Practically all children and probably most adults find the subject of dinosaurs fascinating and intriguing. Learning about dinosaurs stretches our imaginations and allows us to experience a world very different from our own today. It seems the more we learn about these awesome creatures, the more we want to learn. Learn more about these prehistoric creatures who lived on Earth for 165 million years, travel back in with these dinosaur inspired crafts, activities, games, and other resources.
In a shallow bowl mix some flour and water until you get a runny paste. Tear some newspaper into small strips. Place an inflated balloon on top of a cup or a small container so that it doesn’t tip over. Dip and soak newspaper strips in the paste and remove excess paste. Place strips on the balloon. Overlap strips until the whole balloon is completely covered. Apply three of four layers and let dry. When strips are completely dry, let your child paint the egg.
Spray paint a number of small dog bones white. Place them in a shallow rectangular baking dish and cover with sand or clean dirt. Tell your child to pretend that he/she is a paleontologist and that he/she will be digging for dinosaur fossils. Because dinosaurs are now extinct, he/she must examine and study these fossils to understand the history of this fascinating group of animals. Explain that the bones and the ground around the dinosaurs let us know when the dinosaurs died and what the climate was like when they lived. Just digging up the fossils could take years! Provide children with digging tools such as small toy shovels, paintbrushes, sticks, etc.
Make two identical sets of dinosaur pictures. (You can find great dinosaur templates on our site or in coloring books.) Place the pictures face down on a table or on the floor and mix them up. Have your child turn over a picture. Then have him/her turn over another picture to try to find its match. If the two pictures don’t match, have your child turn the pictures over and try again. Play until all the pictures are matched.
Fossil Dinosaur Craft
Have children make imprints in playdough using pennies or leaves. Explain how this is very similar to how dinosaur fossils were made. Bones made imprints in the mud. This mud hardened and became a rock or stone. When this rock or stone is broken the imprint is still in place. Explain that we can learn about dinosaurs through fossils.
Dino, Dino, Who Has Your Bone?
Have your child close his/her eyes. Hide the dino bone. (A dog’s chew toy bone makes a good dino bone.) Say, “Dino, Dino, who has your bone, somebody stole it from your home. Guess who!” Have your child try to find the bone.
Explain that many dinosaurs were plant eaters. Discuss with your child that fruits and vegetables are parts of plants. Provide a variety of fruits and vegetables. Peel and slice the fruits/vegetables and place in a bowl. Mix together. Serve on a paper plate. Ask your child to eat his/her fruit or vegetable salad just as dinosaurs might have—without hands. Some suggested fruits and vegetables: bananas, apples, grapes, oranges, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Discuss different ways the dinosaurs moved. Walk slowly like a Triceratops, run fast like a Compsognathus, etc. Play some instrumental music and let your child move or dance around like a dinosaur.
Jolanda Garcia is a former teacher and educational content designer. Visit her websites at: Preschool and kindergarten activities and crafts , and www.eartwiggles.com for resources and activities to promote healthy eating habits.
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Photo Credit: Guilane Nachez