Springfield Public Schools - Home

Early Learning Center

2501 South 1st Street
Springfield, IL 62704
Letter Factory Movie

Here is the link to the Letter Factory Movie on Youtube. You can purchase it for under $5. It teaches the students the letters and the sound each letter makes. It has a very catchy tune! :)


Cosmic Yoga

Toys, Trucks and Robot yoga.. 

Floating Foil Boat Experiment

A fun science experiment that also involves counting. This experiment can be done with aluminum foil and any items (coins, pebbles, beads, etc) that you have multiples of at home. Make a boat and have your child count how many items it takes for the boat to sink. 

Means of Transportation

Watch this video about the different modes of transportation for land, air and water. 

I Stink

We are talking about transportation this week. Please watch this book and video about a garbage truck that picks up items that start with each letter of the alphabet. 

Salt Dough Snakes

A very simple and fun activity to do with your child. This is a great art adn fine motor activity. Plus it only requires 4 ingredients you may already have a home!


Polar Bear and Cubs Web Cam

Want to see baby polar cubs? Check out this web cam. 

Going to the Zoo Tomorrow Video

Check out this video/song. Super cute about going to the zoo!! 

Zoo Trail Mix

Going to the zoo and need a snack? This is a fun snack to make when you got the zoo in person or visit the zoo virtually. 


1 Cup Chocolate Teddy Grahams

2 Cups Pretzels

3 Cups Popped Popcorn

1 Cup Animal Crackers

1 Cup Iced Animal Crackers

2 Cups Goldfish

2 Bags (16.9 oz) M&M's

Mix together in a bowl and enjoy! 

download Let's Go to the Zoo

This is a fun writing activity to do with your child. Have your child give you words for the blanks and when it is done, read your child's story to them. I would love to see your child's story when they are done. 

Online Zoo

This online zoo provides you with pictures, facts, and videos about the animals. 

Good Night Gorilla

Here is an animated version of the book Good Night Gorilla. While watching the video, ask your child questions about what is going on in the story. 

Name Hop Gross Motor Activity

Looking for a fun way to practice your child's name or the letters in the alphabet?! Try this fun gross motor activity that can be done inside or outside. 

Electric Eels

This looks like a fun science experiment with gummy worms, water, baking soda and vinegar. If you do this please send pictures!! :)

Wave Bottles

Looking to bring some ocean waves to Central Illinois?! Try making a Wave bottle with your child. Click the title to learn how to bring the ocean waves to your house. 

Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Webcams

Wanting to look at some ocean animals? Follow these link to live web cams to watch the animals at the aquarium.


Ocean Snack

Very simple and fun snack to make while talking about ocean animals. Crush 3 vanilla wafers in a ziplock bag to make "sand." Pour the "sand" in the bottom of a clear cup. Put a scoop of blue jello on top. Last add a gummy worm or swedish fish. Enjoy!! 

Invitation to Create Under the Sea

Create a variety of under the sea animals. This website gives you ideas on what sea animals to make and how to make them. 

Fine Motor Activity

Octopus with Cheerios

This activity is fun and simple. Using cheerios and a paper cup, have your child create the octopus' tenticals with cheerios. 



Farm Brain Breaks

Here is a fun gross motor activity to do with your child. 

Baby Farm Animal Learn and Color

Here is a great link that gives facts about baby farm animals. The pages are printable so your child can color them before or after you talk about the facts. 


Easy Homemade Butter Recipe

Since we are talking about farm this week, I thought it would be fun to make butter. Here is a recipe to make butter at home. If you make the butter, let me know how it turns out. 



Old MacDonald Had a Farm Song/Video

To go with our theme this week, I thought I would share a video of the song, "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." 


Tornado in a Bottle

How fun would it be to make a tornado in a bottle? All you need is 3 items that you may already have at home (Water, Dish Soap, and a tall narrow plastic bottle with lid). Click on the title to take you to the site and learn how to make a tornado in a bottle.  

Build a Rain Gauge

Need a rain gauge? Here is a link to create a rain gauge with your child. It uses items you can find around your house. This would be a great activity to make and then every time it rains have your child check to see how much rain we received. If you make a rain gauge, I would love to see it!! 

