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Learning Domain Activities and Book Recommendations

Great Books to Read to Infants and Toddlers
Approaches to Learning Activities

Let's Talk About the Earth

Nature-themed Activities

Lakeshore Learning: Boxes of Fun

Everyday Objects Are Fun Toys

Play in a Puddle on a Rainy Day

Playtime Activities

Daniel Tiger: Persistence

Daniel Tiger: Keep Trying, You'll Get Better!

Pom Pom Tube Ramp

Sticky Wall: Create a collage...

Homemade I Spy Bags


The Power of Playdough

Homemade Moonsand: Recipe from Children's Museum of South Dakota

Ice World Sensory Play

Sensory Play with Jelly (Jello)

9 Glow-in-the-Dark Games

Approaches to Learning Book Recommendations
Goal AL-1 and AL-2: curiosity, information-seeking, and eagerness
  1. My Hands by Catherine Hnatov
  2. Fly! by Mark Teague
  3. Saturday by Oge Mora
  4. Hey Water! By Antoinette Portis
  5. Seeds Move! By Robin Page
  6. Asking Questions and Finding Solutions by Riley Flynn
  7. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon Storyline Online read-aloud
  8. Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
Goal AL-3, AL-4, and AL-5: initiative, effort, engagement, and persistence
  1. Jump, Frog, Jump by Robert Kalan
  2. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
  3. Waiting, by Kevin Henkes
  4. The Odd One Out by Britta Teckentrup
Goal AL-6 and AL-7: risk-taking, problem-solving, flexibility, and resiliency
  1. Make a Wish Henry Bear, by Liam Francis
  2. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems YouTube read-aloud
  3. Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems YouTube read-aloud
  4. “I Have a Little Problem,” said the bear by Heinz Janisch Book Nook Activity
  5. Don’t Push the Button! by Bill Cotter Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Activity
  6. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn Storyline Online read-aloud
Goal AL-8 and AL-9: play and imagination
  1. When A Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore Storline Online read-aloud
  2. ¡Los Zombis No Comen Verduras! by Megan y Jorge Lacera Storyline Online read-aloud
  3. Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies! by Megan and Jorge Lacera Storyline Online read-aloud
  4. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt YouTube read-aloud
All goals of AL
  1. Baby’s Busy Day Being One is So Much fun! by Ann Harrell English version Spanish version
  2. Where is Bear? A Terrific Tale for 2-Year-Olds by Libby Martinez CDC Printable book and activities
  3. Amazing Me It’s Busy Being 3! by Julia Cook and Laura A. Jana CDC Printable book and activities
  4. Zoom, by Istvan Banyai Youtube (mini video with sound affects only)
Social and Emotional Activities

Daniel Tiger: Daniel is Jealous

Mirror Play for Babies…

Daniel Tiger Goes to School: Separation

Strengthen Your Emotional Muscles: Video from Children's Museum of South Dakota

Expressing Feelings with Yoga: Video from Children's Museum of South Dakota

Cookie Monster Learns to Wait: Learning to be patient

Emotion Rock Faces

Sesame Street: Name That Emotion with Murray!

