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

Is anyone else absolutely freezing right now? Seriously, this cold is the REAL DEAL. How cold is too cold for a baby to go outside.

Watch this brief video to see how reading to your baby starting at birth can help foster strong reading skills and a growing vocabulary.
Foundations of Reading Goal CLL-5

Yes you can play a simple follow the leader game with young infants. The skills learned are imitation, back and forth conversation and improve memory. See how many actions your child can imitate in a row by tapping the table, opening and closing your hands, clapping, and waving. Start with something your baby is already doing, like banging a fist on the table.
Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning Goal CD-2

To assist your baby in learning the skills of grab and release and eye-hand coordination create a simple grab basket with a toilet baby tubes.
Motor Development Goal HPD-5
Busy Toddlers
Activities for children 1-3

Play follow the leader! Either the children walk behind a child while copying what they do, or stand in a circle and choose a leader. That child does a movement or action (like jump or spin) and the other children copy. Add music and have them show you their dance moves!
Motor Development Goal HPD-4

Singing this simple songs is a way to introduce toddlers to the concept of eating healthy.
Are You Eating 
(Tune: Are You Sleeping)
Are you eating, are you eating
Healthy foods, healthy foods?
For your body needs them, for your body needs them
Everyday, everyday.
Link to the article below for tips on teaching children about nutrition.
Physical Health and Growth Goal HPD-1

February is National Children’s Dental month and a great time for a simple science experiment to make elephant toothpaste!
Scientific Exploration and Knowledge Goal CD-8

Homemade puffy paint is fun and easy to make, and it doubles as a wonderful art process for kids and a cool science experiment. You just need a microwave and a few kitchen ingredients to make it. 
Scientific Exploration and Knowledge Goal CD-8

Making Toddler Books is a wonderful way to foster a love for books. Here are some ideas for making books of your own. These use a book binding machines but you can use a stapler and colored tape to make a pretty binding as well.
Foundations for Writing
Goal CLL-9

This name graph takes lots of sticky notes but the children become more aware of how their name is composed of letters and have an opportunity to count how many letters in each name. Literacy and math in one activity.
Mathematical Thinking and Expression Goal CD-6
Social Emotional

Children need to learn to share so they can make and keep friends, play cooperatively, take turns, negotiate and cope with disappointment. The following books are great for helping teachers and parents talk to children about sharing. Links provide lesson plans and ideas to go along with the book.

Developing Relationships SED-3
Hands-On Preschoolers
Activities for children 4-5

The children stand in a circle. Start by singing the song and then pointing to a child to join you. The song is sung to Mary Had A Little Lamb
Will you be a friend of mine,
Friend of mine, Friend of mine?
Will you be a friend of mine,
And _______ around with me? (Fill in the blank with a movement such as hop, dance, wiggle)
The 2 children in the middle now sing it together and invite a 3rd friend to join. Continue until all the children are in the middle dancing or moving together!
Motor Development Goal HPD-4
Teach your children about the fun game of thumb wrestling!
Motor Development Goal HPD-5

Use this science project to teach the importance of good dental health to preschoolers.
Self-Care, Safety, and Well-Being Goal HPD-6
Children can listen to their own heartbeat with this homemade stethoscope.
Scientific Exploration and Knowledge Goal CD-8

Here is a fun activity that practices letter identification and learning about the importance of proper teeth brushing at the same time. Words to a song are included to sing while playing.
Foundations of Reading CLL-8
Use snack time to explore math concepts with preschoolers.
Mathematical Thinking and Expression Goal CD-7
Creative Arts

Teach preschoolers about dental health while inviting them to create process art! Students will explore materials and review vocabulary words related to dental health.
Creative Arts and Expression Goal CD-12

Cut out tooth shape paper and let the children explore painting with toothbrushes.
Creative Arts and Expression Goal CD-12