News for Black Hills Early Learners
Early Childhood Connections is a weekly contributor 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

We often associate the first year of a baby's life with gross motor development and skills. But during their first two years of life, children develop the key foundational elements upon which fine motor skills rely for appropriate development as well.


Tie balloons to baby's hands and feet and watch the fun begin when they kick and move.
Motor Development GoalHPD-4

It is part of a baby's natural response to pull at things and to see what happens. With this in mind make a tugging box. It’s so simple to make at home and it will have your little one entertained and learning through play in no time.
Motor Development HPD-5
Busy Toddlers
Activities for children 1-3

Looking for a fun active learning game? These two games get your kids moving! Kids will love counting the chips … but be careful, don't drop the cookies!
Motor Development Goal HPD-4

Playdough gives toddlers an opportunity to use a malleable material to pull, pinch, roll, flatten, mold, form, squeeze, squash to strengthen small hand muscles. This monstor Play dough activity also gives them an opportunity to be creative. Change it up for spring and have them create their own bugs.
Motor Development Goal HPD-5

Sensory tubs are wonderful for children to play with. They offer opportunities to explore sights, sounds, smells and textures, and promote lots of imaginary play and language development.
This garden sensory bin with carrots is an easy bin to create.
Scientific Exploration and Knowledge Goal CD-8

Toddlers love to play in mud so why not let them create their own "mud" to drive their toy trucks and cars through.
Construcion of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning Goal CD-1

Showers, flowers, and books! Celebrate the arrival of spring with these great books for kids
Foundations For Reading Goal CLL-5

Get out the painters tape and tape a square, triangle and circle shape on the floor. Gather some toys and other objects from around your home or classroom and practice sorting by shapes.
Mathematical Thinking and Expression Goal CD-5
Social Emotional

It's never too early to start teaching your children social skills. As your little one grows, they need to be able to express their thoughts and emotions with confidence, while showing respect and empathy for friends and others in their world. Because play is the primary way children receive and process information, games that introduce and model social concepts are wonderful ways to introduce social skills and cues. This kind of play doesn't just teach good manners, it encourages emotional intelligence in children of every developmental stage. Below find 7 easy to play social skills games.
Developing Relationships Goal SED-3
Hands-On Preschoolers
Activities for children 4-5

This activity requires a little set up but when we combine movement with learning, kids absorb so much. This Spell Your Name Hopscotch Game makes learning to spell their name fun.
Motor Development Goal HPD-4

Building a bird nest from yarn is a fine motor challenge for preschool age children.
Motor Development Goal HPD-5

When it comes to science and little kids, it’s all about inquiry, observation, and exploration. Growing things, like lettuce, in your science center or kitchen counter will lead to lots of natural opportunities for observing, questioning, and exploring.
Scientific Exploration and Knowledge Goal CD-9
There’s something about discovering a worm right under your feet that blows kids’ little minds! And you don’t need much to dig for worms. Find an outdoor area where you can dig (a garden or near the edge of the woods is ideal). The best time to find worms near the surface is after a rain when the soil is moist. Give each kid a shovel or garden spade and encourage them to dig into the dirt.
Scientific Exploration and Knowledge Goal CD-8

This puddle jumping alphabet activity is a great way to move and learn letter sounds! Bring the rainy fun inside with this playful preschool literacy activity!
Foundation of Reading Goal CLL-7
In this spring math activity for preschoolers, children will solve simple addition problems using fingerpaint to add raindrops underneath clouds to answer simple addition problems.
Mathematical Thinking and Expression Goal CD-7
Creative Arts

This spring flower craft combines the petals from colorful spring flowers with transparent contact paper to create a beautiful stained glass window.
Creative Arts and Expression Goal CD-12

Make beautiful nature resist art with watercolors and spray bottles. Explore decorating paper or t-shirts.
Creative Arts and Expression Goal CD-12