Teaching Your Child About Feelings: Birth to age 2

Care for the Animals

Social and Emotional Book Recommendations
Goal SED-1: developing a positive sense of self
  1. Bear’s Picture by Danial Pinkwater
  2. Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems
  3. Mice Twice by Joseph Low Storyline Online read-aloud
  4. Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
  5. Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie
  6. Hey, That’s My Monster by Amanda Noll Storyline Online read-aloud
  7. A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon Storyline Online read-aloud
Goal SED-2: developing relationships~~familiar adults
  1. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney Book Nook activity
  2. Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney Book Nook activity
  3. No Matter What by Debi Gliori Book Nook activity
  4. Baby Cakes by Karma Wilson Book Nook activity
  5. Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller Storyline Online read-aloud
Goal SED-3: developing relationships~~other children
  1. My Tooth is LOST! A Monkey & Cake Book, by Drew Daywalt
  2. Big Al by Andrew Clements Book Nook activity
  3. The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen Barnes and Noble activity
  4. I Like Being Me: Poems about Kindness, Friendship, and Making Good Choices by Judy Lalli
  5. When Pigasso Met Mootisse by Nina Laden Storyline Online read-aloud
  6. No More Noisy Nights by Holly L. Niner Storyline Online read-aloud
  7. Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes Storyline Online read-aloud (ASL)
  8. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister Storyline Online read-aloud Book Nook activity
Goal SED-4, SED-5, and SED-6: self-regulation and pro-social behaviors
  1. Eat Pete! by Michael Rex
  2. Clark the Shark by Bruce Hale Storyline Online read-aloud
  3. When I’m Feeling…books: Sad, Angry, Scared all by Trace Moroney
  4. ABC Look at Me by Roberta Grobel Intrater
  5. Hands Are Not for Hitting by Martine Agassi Book Nook activity
  6. Sometimes I’m Bombaloo by Rachel Vail Book Nook activity
  7. Mouse Was Mad by Linda Urban Book Nook activity
  8. Glad Monster Sad Monster by Ed Emberley & Anne Miranda Book Nook activity
  9. Feeling Happy by Ellen Weiss
  10. The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
  11. See How I Feel by Julie Aigner-Clark
  12. When I Feel…books: Frustrated, Jealous, Happy all by Marcia Leonard
  13. How I Feel…books: Sad, Frustrated, Angry, Scared all by Marcia Leonard
  14. Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly & James Dean YouTube read-aloud
  15. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
  16. I Am Not Scared by Anna Kang YouTube read-aloud
Communications, Language & Literacy Activities

Center for Early Literacy Learning: Infant practice guides for parents

Center for Early Literacy Learning: Toddler practice guides for parents

Center for Early Literacy Learning: Preschooler practice guides for parents

Center for Early Literacy Learning: Guías de práctica en español para usar con los padres

Center for Early Literacy Learning: Practice guides for EC Educators, child care providers, etc.

Talking & Listening (birth to 33 months)

Reading (birth to 33 months)

Make Time to Talk: Language building tips for Center-Based and Home-Based Child Care Providers

Talking is Teaching

30-day Reading Challenge: Fun Ways to Read All Month Long

Storyline Online: Streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children's books alongside creatively produced illustrations.

Howard B. Wigglebottom: Streams videos of Wigglebottom books and lessons.

Literacy in a Bottle: Make discovery bottles to go along with children's books.

Let's Dance ABC!: Dance and learn sounds and letters.

Mini Alphabet Sensory Bins: Letter recognition & sounds and vocabulary building

Alphabet Museum

Lakeshore Learning: Letter Sounds

Preschool Word Games: Interactive literacy online games for preschool.

Lakeshore Learning: Reading and concepts of print

Lakeshore Learning: Story Sequencing

Lakeshore Learning: Rhyming

Lakeshore Learning: Writing Prompts: Yearly calendar of writing activities.

Writing & Drawing (birth to 33 months)

