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Dinosaur Activities

Submit your dinosaur ideas!!

  1. Digging for Dinosaurs- Paleontologists have to work very long to dig out bones. They have to be very careful and patient or the bones will break. Explain to the students that they are going to become paleontologists. Give each student a chocolate chip cookie, toothpick and napkin. Tell them to use the toothpick to get the chocolate chips out of the cookies without breaking the chips. When the students finish, discuss the difficulties in digging for the chips. Tell the students that when dinosaur fossils are found in rock, the whole rock is usually carried to a museum, where scientists can work on it using special tools.

  2. Bones in Stone- Boil some leftover chicken bones to remove all the meat. Place the bones in between pieces of clay. Press the clay together and let dry. Discuss with the students that when dinosaurs died, some of their bones got buried and turned to stone. Paleontologists study these fossils and fit them together to find out what the dinosaurs looked like. Using a nail and hammer, carefully break away the clay to expose the bones and then remove them carefully. An extension to this activity could include the students making dinosaur skeletons using pipe cleaners.

  3. Paper Plate Apatosaurus- You will need a paper plate and scissors for each child for this activity. Ask students to make one cut into the outside border of the plate and then cut out the round center. The center will be the body of the Apatosaurus. Then cut two small pieces from the border and staple onto body to make legs. Cut the remaining border into two equal halves. Staple one half to body, curving upward, to make the tail. Staple the other piece to the other side of the body, curving downward, to make the head and neck. Use markers or "wiggly eyes" for the eyes and make a mouth with markers. Then the student may sponge-paint the apatosaurus any color they would like.
    See the pattern here.

  4. Footprint Stegosaurus- Give each student a sheet of construction paper and let them step on it and outline their footprint. Cut it out and paste onto another sheet of different-colored paper. This becomes the Stegosaurus's body--the smaller heel end is the head, and the toe end is the body. Let the students draw a thick tail using markers onto the end of the body. Have the students cut about ten triangles and paste them along the stegosaurus's back and tail. Draw in legs, feet, eyes, mouth and nose with markers. Discuss why the Stegosaurus has these plates on his back. (They may have been used for defense; some scientists believe they were used to retain heat from the sun to keep the dinosaur's body warm.)

  5. Fossil Fun- Give each child a portion of playdough and ask them to flatten it onto a sheet of waxed paper. Then press a plastic dinosaur into the playdough. Observe the print that was made.

  6. Dinosaur Math- Discover just how big these dinosaurs were! Place a flag on the playground and start walking. Measure, using one small step for every foot. Put a flag at the end to show the measured length.
    Tyrannnosaurus Rex- 45 feet
    Triceratops- 30 feet
    Brachiosaurus- 90 feet
    Apatosaurus- 70 feet
    Stegosaurus- 20 feet

  7. Estimation Activity- Fill a large jar with dinosaur candy. After the students have observed the jar carefully, let them estimate how many dinosaurs are inside. Give a small prize to the child that has the closest estimation.

  8. Have dinosaur stencils handy. Let children use them to draw dinosaurs and make a scene around them.

  9. Gather cardboard boxes, paper scraps and glue. Let the children work in pairs to research what the dinosaur looks like. Then build a dinosaur model using the boxes.

  10. Dinosaur Skeletons- Show students pictures of a variety of dinosaurs and their skeletons. Talk about the skeletons, pointing to major bones, teeth, bony plates, spikes and horns. Use large tagboard dinosaur cutouts. Have children work in groups to glue chicken bones on the dinosaur cutouts to make skeletons.

  11. Show pictures of real dinosaurs. Then give students precut dinosaur patterns. On these cutouts, have students write one or two clues about a specific dinosaur, such as "I have three horns on my head and a bony collar around my neck. Who am I?" As clues are read, students should try to guess the name of the dinosaur.

