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
• Baby Safe Cloud dough provides a sensory experience for your infant.

Starting around 6 months, your baby begins to recognize themselves in the mirror and can begin to learn more about what they can do. Just like tummy time for your little one, mirror time can be done everyday for at least 15 minutes (not necessarily continuously).   Link to Activities Here to do in front of a mirror with your baby.

• Fill a basket with round objects and let your baby explore. What will they learn while playing? Playing with familiar objects, exploring shapes, feeling the roundness of circles, playing with different sizes and thicknesses. Link to Activity Here
•• Mixing watercolor and Epsom salts can make a fun and interesting paintings. Link to Activity Here

•• This PomPom Tube Drop activity is very simple and only requires 3 items. Most of them you probably already have at home.The pompom tube drop is a developmental activity that will help to improve fine motor skills (using the small muscles of the hands and fingers) and understanding cause-and-effect and problem-solving. If you don't have pom poms you can use cotton balls.

•• Shape Sort Sticky Wall introduced sorting by shape and ties in  shape recognition  too. Link to Activity Here
••• Here’s a fun science experiment that will definitely get a “wow” from the kids. Combine baking soda and vinegar to make sodium acetate, or hot ice! It crystalizes instantly when you pour it, allowing you to create a tower of crystals. Link to Activity Here

••• Build a tower with plastic cups and make "darts" to knock the tower down with Q-tips and straws. Link to Activity Here

••• . Here is a chemical reaction that is easy and fun to do – cleaning pennies with vinegar and salt! All you need are some dull, dirty pennies, salt, and vinegar. Link to Activities Here
Outdoor Fun
• Make some Colorful Foam and put into a small baby pool for sensory experience. Link to Activity Here
•• Water play that is fun, keeps your toddler busy and clean toys at the same time . Link to Activity Here

•• Since you have the water out why not see what sinks and what floats. Link to Activity Here

•• Toddlers love a simple game of tag which is an excellent way to burn energy and release endorphins!
••• Have you ever walked on raw eggs? Start by having your child make a few predictions as to what will happen when they walk across raw eggs. Link to Activity Here

••• Stick with the Classics. Draw a hopscotch grid on solid ground using chalk. Number each grid according to its position or add any random number. The toddler can jump to a grid of his choice, but to make this a learning activity, instruct your child to jump on a particular number. Once the toddler remembers the numbers, you can put some bigger numbers to expand his knowledge.

••• Another classic idea - can stilts. Let your child decorate them for added fun. Link to Activity Here

Everyday Moments
• Stand in front of or hold a mirror up to your babies face and ask, "Who's the baby?" then say their name.

• Make bathtime enjoyable and a learning experience by making soapy bubbles in the water. Cover their legs and say, "Where are your legs?" Then wash the soap away, "There they are!" As they get older, invite them to decide what to hide and "find".
•• S et out 4 objects, pick different colored items. (You don’t want to confuse them with four yellow items). Point to the objects and slowly say their names. Have your child close their eyes (this is a skill in and of itself!!) then cover one object with a cup and ask "What's Missing?" This game can be played anywhere and especially in restaurants. It will buy you those last few minutes before your food arrives. Salt, butter, fork, iPhone…. What’s Missing?

•• Trying to cook dinner? Pull out the Rice Sensory Bin. Link to Activity Here
••• Change up meal time by pulling out some blankets and paper plates. Mealtime just got a whole lot more fun!

••• At bathtime ask your child to come up with as many rhymes as they can in one minute such as "float", like "boat" or "coat". Change the word to "soap" and begin again.
• Almost everything is new to your baby in the first year. Describe what you see: "There goes the yellow school bus. Beep, beep. Let them see, hear, smell and even touch things as you describe the experience for them.
•• Take some of your child's favorite books, a blanket and find a shady spot to read with your child outdoors.

•• Fine motor skills are essential to learning handwriting skills. Start with a simple activity driving small cars around cooking sheet of salt or cornmeal. Link to Activity Here

•• Sing favorite songs with your toddler the play Missing Word. Sing the song and leave out one of the words like, "Row, row, row your ____?" Can they fill in the missing word?
••• How about a sight word jump and grab activity to get the kids  moving and learning ? Link to Activity Here

••• Play alphabet ball to learn letters in a non pressure way. Call out a letter and your child responds with a word that begins with that letter. Then toss the ball to your child who calls out a new letter. When the you respond with a word the child throws the ball back to you .

••• A great sensory way to learn how to form letters with homemade dirt playdough and small rocks. Link to Activity Here