Communications, Language & Literacy Book Recommendations
Goal CLL-3: communicating and oral language development~~ever-expanding vocabulary
  1. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles A
  2. Skunks! by David Greenberg
  3. Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day
Goal CLL-4 and CLL-5: foundations for reading~~interest in literacy-based materials and comprehending information from books
  1. Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn
  2. I Will Not Read This Book by Cece Meng
  3. How to Read a Book by Kwame Alexander Harper Collins activities
  4. Where’s Spot? (all) by Eric Hill
  5. I Like Books by Anthony Browne
  6. Snappsy the Alligator by David Harbour Storyline Online read-aloud
Goal CLL-6, CLL-7, and CLL-8: foundations for reading~~concepts of print, sounds and phonological awareness, and knowledge of letters and alphabetic principle
  1. Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Beeke
  2. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
  3. Maybe a Bear Ate It! by Robbie H. Harris
  4. Time to Say Please! by Mo Willems
  5. Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein YouTube read-aloud
  6. Word Family Books by Usborne: Ted’s Shed, Hen’s Pens, Shark in the Park, Sam Sheep Can’t Sleep, Mouse Moves House, Ted in a Red Bed, Goose on the Loose, Big Pig on a Dig, Fox on a Box, Frog on a Log, Fat Cat on a Mat, Toad Makes a Road all books by Phil Roxbee Cox & Stephen Cartwright
  7. LMNO Peas by Keith Baker
  8. Click, Clack, Quackity-Quack: An Alphabetic Adventure by Doreen Cronin
  9. Alphabeep: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson
  10. The Hidden Alphabet by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  11. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
  12. Eating the Alphabet, by Lois Ehlert
  13. The Handmade Alphabet by Laura Rankin
  14. Alphabet…books: Rescue, Adventure, and Mystery by Audrey Wood
  15. From Acorn to Zoo and Everything in Between in Alphabetical Order by Satoshi Kitamura
  16. Nursery Rhymes and Bedtime Stories
Goal CLL-9 and CLL-10: foundations for writing
  1. When Pencil Met Eraser by Karen Kilpatrick and Lois O. Romus Jr. YouTube read-aloud
  2. Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills
  3. Do Not Open This Book! by Michaela Muntean
  4. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  5. Henry’s Map by David Elliot
  6. Wallace’s Lists by Barbara Bottner and Gerald Kruglik
  7. Oliver’s Must-Do List by Susan Taylor Brown
  8. Invisible Scribble by Diane Alber YouTube read-aloud
  9. My Map Book by Sara Fanelli
  10. Little Plane Learns to Write by Stephen Savage
  11. Dangerous! by Time Warnes
Cognitive Development Activities


Math for Babies (0-15 months) and Toddlers (12-33 months)

Preschool Online Games: Interactive math thinking games for preschoolers.

Lego Patterns: Use Legos to make patterns.

Marshmallow Geometry: Use marshmallows and pretzels for making shapes.

M & M Science: Do an experiment with M & M's.

Lakeshore Learning: Shapes

Lakeshore Learning: Colors, shapes, and sizes

Clifford: Big & Small? We can Sort it All!

Lakeshore Learning: Graphing

The Ounce: More and Less: Math for Toddlers (1-3 years)

Learning4kids: Sorting Number Stickers

Color Sort Activity for Toddlers

Let's Talk About Math

PBS: Up, Down, All Around: Spatial Awareness


Science for Babies (0-15 months) and Toddlers (12-33 months)

Peep and the Big Wide World Science: Games, videos and more for learning science.

El Mundo Divertido de Peep

Lakeshore Learning: Magnets

PBS: Sesame Street Science (Paper Towel Tube): Properties of a Tube, Tube Ramp, Measuring with Tubes, Tubes Sink or Float, Blowing Air.

Absorbing Experiments: Water table activity

Frosty Fun: Experimenting with "melting" and "time"

Color Explosion


Lakeshore Learning: Our Community

The Ounce: Stem-Learning for Toddlers

Alike & Different: Daniel Tiger


Music & Dance (birth to 33months)