  12. Debra sent in this great Dino activity. Thanks, Debra!

    Dinosaur Necklace
    Need: yarn; dinosaur shapes of heavy construction paper or foam; white plastic 1-inch straw pieces; geometric shapes of construction paper or foam; white or cream colored foam strips (bones); Fruit Loops (optional); masking tape; hole-punch; scissors

    Do: Punch holes in tops of dinosaurs, "bones," and shapes. String a dinosaur shape on a length of yarn and tie in the middle. Use masking tape to make "needles" on each end of the yarn and ask children to string the shapes, straws, "bones," and Fruit Loops on each side of the dinosaur. When yarn is full, tie, and child wears his dino-mite necklace!

  13. Linda sent in this great activity! Thanks, Linda!

    Dino feet
    After we have talked about the size of dinosaurs, we give each child a large paper bag and have them color or decorate the paper bag the way they think their favorite dinosaurs feet would look like. We then put the bags on each child's feet and tie with a string or large rubber band. We then put on music and have the children do a dinosaur dance. The child love to stomp around in the bags and some even asked to wear them home. A fun activity.

  14. Krista sent in this idea! Thanks, Krista!

    Take all different shapes of dry noodles (macaroni) and push them in clay. The shapes really look like bones in the dirt.

  15. Lori sent in this idea---Thanks, Lori!!

    One small toy dinosaur and balloon per child, old newspapers, flour, water, paint

    Do: Place one small dinosaur inside each balloon, blow the balloon up and tie it. Have the students paper mache the balloon and let it dry. They can then paint it. The "egg" can be cut open when dry and a "baby dinosaur" is inside.

  16. Penny sent in this idea---Thanks, Penny!!

    Our vegetable garden was finished for the year. I bought plastic eggs that open and each student put one of my small counting dinosaurs inside an egg. Outside in our empty garden we dug holes and each student "laid" an egg and buried it. I watered the dirt for 2 days and on the 3rd day we returned to the garden. I took colored yarn and made a grid on top of the garden dirt. The students could not dig up the egg they "laid", they had to dig for another one. We used our hands to make the digging last a while. We used paint brushes to remove the final dirt from each egg. Each student had to report which section of the grid had held the egg they discovered. Back in the classroom they had to look through all our dinosaur books and identify the type of dinosaur baby inside the egg they dug up. We cut out big paper eggs which opened in the middle and below on another attached piece of paper, they drew the dino baby they had unearthed. They copied the name below their picture. I took photos as the palentologists dug inside the grid, as they opened eggs and researched them. The photos will go in each child's 3 ring binder/portfolio that they take home at the end of the year. They got to keep the eggs, but I kept my counting dinosaurs. I felt guilty, and later found packs of a bit larger dinosaur at the party store, Paper Warehouse in Tucson, which allowed me to give each student a dino to keep. Yes, I do it all with my own money.

  17. Dino Dig

    After we discuss the work Paleontologists do, I usually break out my Dino Dig box. First I make plaster of paris casts of a dinosaur skeleton (available in any craft store). Next, I fill the bottom of the box with about an inch of plaster of paris and place the "Dino fossils" on top. Finally, I allow the entire setting to harden completely and fill it with about two inches of sand. I place this box in the science center, where the students use paint brushes, goggles, and nasal aspirators to uncover the fossils. I have yet to meet a student who did not enjoy this activity tremendously.

    Great idea from Geli---Thanks!

  18. Make puppets of dinosaurs out of different materials like cloth, wood, plastic and see-through plastics. Then people can dress them in all different kinds of clothes from dino slippers to dino scarfs and jackets and tops and hats and dresses and trousers. The clothes can be made out of different types of materials and colours and shapes and sizes. This idea will be fun for all. Photos can be taken of people with their dinos.

    Idea from Dionne---thanks!!

  19. Connie writes, "After talking about Dd's and the sound and things that strat with d, we look at pictures of dinosaurs. Then we use as many different kinds of macaroni as I can find and let the students glue them together to make their own dinosaur skeleton on a piece of contruction paper. My kindergarteners really enjoy this. We display them in the hall for all to see." Thanks, Connie!

  20. Dino Rubbings

    On heavy tagboard or poster board, outline various dinosaur shapes using hot glue. Be generous with the glue. After drying completely, the children can place a sheet of copy paper on top and use one color to rub the dino shape. A dinosaur magically appears.

