This past week we roared along as we learned about the dinosaurs. One day was given to dinosaurs in our social studies curriculum (Sonlight Core A), but that simply wasn’t enough. Dinosaurs are way too much fun for just one day. Here are our 5 Top Dinosaur Activities that we used to learn more about these amazing creatures from the past:
Paleontologist Dinosaur Play Bin
I filled a plastic bin with miniature dinosaurs and paleontologist tools to encourage some prehistoric pretend play this week. Our miniature dinosaurs just came from the dollar store, though I’m tempted to someday invest in these really cool ones from Safari LTD (They even have dinosaur bone fossils!)
Making Trace Fossils from Clay
We used our plastic dinosaurs to make trace “fossils” in clay. While we made footprints and even body prints, we discussed the different things that paleontologists learn from trace fossils, such as whether the dinosaur stood on two or four feet and what dinosaurs lived together.
I considered also burying the fossils in sand and letting the kids excavate them, but we never got around to it. Maybe next week!
Dinosaur Paper Plate Craft
We also made a couple of these cute dinosaurs using the paper plate templates on Learn With Play at Home. This was a quick and easy craft that allowed us to also review the names of the more common dinosaurs.
Dinosaur Roar Song
My kids loved Dinosaur Roar by Justine Clarke. It provided an opportunity to get our wiggles out while singing and dancing along. I like that the lyrics are provided too.
Of course, you know that I couldn’t resist creating a very long reserve list of dinosaur themed books from the library. Most of our books we just enjoyed looking at, but these dinosaur books were a couple of our favorites to read-aloud:
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Top 10 Worst Scary Dinosaurs: You Wouldn’t Want to Meet by Carolyn Franklin and illustrated by Antram
I always reserve any books in this particular series, as they are always a big hit with the kids. They are a little silly, but engaging.
National Geographic Readers: Dinosaurs by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
This book provided a quick, simple summary of dinosaur science. My kid was not at the reading level to read the book himself, but the book was simple enough for a more advanced early reader.
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs (National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books) by Catherine D. Hughes
We didn’t read this entire book, but it provided a great encyclopedia of the different types of dinosaurs in a format that was easy for my small children to understand.
Prehistoric Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
I have a book crush on Steve Jenkins, so I couldn’t resist checking out this dinosaur book that helps kids see the size of prehistoric creatures. It was amazing with some fold out large page spreads and we really enjoyed the artwork.
Dinosaurs! by Gail Gibbons
Of course, we couldn’t turn down Gail Gibbons either so we checked out her dinosaur book too. It was a great comprehensive overview of different types of dinosaurs and facts about dinosaurs. If you are looking for just one book to supplement a dinosaur unit, this book would be an excellent choice.
How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland
I have mixed feelings about this book. Overall, it did a great job of explaining the complete process of getting a dinosaur to a museum from finding the bones to displaying them. The book is very repetitive though with a long repeating refrain that grows as the book continues (like pull out your hair and stop reading repetitive). I cut a deal with my kids though and we agreed that we would just read the new information on each page. They were happy to make this deal since it was boring for them too.
This book is part of a series of similar books. They all have the same fault, but somehow we can’t resist still checking them out!
Do your kids love dinosaurs? Let me know if you try any of the ideas on this list!