Let's Talk About Art


Cognitive Development Book Recommendations
Goal CD-3: construction of knowledge: thinking and reasoning~~reasoning, taking perspectives, decision-making
  1. Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together by Anread Tsurumi (Taking care of environment)
  2. Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni Learning4Kids Activity
  3. Red, Blue, Yellow Shoe by Tana Hoban Learning4Kids Activity
  4. Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano Storyline Online read-aloud
Goal CD-4: mathematical thinking and expression~~Counting, how many, describe order, and compare
  1. More, More, More Said the Baby, by Vera B. Williams
  2. One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root
  3. Two of Everything by Lily Toy Hong
  4. One…Two…Three…Sassafras! by Stuart Murphy Mathstart activity
  5. The Three Bears…The Three Little Pigs…The Three Billy Goats Gruff…The Three Little Kittens…
  6. Quack and Count by Keith Baker
  7. Five Little Monkeys…Jumping on the Bed, …Swinging in a Tree, …
  8. Every Buddy Counts by Stuart Murphy Mathstart activity
  9. Caps For Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
  10. Cha-Cha Chimps by Julie Durango
  11. Ten Tiny Babies Karen Katz
  12. Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
  13. Ten Flashing Fireflies by Philemon Sturges
  14. Beep Beep, Vroom Vroom! by Stuart Murphy Mathstart activity
Goal CD-5: mathematical thinking and expression~~identify and describe simple geometric shapes
  1. Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins (Spatial awareness)
  2. Up, Down, and Around by Nadine Bernard Westcott (Spatial awareness)
  3. Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch, by Mary Peterson and Jennifer Rofe (Spatial awareness)
  4. The Berenstain Bears Inside Outside Upside Down by Stan Berenstain (Spatial awareness)
  5. Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh What's My Shape?
  6. Perfect Square by Michael Hall
  7. Round Is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes, by Roseanne Thong
  8. Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes, by Roseanne Thong
  9. Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban
  10. Skippyjon Jones Shape Up by Judy Schachner
Goal CD-6: mathematical thinking and expression~~compare, sort, group, organize, measure, and create simple patterns
  1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  2. 3 Little Firefighters by Stuart Murphy Mathstart activity
  3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
  4. A Pair of Socks by Stuart J. Murphy Mathstart activity
  5. You Are (Not) Small by Anna King
  6. Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
  7. Big Bug by Henry Cole
  8. Just a Little Bit by Ann Tompert
  9. The Best Bug Parade by Stuart Murphy Mathstart activity
  10. How Big is the Lion? My First Book of Measuring, by William Accorsi
  11. Rabbit’s Pajama Party by Stuart Murphy Mathstart activity
  12. Pattern Bugs by Trudy Harris
  13. A-B-A-B-A—A Book of Pattern Play by Brian P. Cleary
  14. The Napping House by Audrey Wood
Goal CD-7: mathematical thinking and expression~~mathematical thinking and solving problems
  1. The Greatest Gymnast of All by Stuart Murphy Mathstart activity
  2. Henry the Fourth by Stuart Murphy Mathstart activity
  3. A House for Birdie by Stuart Murphy Mathstart activity
  4. It’s About Time! by Stuart Murphy Mathstart activity
  5. The Rain Came Down by David Shannon Michigan State University activity
Goal CD-8 and CD-9: scientific exploration and knowledge
  1. I Spy series by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick (Observations and questions)
  2. Mix It Up by Herve Tullet (Predictions and questions)
  3. Freight Train by Donald Crews (Engineering) YouTube read-aloud
  4. Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (Living versus nonliving)
  5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Life cycles) YouTube read-aloud

    YouTube read-aloud (ASL) (ASL)

  6. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (Earth and sky) YouTube read-aloud
  7. The Snowy Day by Ezra Keats (Properties of matter)
  8. The Happy Egg by Ruth Krauss
  9. Rainbow by Marion Dane Bauer
  10. Rainbow Colors Peekaboo! by DK Mess-Free Color Mixing
Goal CD-10 and CD-11: social studies, family and community connections
  1. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
  2. A Day with Dad by Bo R. Holmberg
  3. And Tango Make Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  4. Quackenstein Hatches a Family by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen Storyline Online read-aloud
  5. Annie Rose Is My Little Sister by Shirley Hughes
  6. Black Is Brown Is Tan by Arnold Adoff
  7. It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr
  8. Daddy Makes the Best Spaghetti by Anna Grossnickle Hines
  9. Every Year on Your Birthday by Rose A. Lewis
  10. Me and My Cat by Satoshi Kitamura Storyline Online read-aloud
  11. Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers
  12. The Family Book by Todd Parr YouTube read-aloud (ASL)
  13. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
  14. Fred Stays with Me! By Nancy Coffelt
  15. Has Anyone Seen My Emily Greene? By Norma Fox Mazer
  16. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion Storyline Online read-aloud
  17. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
  18. Jamaica Tag-Along by Juanita Havill
  19. In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall, African Americans Celebrating Fathers by Javaka Steptoe
  20. Lots of Grandparents by Shelley Rotner and Sheila Kelly
  21. My Hippie Grandmother by Reeve Lindbergh
  22. You Are Not Small by Anna Kang YouTube read-aloud
  23. On Mother’s Lap by Ann Herbert Scott
  24. Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen Storyline Online read-aloud
  25. Quinto, Day, and Night by Ina Cumpiano YouTube read-aloud
  26. Trio: The Tale of a Three-Legged Cat by Andrea Wisnews
  27. The Ugly Five by Julia Donaldson
  28. I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll Storyline Online read-aloud
  29. We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio
  30. Only One You by Lind Kranz Only One You activities
Health & Physical Development Activities