Cloud Writing

A fun sensory activity that involves writing letters. Grab some shaving cream and a cookie sheet. Put a glob of shaving cream on the cookie sheet and have your child practice writing letters or their name in the shaving cream. The kids love playing with shaving cream in the classroom, why not try it at home?!

Play Starters

Get your little ones moving with 20 play starters—simple ideas for play with a purpose. They can be done at any time and in any order. 

download Caring Connections Calendar

I received this calendar in an email and thought it would be something fun to do with your child during this time. I am going to do this with my children. :)

Hopping Corn Science Activity

Follow these simple steps to make popping corn become HOPPING corn. 

You will need:

  • clear glass container

  • popping corn

  • 2 TBSP of baking soda

  • 6TBSP of white vinegar

  • food coloring (optional)


  1. Fill jar with water and add a couple drops of food coloring.

  2. Add baking soda and stir well until it is all dissolved. 

  3. Add a small handful of popping corn kernels.

  4. Add the vinegar and watch the corn start to hop up and down!

This is a terrific way to work on measurement concepts, listening skills and practicing patience. 

Salt Dough Ornaments

Salt Dough Supplies:

  • batch (or 2) of salt dough 

  • rolling pin

  • ruler (to measure dough thickness)

  • egg shape or any cookie cutters

  • spatula

  • straw for making holes

  • parchment paper covererd baking sheets

  • acryllc paint

  • twine or ribbon


1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup water


  1. Stir together all 3 ingredients until a dough forms. Kneading the dough a couple times can help make it smoother .

  2. Roll it out (1/4 in thick) and cut out desired shapes.

  3. Place shapes on the parchment covered baking sheets. Remember to make a hole so you can hang the ornaments. 

  4. Bake at 250F for 2 hours.

  5. Once ornaments are baked, dried and thoroughly cooled, it's time to paint! After paint dries, put twine/ribbon through hole and hang up. 

Have Fun!!

Sink or Float Activity

Get a bucket or large bowl and fill it with water. Find a variety of items that can be put in the water. Have your child predict if the item will sink or float before placing the item in the water.  Then put the items that can sink in one pile and the ones that float in another pile. Then count and see which pile has more items. 

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Read Aloud

Here is a video read aloud of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We have watched this in class and the students really enjoy it! While watching the video, see if your child can tell you which letter is the first letter in their name. 

Fine Motor Activity with Spaghetti

Take a piece of uncook spaghetti and have your child put beads, cheerios, or fruitloops on the spaghetti. This helps with fine motor skills. Another idea is have them create a pattern with the fruitloops or the beads. Once your child has beads or cereal on the spaghetti have them count how many pieces they put on the spaghetti. Have them point to each piece as they count (one to one counting). 

Spaghetti Cutting

A fun and simple way to practice cutting. Cook up some spaghetti and place it in a large bowl. When it has cooled, have your child use scissors to cut the spaghetti. You can place the spaghetti in a ziplock bag and put in the fridge to use for another day when you child is done cutting for the day. Have fun cutting!!

Simon Says Workout

Needing to get the kids moving? Try this Simon Says Workout Game. It is sure to get them up and moving. This can be done outside or inside. 

Spell Your Name Workout for Kids

Need a fun gross motor activity? Have your child spell their name. Each letter they have a specific activity to do. 

Walking Water Science Experiment

Click on the Title "Walking Water Science Experiment" for the article about how to do this experiment. 

Supplies Needed:

*Small plastic cups/glasses

*Paper Towels

*Food Coloring in primary Colors



1. Place 7 cups in a row and pour water in the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th cup. My cups were about 3/4 full. I have since heard that fuller is better.

2. Add 5 drops of red food coloring to the 1st cup and the 7th cup.

3. Add 5 drops of yellow food coloring to the 3rd cup.

4. Add 5 drops of blue food coloring to the 5th cup.

5. Take a half sheet of paper towel and fold it in half lengthwise and in half again lengthwise.

6. Trim off some of the length so that there isn’t too much excess paper towel that will stick up in the air between each cup. This will make the water walk more quickly.

