News for Black Hills Early Learners
We are here to bring you fun activities for any child ages 0-5 years. We want to thank our local early learner providers and educators for their contributions to this weekly newsletter! We hope you find this useful and helpful during this very unusual time. Happy learning!
This week's theme:
The 5 Senses
Children are naturally curious. Introducing them to the five senses helps them learn important vocabulary and encourage them to continue to seek out new information by using their senses.

Infant Corner
Activities for children under 1
When you notice how your baby reacts to things like light, noise, and touch, you will see the senses hard at work.

They say the nose  knows . That couldn’t be truer for your newborn. Their sense of smell is not just incredibly strong, but it helps them learn about people and places, and guides the development of their other senses.
Gently blow on your baby's face and hair. Ask them, "Do you feel the wind?" Notice if they like the sensation. If so, blow with long and short breaths. Play as long as baby is interested and enjoying the time with you.

Is your baby starting to babble? Use bathtime as an opportunity to babble about "b" if they say, "ba" you can say, "Baby takes a bath in bubbles! Ba-ba! If they respond back with more babbles, copy them right back!
Busy Toddlers
Activities for children 1-3

Kids are traffic and need to use their sight as they move around and you hold up red, yellow and green circles.
Link to act ivit y here

Get your gross motor skills working while doing a’noisy’ workout. Layout some bubble wrap and have your child stand on it while directing different workouts to be done (5 jumping jacks, 3 high knees, etc). Add in a bracelet made out of bells and place it on their ankle.
Place a blindfold on your child and then make various noises around the house and have them guess what you are doing. Examples: opening and closing a drawer, jingle car keys, opening and closing a drawer.

This activity contrasts and sorts soft and hard things, and identifies them through touch. Easy to make from a wipes container or tissue box.

Alphabet for Starters – An easy and low cost way to make your own touch and feel letters.

Young children love playing I Spy with My Little Eye. This popular and very simple guessing game is free and can be played anywhere, so it's perfect for keeping kids busy in the car or on nature hikes.
Creative Arts
Let your toddler explore the sense of touch and possibly taste with Edible Fingerpaint.

Paint using caffeine free fruit flavored tea bags to help your child explore their senses.

Hands-On Preschoolers
Activities for children 4-5
(Thank you to Shannon Weaver with Northern Hills Alliance for Children for these ideas!)
Watch this brief video to learn about sound and then take a sound scavenger hunt around your neighborhood. Think about the following questions.

  • What is the LOUDEST sound you can hear?
  • What is the QUIETEST sound you can hear?
  • How many ANIMAL sounds can you hear (birds, insects, mammals, pets)?
  • How many PEOPLE sounds can you hear (walking, talking)?

Make a unique playdough using some coffee grounds! It gives the playdough that familiar and loved scent of coffee, who can resist that? 

Watch the video to help inspire you to make a Water Xylophone. For more information science of Water Xylophones click the link below.
With glue and jello make Scratch and Sniff Name cards to help your child learn to spell their name.

Listening is an important literacy skill. Make a Listen & Find Word Search to play with your preschooler. If you don't have a paint dot marker have your child practice fine motor skills by circling the word.
Creative Arts
Talk about the sense of taste while you do the following creative activities:
  • Have your child color a picture of their favorite food or the grossest food they can imagine.
  • Make a collage using cereal pieces or pasta. Colored pasta makes for a nice collage

Explore painting with Sound! Add bells to paint brush.