News for Black Hills Early Learners
Welcome to Early Childhood Connections as 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

Between 6 months and a year you really notice changes in babies motor development. These have developed so much in the past months that your baby can now sit (on average 6 ½ months), crawl (on average 9-10 months) and is busy taking their first steps (first unaided steps on average at 12-14 months). What is interesting about the gross motor skills is that they develop in the order of head to toe!
Motor Development Goal HPD-4

If you use squeeze pouches save those colorful caps for the Frozen Caps activity
Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning Goal CD-1

Once your baby can sit up this Cool whip sensory play is safe and edible. Add food coloring and/or freeze for a different sensory experience for your baby.
Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning Goal CD-1
Busy Toddlers
Activities for children 1-3

Developing gross motor skills can get lively with this version of polar bear polar bear turn around.
Motor Development Goal HDP-4
Strength in the hand muscles is a fine motor skill that is necessary for so many tasks.
This foil activity is a fun way to develop the hand muscles and improve fine motor strength. If you have a mixed age group the older children can cut the tin foil into squares.
Motor Development HPK-5

Another unique way to play with ice and learn about animal habitats is to freeze a tub of water. If you don't have room to freeze a tub in the refrigerator freezer set it outside during a South Dakota cold winter night!
Scientific Exploration and Knowledge Goal CD-8

Make your own non-toxic snow paint with water, salt and flour to use to paint snowmen.
Scientific Exploration and Knowledge Goal CD-9

"Polar Bear What Do You Hear?" is a beloved book and a great opportunity to introduce new language and make your own animal sounds.

Foundations for Reading Goal CLL-4

Matching is one of the earliest math concepts developed in children. Make a mitten matching game to give toddlers a chance to explore and match.
Mathematical Thinking and Expression Goal CD-7
Social Emotional
Hands-On Preschoolers
Activities for children 4-5

Use large polar prints to get your preschooler moving while learning facts about polar bears.
Motor Development Goal HDP-4
Create snowflakes and practice fine motor skills using q-tips and sticky tack.
Motor Development Goal HDP-5
Make your own fake snow with baking soda and hair conditioner.
Scientific Exploration and Knowledge Goal CD-9

If you have the patience to fill a couple of water bottles you can teach your preschoolers a magic trick that dates back thousands of years- the Floating Rice Bottle.
Scientific Exploration and Knowledge Goal CD-9
After reading and learning facts about polar bears ask children the question "Would a polar bear be a good pet?". Record the answers on a sheet of paper or board. Discuss with the children the reasons why a polar bear would not be a good pet i.e., eats lots of seals, claws, dangerous for humans, they might hurt us, like icy cold weather.
Foundations of Reading Goal CLL-5

Winter and hot cocoa just go together! While most of your kiddos have probably tried the warm, chocolatey drink, have a tasting party - complete with marshmallows or whipped cream - and take a poll! Then graph how many like cocoa and how many do not!
Mathematical Thinking and Expression Goal CD-6
Creative Arts

Here is a process art activity that also gives you a final piece of art related to the "Polar Bear What Do You Hear?" book.
Creative Arts and Expression Goal CD-12

Make snowball sculptures. Playing with styrofoam snowballs and skinny craft sticks is a creative way for kids to work on fine motor skills! 
Creative Arts and Expression Goal CD-12