News for Black Hills Early Learners
Early Childhood Connections are weekly contributors to Early Learning Activities
At the end of each activity domain and goals for the activities are provided. For a copy of the Early Learning Guidelines click on the photo.

Infant Corner
Activities for children under 1
Sensory and motor development is the gradual process by which a child gains use and coordination of the large muscles of the legs, trunk, and arms, and the smaller muscles of the hands. A baby begins to experience new awareness through sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing.
Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning Goal CD-1

Baby sign language can be an effective communication tool. Teaching and practicing baby sign language also can be fun and give you and your child an opportunity to bond.
Communication and Oral Language Goal CLL-1

Create a variety of sensory bottles for your infant to explore.
Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning Goal CD-1

Baby sign language is an awesome tool to use before baby can say words. Follow the step-by-step guide below, which includes a visual cheat sheet, to teach it to your baby.
Communication and Oral Language Goal CLL-1
Busy Toddlers
Activities for children 1-3

Play Friendship Beanbag Toss with toddlers. Toss a beanbag from hand to hand and sing the following song:
I have a good friend,
a good friend, a good friend,
I have a good friend and his/her name is ________.
Then, toss the beanbag to the child who was named. Have the child toss it back. Repeat until every child has had their name called.
Motor Development Goal HPD-4
Can't get out in the cold weather to wear your toddler out. Stack up some pillows and jump or walk on pillows.
Motor Development HPD-4

This sensory lesson includes a kindness activity for kids that is short and sweet! Learning to use kind words with our friends is one friendship lesson that we can never cover always need reminding (sometimes adults do too)! 
Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning Goal CD-2

There are many simple science experiments that can be done right on the kitchen counter. This Valentines Oil and Water Science Activity is one of them!
Scientific Exploration and Knowledge Goal CD-9

Make a simple memory matching alphabet game. As children get more advanced you can match upper and lower case letters.
Foundations for Reading Goal CLL-6

Make some shape wands and turn your home or classroom into the perfect place for kids to learn and identify shapes in an active way.
Mathematical Thinking and Expression Goal CD-5
Social Emotional

This fun roll-the-jar art activity encourages two friends to work together! It suggests leave shapes but for February heart shapes are perfect for this activity!
Developing Relationships Goal SED-3

When children engage in behavior that pushes your buttons, it is important to be intentional in how you respond. Making a plan will help you remain calm when you respond. The article below gives strategies that you might use when a child’s behavior pushes your buttons.
Self-Regulation and Pro-Social Behaviors Goal SED-4
Hands-On Preschoolers
Activities for children 4-5

Here is a simple movement activity to encourage teamwork. Have children partner in pairs and skip across the yard (or room) holding hands. Continue with other movements, such as, running, hopping, marching, etc.
Motor Development Goal HPD-4
Practice scissor cutting skills with a broken hearts activity.
Motor Development Goal HPD-4

This fun Valentine bubble science activity for preschool is perfect for engaging young kids in science! Using bubbles at home or in the classroom is a great way to naturally provide opportunities for open-ended inquiry and exploration- important scientific skills that will set the stage for future success in school and life.
Scientific Exploration and Knowledge Goal CD-9
This is the time of year you can find Heart conversation candies at the store. Add literacy to science and read what they say as you use them to experiment making them dance in liquid.
Scientific Exploration and Knowledge Goal CD-9

Once children have been introduced to a letter/initial sound create this game for them to practice this new skill.
Foundations for Reading Goal CLL-7
Get preschoolers moving and counting with a valentine hearts number line game. Practice number recognition with a heart matching game or jump from heart to heart and practice counting.
Mathematical Thinking and Expression Goal CD-4
Creative Arts

Children can explore with mixing of colors with these Coffee Filter Heart Rainbows.
Creative Arts and Expression Goal CD-12

Use some crayon shavings and wax paper to make suncatchers in heart shapes for the month of February. Remember to always supervise children closely when using hot tools such as an iron.
Creative Arts and Expression Goal CD-12