Healthy Eating for Children: Veggies and Fruits of the month and healthy tips and articles.

PBS Snack Hacks: Fun healthy recipe videos while building science, reading, and math skills.

Lakeshore Learning: Healthy Choices

Teaching Handwashing: Tips and activities

Lego Flossing Activity


Yoga for children

Towel Fitness & Challenges

Get Moving Today Activity Calendar: Monthly calendar of physical activities.

A Moverse Hoy! Calendario De Actividades

SD Department of Health: physical activity printable publications by age

Activities for babies and toddlers: Early start in motor skills for babies and toddlers.

Activities for kids: Motor skills for toddlers and preschoolers.

Sesame Street Healthy Habits for Life--We Have the Moves!: Fun movement activities, healthy habits at home, and learning connected to domains.


Fine motor activities using Pool Noodles

Fine motor: eye-hand

Puzzle Unwrap

Fine motor: painting

Fine motor: sensory bags

Fine motor: Clothespins

Homemade Scratch Art

Health & Physical Development Book Recommendations
Goal HPD-1, HPD-2, and HPD-3: physical health and growth
  1. Now You Know What You Eat by Valorie Fisher
  2. I Like and I Don't Like by Joshy's Storytime Productions YouTube read-aloud
  3. Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition by Lizzy Rockwell
  4. Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
  5. Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies! by Megan Lecara Storyline Online read-aloud
  6. The Boy Who Loved Broccoli by Sarah A. Creighton
  7. N is for Nutrition by Todd Skene
  8. Me and My Amazing Body by Joan Sweeney
  9. My Amazing Body: A First Look at Health and Fitness by Pat Thomas
  10. The Busy Body Book: A Kid’s Guide to Fitness by Lizzy Rockwell
  11. The Things I Love About Bedtime by Trace Moroney
  12. Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story by Mariam Gates Yoga Poses to relax
  13. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
  14. A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na YouTube read-aloud
Goal HPD-4 and HPD-5: motor development
  1. From Head to Toe by Eric Carle YouTube read-aloud
  2. Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley
  3. Move! By Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
  4. Wiggle by Doreen Cronin
Goal HPD-6 and HPD-7: self-care, safety, and well-being
  1. Gorgonzola: A Very Stinkysaurus by Margie Palatini
  2. The Pigeon Needs a Bath! By Mo Willems
  3. A Duck Goes Potty by Michael Dahl YouTube read-aloud
  4. Big Smelly Bear by Britta Teckentrup
  5. Brush Your Teeth Please by Leslie Mcguire
  6. Open Wide by Laurie Keller
  7. I Don’t Want to Wash My Hands by Tony Ross
  8. The Ten Potato Scrub by Marjorie T. Cooke Scrub Club
  9. Germs Are Not for Sharing by Elizabeth Verdick
  10. Noses Are Not for Picking by Elizabeth Verdick
  11. Fight the Germs by Divya Mohan
  12. Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
  13. Fearless by Colin Thompson
  14. One by Kathryn Otoshi Book Activity
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