A Dino-mite Day: Fun With Dinosaurs at Home
These dino-themed activities cost next to nothing and will provide your aspiring paleontologists with fun of Jurassic proportions.
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Hide some “dinosaur bones” (toothpicks) in a tall pail filled with sand (or in a sandbox). Let your little archaeologists dig, blindfolded, for the “bones,” using only one hand. Set up a pail for each child so they have to race to see who finds all of the “bones” first.
When hunger strikes during dino camp, have the kids make their own tasty, no-bake Fossil Fuel. Ingredients:
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 1 stick butter
- 3 cups oats
- 1 cup coconut (optional)
- 5 tsp. cocoa
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- Directions: Combine sugar, evaporated milk and butter on the stovetop over high heat. Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add the warm mixture and stir completely. Drop spoonfuls onto greased wax paper and let cool.
Dinosaur Egg Hunt
Create a dinosaur egg hunt with plastic Easter eggs and fill them with prizes. Scatter the eggs around the house or the backyard. Place a special prize in one to mark the “golden T-Rex egg.”
Draw Yourself Dinosaur
Have children draw themselves as dinosaurs, combining both human and dinosaur features. Then have them create their own name by adding “-odactyl” or “-osaurus” to the end of their first names. Dan could be “Danosaurus” while Tom can become “Tomodactyl.”
Create Faux Fossils
This simple, salt dough craft will serve as a one-of-a-kind fossil to commemorate the day. You’ll need:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1½ cups water
- uniquely shaped objects
- Directions: Mix ingredients together to make dough. Flatten dough and divide into desired number of fossils. Gather leaves, shells, coins, toothpicks and other uniquely shaped objects. Use items to make imprints in the dough. Remove objects from the dough. Place fossils on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until hard. Once cool, paint.
Watch shadow theater and listen to music about dinosaurs on Pinkfong’s YouTube channel. Check out I’m A Dinosaur to learn about how the animals lived more than 65 million years ago. Take a creative break to draw a dinosaur with author and illustrator Susi Schaefer.
Read a dino-themed book. Check out Save With Stories, where celebrities read children’s books. Dinosaur-themed stories include actor Noah Centineo reading “Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri, “How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Birthday?” by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague and read by Gal Gadot, and actress Amy Adams reading “Dinosaur Princess” by Aviana Olea Le Gallo with illustrations by Darren Le Gallo.
Spanish speakers can watch “¿Cómo dicen te quiero los dinosaurios?” by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague and read by Camila Cabello and “¿Cómo dan las buenas noches los dinosaurios?” by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague and read by Zoe Saldana.
Some of our other favorite dinosaur books: “How to Catch a Dinosaur” by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton, “Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur?: All About Dinosaurs” by Bonnie Worth and part of Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library, “Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug” by Jonathan Stutzman and illustrated by Jay Fleck and “Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark” by Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca.
Dino Facts: Did you know?
- The word “dinosaur” is Greek for “terrible lizard.”
- The first triceratops fossil was mistaken as buffalo.
- T. Rex’s arms measured in at about one meter.
- The smallest dinosaur weighed only five pounds.
- The fastest dinosaur could run nearly 30 miles per hour.
- Roars from a tiger, alligator and elephant formed the call of the T. Rex in “Jurassic Park.”
- Disney’s “Dinosaur” was the most expensive-to-make movie released in 2000.
- Stegosaurus’ had brains the size of a walnut.
- Most dinosaurs were herbivores.
- Sauropods were the largest land animals ever.
-Natalie Leff and Emily Webb