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
• Make your own Sensory Bag for your infant. All you need is ziplock freezer bag, some small items and duct tape! Link to Activity Here

• Help your older infant develop fine motor, hand eye coordination and dexterity using their natural curiosity to put things into slots. Use recycled oatmeal box and a deck of cards. Link to Activity Here

• Encourage Tummy Time with safe Tummy Time Painting.
•• Toddlers enjoy "fishing" with tongs from their "laundry basket" boat.

•• Simply make marks on paper and give your toddler stickers to peel off and cover them up. Talk about what is on the stickers

•• Link to 4 card games toddlers can play.
••• A yummy science experiment. Let your kids explore their senses with this blind taste and smell test using ice cream. Ice cream gets turned into a science experiment with this simple and oh so yummy experiment. 
•••   If you and your child enjoy doing crafts, South Dakota breezy summers are a great time for Do It Yourself wind chimes. Link to 25 Wind Chime Crafts Here or create your own ideas.

••• This Copy dance activity can be played with two to 20 children, and it's as simple as it sounds. One person dances while the others copy their moves. Kids love being the leaders, and imitation is, after all, the highest form of flattery. So put on some dancing tunes and show off those moves!
Outdoor Fun
• Bring nature to your baby anywhere! Take a clear water bottle and collect objects from your yard or a local park and place them in the bottle. Be on the lookout for dirt, grass, flowers, sand, stones, sticks, acorns and other small items that fit in the bottle.Then seal the cap on the bottle and let your child turn and shake it to their heart’s content.
•• Recycle clear plastic bottles and fill them with water and a little food coloring. Add a few funnels (from the dollar store), eye droppers (recycled from empty bottles of infant vitamins/medicine), and measuring cups to make a potion lab. Link to Activity Here

•• Step outdoors or near a window and explore the mysteries of light and shadows. Link to Article on Exploring Shadows

•• The point of a parade is something near and dear to the heart of the toddler: It's all about showing off and celebrating. So anytime you have cause, grab a portable speaker or sing a happy tune and march around the yard. New shoes?  Potty training success ? The first sunny day after a week of rain? These are all reasons to happily march around the yard and even around the block.
••• Did you know you can make a square bubble? Try making your own bubble wands for fun shapes. Link to Activity Here

••• Water Pistol painting is a fun outdoor art activity for preschoolers. squirting paint onto a large canvas using a paint filled water gun you can create some wall worthy artwork as well as having loads of fun.  Link to Activity Here

••• Get out and hike as a family. Link Here for the Best Kid Friendly Trails in Black Hills

Everyday Moments
• While doing the dishes, use your towel to play peekaboo with your baby. Hide behind the towel and then pop up and say, 'Peekaboo!" Wait for their reaction and do it again. Your child is learning ot focus and pay attention.

• Clean up time can be a learning time if you sing about it with your baby. "This is the way, we clean the house, clean the house, so early in the morning." When you sing to your child, the part of their brain that processes sound lights up, helping them make sense of waht they're hearing.
•• Cooking is a terrific time to grow your child's language. You can easily teach before and after by simply describing what you are doing. "Before I put dressing on the salad, I'll put the salad in the bowl." or "After I boil the water, I'll put the pasta in the pot."

•• This short video from the Center for Early Literacy Learning il lustrates how literacy learning opportunities can be found in everyday places, in everyday activities.   Link to Video Here
••• Ask your child to listen to your words and do what you say, instead of following what you do. Say, "Stomp your feet" while you clap your hands. He should stomp his feet and try not to focus on the clapping. Try new words and actions. Take turns!

••• Pick a shape of the day and then search for that shape together throughout the day. Talk about what you see together. If you choose circle talk about how they are different from each other.
Learn how children learn to develop the skills necessary to promote language and literacy early in their life. Through everyday activities, singing, and listening to stories, infants and toddlers build confidence as effective communicators. Link to Video

• Glue photos of your baby and the important people in her life onto sturdy 4x6 index cards. Punch a hole in the upper left corner of each card and tie them together with a short piece of yarn. Share the book with your baby. She will love seeing pictures of the people she loves and hearing you talk about them .
•• Need a fun activity to make it to nap time? Try this secret letters activity – your little learners will love it! It’s a combination literacy and art activity and that’s a whole lot of fun in one simple project!

•• Discovery baskets (also called treasure baskets) are an awesome way to help your toddler explore letter sounds at home!

•• Make simple word puzzles from empty food cartons.
••• Musical Alphabet takes a little set up time but is a fun way to get your child moving and build letter awareness. Link to Activity Here

••• One fun way to practice letters is to search for them in architecture and on structures. Not the letter you would see on signs (although you can do an ABC hunt with signs too) but look for "hidden" letters in how things are built. A trellis can be an upside down U. Can you find an L in a bench at the park?

••• This short video from Center Early Literacy Learning Describes how to create a literacy-rich environment in your home.  Link to Video Here