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
• For a sensory activity for your baby make edible fingerpaint out of yogurt. Link to Activity Here

Around 6 to 8 months of age, your child will learn to clap, so encourage them with this rhyme:
Clap, clap, one, two, three
Clap, clap, clap with me.
Clap, clap, four and five.
Clap, clap, clap, bees in hive.
Clap, clap, six, seven, eight.
Clap, clap, clap, you are great.
Clap, clap, nine and ten.
Clap, clap, let's do it again.

   Another sensory activity for baby is to make plain  unflavored gelatin  to play in. Hide things inside to explore and dig out. Link to Activity Here
•• Take advantage of toddlers joy in twisting caps on bottles with this activity.

•• This activity takes a little bit of set up. Make different sizes of stars in red, white and blue colors. Your toddler can match them by size or sort them by color.

•• S cissors grip is awkward at first — especially for tiny hands and fingers. Young children have to figure out where to put their hands, their fingers, how to open and close the crazy-looking things, and how to hold the paper or material they are cutting. (Not to mention all the new rules they’ll need to practice, like how to safely carry or pass the scissors to someone else!) Link to Article with tips to help your toddler learn about cutting with scissors .
••• Given the variance in densities oil and water cannot mix. Oil and water also do not mix because water molecules are more attracted to each other than to oil molecules. Explore this concept by making Fireworks in a Jar.

••• Add star confetti to slime for a great Star Spangled Slime.

••• This cornstarch-shaving cream dough is amazing! The texture is very soft and silky, and it’s very moldable (kind of like moon sand, but with out the high cost). Link to Recipe Here
Outdoor Fun
• Link here for a variety of super easy sensory play for babies.
•• Toddlers love to blow bubbles. This activity takes very little set up to make a bubble snake. Don't have glycerine you can use granulated sugar to make firmer bubbles . Link to Activity Here

•• Rig up a simple bucket and rope contraption in your backyard! It’s a  homemade toy   that will provide open-ended play for toddlers and preschoolers.

•• Cool down on a hot day with Ice Bowling. Link to Activity Here
••• Sparklers are a part of 4th of July fun. Keep kids’ hands safe while holding a sparkler, make a shield out of a cup. Check out the simple instructions . If you have some extra red solo cups sitting around, they can be put to good use!

••• Kids can use their whole body to paint! A fun summer gross motor and sensory art experience! Link to Activity Here

••• A very long time ago (long before there were digital clocks and mobile phones), people used a sundial to tell time. Link to PBS Kids to learn how to make your own Sundial.

Everyday Moments
• Your voice is your child's favorite sound. Even though they aren't talking back they are taking in your words. At their next diaper change, tell your child a silly story about the tallest child in the world while stretching their arms over their head.

Learn what you can do in everyday moments to help your baby develop healthy brain connections. From Zero to Three, Magic of Everyday Moments  
•• Use bath time for painting and keep the mess of painting in the tub. Easy to make bath paint.

•• Take turns with your child giving directions like, "Hop to the room in the house where you brush your teeth." or "tiptoe to the place where you sleep." Go back and forth coming up with ideas. As they develop this skill make it harder and include 2 steps, "Hop to where we eat and then crawl to the place where we cook."
••• Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation!
Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Make a Fourth of July Lemonade by cutting 4 lemons in half, squeeze into a pitcher and add 3 cups of water and 1/2 cup of sugar. Add ice.

••• When you ask your child to focus on their breathing when they feel upset, you help them practice self control. Have your child close their eyes and put their hand on their belly to feel it go out when they breathes in. When breathing out, their belly moves in. Remind your child when they are upset to Belly Breath.
• Infants learn through repetition and back and forth interaction. You can help them build communication skills when you turn singing into a musical conversation. Sing with lots of expression- smiling and looking excited or surprised or sad. Move around or wave your hands. Does your baby copy your movements or sounds? Repeat their actions and see if you can go back and forth.
•• L ittle explorers love the sensation of feeling a new substance. They learn hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and the ability to deal with being messy through sensory play. This Sight Word Sensory Activity with Shaving Cream and Foil is Messy, noisy, and   fun for toddlers and preschoolers.   Link to Activity Here

•• Every week, celebrities and PBS KIDS authors are reading aloud their favorite books on the PBS KIDS'  Facebook page  and  YouTube channel . Watch them all Here and find fun activities for the whole family to do!

•• Old scrabble games are the perfect literacy tool to play with. Arrange the letters to form rhyming words with children who are interested, and allowing everyone to play with the tiles as they like. Even if your child winds up building houses out of the scrabble letters, they are still seeing the letters and establishing familiarity.
••• Write a Thank You Note – The 4th of July is the perfect time to write a thank you note to a soldier serving in the military.  Operation Gratitude  helps facilitate this important volunteer activity. Visit their website today to learn more

••• For preschoolers, you can incorporate learning into fun activities, like mazes. In this maze shared on PBS Parent, your child will practice letter recognition to go solve the maze from start to finish .

••• Preschoolers don't always understand standard jokes but they love knock-knock jokes.   Check out our Knock-Knock Jokes