7. Place one half of a rolled paper towel in the 1st cup and place the other half in the cup next to it. Then another paper towel from 2nd cup and into the 3rd cup. This continues until you have placed the last paper towel that drapes over from the 6th cup to the 7th cup.

8. Stare at the cups and watch what starts happening. You should quickly be able to see the colored water begin to crawl up the paper towel.

5 Math Games to Play with Uno Cards

If you have a deck of UNO cards at home, try playing one of these five games with the UNO cards (or play all 5). Click on the title "5 Math Games to PLay with UNO Cards."

*Color Match

*Number Memory Game

*Number Sequence

*UNO card Addition (older students)

*UNO card Subtraction (older students)

Social Story: Why Can't I Go To School

To keep staff and students safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19, many schools around the world have closed their doors. For children, this abrupt disruption to routine can feel confusing and scary. Translated into six languages, this social story answers the question, “Why Can’t I Go to School?” in simple and reassuring terms.



Click on the title "ReadingIQ" and you will be directed to the ReadingIQ site. Put in the code:  SCHOOL2547 and create your family account. ReadingIQ includes hundreds of professionally voiced-over titles that are perfect for pre-readers. This website is a full literacy experience for children ages 2-12. 

ABC Mouse

Click on the title "ABC Mouse" and it will direct you to the ABC Mouse webpage. Put it in code: SCHOOL2547 and then create your family account. ABCmouse.com helps kids learn to read through phonics, and teaches lessons in math, social studies, art, music, and much more

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

Ready to get outside and do something fun? Try this Outdoor Scavenger Hunt with your student. Not only will you get some fresh air but it gives you an opportunity to go for a walk. Have fun!! :)

Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Stuck inside because of the weather? Need a fun activitiy? Try this Indoor Scavenger Hunt with your student. If you don't have some of the items listed, change them to items you do have around the house. Have fun!! :)

Trash Can Literacy Game

Using scraps of paper, write the letters in your child's name or all the letters in the alphabet. You can use upper or lower case letters. You can ask your child to find a particualr letter or pick up any letter and tell you the letter. Once they find it and name it, have them wad it into a ball and shoot it into the trash can. Have fun with this rainy day activity!!


download Build Olaf- Math Activity

Print out the pictures and cut out Olaf's body. Then using a dice, roll the dice and when you get the number that corresponds to his body part, put it on Olaf. Ask your child to count the number of dots on the dice. Play until you have built Olaf. Have fun!!


20 Virtual Field Trips to Take With Your Kids

Virtual field trips are a great way to expose kids to new places all from the comfort of home. In this age of technology, so many museums, zoos and aquariums have set up virtual tours and webcams of their facilities. Now more than ever, is it easier to visit destinations around the world from the comfort of your couch.

Click on the title: 20 Virtual Field Trips to Take With Your KIds


Keep Young Children Learning At Home During Trying Times

Keep Young Children Learning at Home During Trying Times: 

(Illinois Early Learning Project Tip Sheet specific to helping children during school closures due to COVID-19.)



Jack Hartman

Click on the title "Jack Hartman" and you will be directed to his youtube channel. We listen to his music in the room and occassionally visit his channel. Some of the student's favorite Jack Hartman videos are "Counting to 100", "Rap It, Read It , Say It, Sign It", and "Tooty Ta." These videos help the students get up and moving while watching the videos. 

According to his youtube channel, "Our songs for kids and educational videos will help your children learn counting, numbers, reading and language skills, nursery rhymes, science, physical fitness, dance and movement. Children actively participate in all the learning with lots of movement and fun. These songs for kids have a tremendous diversity of musical styles from pop, Hip-Hop, Latin, country and rock."

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo webiste has facts about animals, videos, live web cameras of animals in the zoo, activities and games. Check out this website with your child by clicking on "San Diego Zoo" at the top. 

Scholastic Learning at Home Link

Check out this Scholastic Magazine link for Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Just click on the title "Scholastic Learning at Home Link" and choose “PreK and Kindergarten”. 


The username is “Learning20” and password is “Clifford”. 

Play dough Recipe

Here is the recipe for the play dough we make at the ELC. Make sure to store it in an airtight container. ENJOY!