid and then moves into the small intestine. The digested nutritional matter and water are absorbed into the bloodstream, and the larger pieces of fiber and other matter continue through the intestines. If the larger pieces of matter travel through the intestines at a slow pace, the water will be absorbed, and the bowel movement will be firm. If the larger matter travels at a fast rate through the intestines, the bowel movements will be loose. The bowel movements will also pick up digestive juices, bacteria, bile, and other substances, which impact the odor and color of the stool.

The Effects of Breast Milk vs. Formula

Breast milk is usually absorbed completely, and it is not uncommon for a baby to not have a bowel movement for a couple of days. This is not any indication of the baby health and is totally normal. When a breast-fed infant has a bowel movement, it is usually a mustard yellow seedy-looking stool. At first, a baby will have a bowel movement after each feeding, and that will taper off as more meals are consumed.

Infants that are bottle-fed tend to have darker and less frequent stool. Every baby is different, and there are a large variety of normal colored bowel movements. In normal babies, bowel movements will change color as the diet of the baby changes, as the digestive system matures, and as normal bacteria develop. It is a rare occurrence that a bowel movement color change would indicate a digestive issue. The color changes usually just mean that there are more or less colored pigments picked up in the digestive tract.

Rare Stool Colors

Chalky white bowel movements could mean that there is no liver bile being made to digest food. If white stool is seen, the parent should contact a physician, and further tests will probably be ordered.

A dark tar-black bowel movement may indicate blood in the digestive tract. The dark color indicates that the blood traveled far in the intestines, turning from bright red to black as it traveled. If this color stool is seen, one should contact a physician, and again, further tests will probably be ordered.

A bright red bowel movement indicates that some blood came from a spot close to the anus. It is important to note that a red stool can also be brought on by medications, food coloring in foods, and beets. If needed, a test can be done on a baby’s stool to check for abnormalities.

In summary, parents need not worry about orange, yellow, or green bowel movements. They are usually not a sign of any digestive problems and signal more about the foods that the baby consumes.


Have a great month!

Erin, Lana, Katie, & Madi

106-108 Green Newsletter February 2016

106-108 February 2016 Newsletter

Room News:

~ Our theme for this month is “Our Five Senses”.  The teachers have collaborated to come up with a variety of activities that will interest the children.

~ Please welcome Elizabeth (Libby) Dallia and her parents, Catherine and Michael to Room 108.  We are excited you all have joined our classroom! We would also like to welcome Oliver Macias to room 106.  We are excited that you are here!

 Family Outings:

~ Kohl’s Children Museum – Offers more than a dozen interactive and hands-on exhibits and programs for young children.  Kohl’s Children Museum Information: 2100 Patriot Boulevard; Glenview 60026; (847) 832-6600;

~ Wheeling Indoor Arctic Pool – Offers a zero-depth leisure pool, a toddler slide, interactive water play structures, and a mini-lazy river all indoors!  Wheeling Indoor Arctic Pool Information: 333 W. Dundee Road; Wheeling 60090; 847/465-7674;

 Timely Topic: Healthy Growth and Development

~ An Infant’s physical development unfolds quickly from birth. Newborns come into this world as fragile bundles in need of gentle handling, holding, head and neck support. Within three months time, infant’s necks and upper torsos strengthen to support their heads.

 ~ Infants continue to strengthen and develop throughout their first year from their heads to their feet as they go from prone to upright to standing; from uncontrolled large arm movements to deliberate reaching to picking up small bits of food with their finger tips.

 ~ The early learning environment plays a crucial role in development.  Infants early learning is optimized when they have time and safe spaces to explore their natural curiosities and when trusted caregivers are there to describe, interpret, and encourage these explorations (source: Gail Conway, M.Ed.).

 School News:

~ Come join us for the Infant-Wing Potluck and Sing-a-long will be on Wednesday, February 17th from 4:30-5:45 pm!  We will have a sing-a-long session in the mini-gym and a potluck feast in the classrooms.  A potluck food sign-up sheet will be posted on the clipboard in the next few weeks.  More information will follow.

Did you know?:

 ~ GBN has an open door policy – you are welcome to visit your child during the day.   We also have phones in every classroom for both parent and teacher convenience.

 ~ GBN is a peanut-free zone.

 ~ Karen Crawford is a registered nurse and has been Nielsen’s health nurse consultant since January 2004.  She graduated from Northern Illinois University.

 ~ The curriculum is literacy-rich, play-based, and project-oriented.