    Idea submitted by Kristi--thanks!

  21. Dinosaur Eggs

    Paint some melons with creamy white paint and allow to dry, scrape one as if it's about to hatch. Place eggs around the play area for the children to go and look for them.

    Other activities:

    *Dino world (compost plants and plastic dinos in the water tray)
    *Hunting for bones in the sand tray
    * Making papier mache eggs of their own.
    * Lift the flap book where's Dino Dan?

    Whilst the children are busy move the eggs and nest and in a while ask the children to go and check on the eggs in case one has hatched! Their disbelief is amazing someone has stolen the eggs! We then make posters and a tv interview and wait for the response. Post one of the eggs back in a parcel from a mysterious person / place. Hide one in the play area so that the children will find it in time but in an unusual place i.e. up a tree!! The third egg could be taken home by one of the class children's parents for one of them to find at home and come back to tell the class all about it the next day!

    Idea submitted by Carys--thanks!

  22. Dinosaur Collage

    Draw large dinosaurs onto butcher paper. I usually make mine about 3 ft. by 5 ft. Ask parents to bring in washed eggs shells. (It takes a while to save enough shells so ask ahead of time). Dye the egg shells, using food coloring. Let them dry. Have children glue on to giant collage, thus making bony plates for the dinosaur. I have also used noodles, vanilla wafers, and other items.

    Idea submitted by Bobbi--thanks!

  23. T-Rex Heads

    I have several large tracers of a profile of a T-rex's head which I made out of tag board. I tape them down onto the color of construction paper that the child wants his dinosaur to be and help them trace the pattern. The dinosaur heads are then cut out and glued down onto black paper. The children then glue several small white triangles onto their t-rex as teeth. We finish the project by adding a wiggly eye to the t-rex. By using the black paper the dinosaur teeth really show up nicely.

    Idea submitted by Jane--thanks!

  24. Shape-A-Saurus

    I cut out several shapes in many different colors using construction paper. The children use these shapes to form a dinosaur and glue them down on a piece of construction paper. For example, a large oval could be the stomach, a long rectangle could be the neck, a small oval the head, triangles could be horns or teeth, small rectangles could be legs, and many small squares could be the tail. We hang these in the hall, and the children really enjoy this activity.

    Idea submitted by Jane--thanks!

  25. Dinosaur Fun Dance!

    I cut different shaped big foot prints of different kinds of dinosaurs. I let children deconrate their footprints (bingo dabbers, markers, crayons etc then I lay the foot prints on the floor in a long pattern leading from one end of the room going around and then ending near the door. Then I put in a dinosaur song from a C.D dinosaur dancing (di di di dinosaur dancing dino dancing I say one dinosaur dancing in the moring sun ...and children say la la la la one dinosaur dancing in the morning sun ...then the song goes...di di di dinsoaur dancing dinosaur dancing I say 2 dinosaure dancing for me and you ...children say la la la la one la la la la two dinsaur dancing for me and you ...and this way the whole song goes on ...) So we play the dinosaur song and then follow the foot print path and keep dancing till the song ends... variation to the activity can be to use it like a musical chair and one by one keep removing one footprint at a time and this way childern who are not standing on a footprint when the music stops get to go sit down and watch friends who are still in the game ...4 years old follow the rules and enjoy the game a lot.

    Idea submitted by Ailba--thanks!

  26. Dino Skeleton

    Use various types of pasta to make dinosaur skeletons.

    Idea submitted by Heather--thanks!

  27. How Tall is a Dinosaur?

    What you need:
    * Large Ball of string
    * Helium Balloons
    * Weight (balloon with sand in it)

    What you do:
    Measure out the hight of a dinosaur in the string. Tie a couple of helium balloons to one end and the weight to the other, let the balloons fly into the sky. The kids will see how tall the dinosaur was from the height of the balloons.

    T Rex - 7m (23ft)
    Brachiosaurus - 15.2m (50ft)
    Stegosaurus - 3.4m ( 11ft)
    Triceratops- 2.9m (9.5ft)
    For More

    Idea submitted by Jaime--thanks!

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