Fun for Black Hills Early Learners
We are here to bring you fun activities for any child age 0-5 years. We hope you find this useful and helpful during this very unusual time.
Happy learning!
How to find the right activities for your child. Each activities is marked by dots (•):
• = Infant •• = Toddler ••• = Preschooler
Fun Activities
• Watch this video for games to play with your 4-6 month old babies.

• Easy to make sticky ball fine motor activity for babies 6 month or older. Wrap ball in masking tape, sticky side up. Link Here to Activity

• Lots of great baby games for 7-9 months. Link Here to Activities
•• Set up a line of couch, throw, or bed pillows on your floor, and have your toddler walk from one end to the other. It may sound easy but their balance will be challenged!

•• Sensory play provides so many opportunities for learning, development and growth. Soap slime is a great mixture to encourage and promote messy play with your toddler. Link to Activity Here

•• Use painter tape to put a variety of shapes, letters and/or numbers on your floor. Have your child stand on their favorite one then give them instructions to follow that will lead them to their next destination (for example: “bear crawl to the square”, “hop like a Frog to the T”, “Run to the rectangle”). Keep your child moving and help them learn their shapes, letters and numbers!
••• While poking, rolling, and squishing playdough, children develop the small muscles in their fingers and hands. They also gain strength and improve dexterity in their hands and fingers, critical areas of physical development for writing, drawing, and other purposes.
•••   Take advantage of the hot sun and do this simple science experiment to observe what melts in the sun. Grab a muffin tin and fill it with an assortment of objects. Let your child help choose things that he thinks might melt or not melt.

••• Just how far can your preschooler jump? Challenge them by having them jump between lines. Challenge them indoors by having them jump on lines made by painters tape on the floor. Outdoors make lines in sand or dirt. To add math, use a tape measure to measure the distance each jump.
Outdoor Fun
• Now is the time for you and your infant stay home and safe while enjoying extra snuggle time. However, getting fresh air and natural sunlight is good for both you and your baby. Stay safe and take solo walks and make sure to keep a six-foot distance from others. Or play on a blanket in your yard.

• National Wildlife Federations blog offers 7 Tips To Safely Introduce Your Baby to the Outdoors. Link to Tips Here
•• Mess-Free Painting - Giving a baby a paintbrush can mean a big, mess—unless you let them paint with water. On a sunny day, hand your child a paintbrush and a small cup of water and let them paint the steps, driveway or a fence. Paint rollers and paint trays with water are fun too. You'll be surprised at how much kids love this simple task

•• Hot day fun- make your toddler a colorful Ice boat to play with.

•• Celebrate your connection to the natural world by dressing up in nature! Link to Activity Here
••• A simple activity for preschoolers if you have multiple hula hoops around Head to an area with lots of green space. (If going to the park, remember to stay safe and maintain social distancing) Holding the hula hoops vertically, roll them with as much force as you can along the ground. Have child run after the hoop to catch it. If more than one child playing call out their name when it is their turn. Every time they bring back a hoop, throw another one! This is amazing hand-eye coordination practice.

••• Great sensory play on a hot day. Mix ice and shaving cream together and let your preschoolers explore.

••• Make gross motor dice to help get your preschoolers moving.

Everyday Moments
• As you fold laundry, share with your child what your're doing and how the laundry feels. "These towels are soft and warm from the dryer." Let them feel the warm towels.

• With your baby on your lap, pretend your're riding together on different things. First say, "We're on a horse, Neigh! while bouncing up and down. Then say, "Now we're in a race car!" and move quickly from side to side. Watch their reaction to the motions and repeat the ones that they like.
•• When it's clean up time, invite your child to be a Super Hero Helper! Ask them to pick a cleaning superpower/ Are they super fast when picking up toys or super strong when carrying laundry or groceries? Encourage them to show their superpowers in action and comment on their hard work! Create your own superpower.

•• While preparing a snack, offer your child a whole fruit or vegetable, like an apple. Ask questions about what the apple looks like, feels like, and smells like before cutting it. After you cut it, talk about what you both notice. What does it look like, smell like, and feel like now Does it always taste the same?
••• When folding your laundry let your preschooler be the counter. "How many socks did we wash?" Invite him to count out loud. Sort them in pairs and count the pairs. If they want to keep counting count shirts, towels, etc.

••• Take time to talk to your preschooler about his day using feeling words like happy, excited, and sad. Ask questions like, "Was there a time when your felt frustrated today?" Ask them to make faces that express these feelings. Share your day too.
• Even before your baby can talk, they're listening to the words you say and connecting them to what they see. Talk about what you see around you by looking at them, pointing to, and asking questions. "Do you see the truck? It's a red truck going down the street."

• Introduce your baby to new words as you talk to them about how things feel on their skin. "Your shirt is soft." "The wind is cold." "The ice is slippery." "Your bath is so warm."
•• Freeze some magnetic letters for an Icy Letters Sensory bin. Fun to play on a hot day. Link to Activity Here

•• This Name Rubbings activity will help your older toddler recognize letters, learn to recognize the letters in their name. They’ll have fun rubbing the crayons over their paper to reveal some amazing letters.

•• Practice fine motor skills while learning the alphabet. Easy to make with milk caps and an empty container. Link to Activity Here
••• Practice early literacy and math skills with a fun water race game. Preschoolers can race to learn letters, work on letter sounds, and practice counting and number recognition.

••• Here is a simple activity that builds early reading skills. Look for Letters. Do an alphabet scavenger hunt in the kitchen! Give your child a letter to look for on boxes, canned goods, jars-anything with a label. Make it an ongoing challenge by starting with A and going in alphabetical order.

••• Help your preschooler build pre-writing skills with this simple activity. Fill a cookie sheet with salt (you can also use sugar or flour) On different pieces of paper, draw letters and numbers. Show your child one of the pieces of paper. Then ask them to use a finger to draw the letter or number in the salt. your can also draw different types of lines-straight, wavy, loopy lines and zigzags.