For those nothing-to-do days, try setting up an at-home Dinosaur Camp. These dino-themed activities cost next to nothing and will provide your aspiring paleontologists with fun of Jurassic proportions.

by Natalie Leff

Archeological Dig:

Hide some “dinosaur bones” (toothpicks) in a tall pail filled with sand (or in a sandbox). Let your little archeologists 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.


Fossil Fuel:

When hunger strikes during dino camp, have the kids make their own tasty, no-bake Fossil Fuel. You’ll need: 2 cups sugar, ½ cup evaporated milk, 1 stick butter, 3 cups oats, 1 cup coconut (optional), 5 tsp. cocoa and 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:

Why only host an egg hunt once a year? Create a dinosaur egg hunt! Get some plastic Easter eggs and fill them with prizes. Then scatter the eggs around the house or the back yard. 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 of your child’s day at camp. You’ll need: 4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup salt, 1½ cups water and 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.


Dino Facts: Did you know?

  • The word “dinosaur” is Greek for “terrible lizard.”
  • The first triceratops fossil was mistaken as buffalo.
  • T. Rex’ 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.

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