Children are fascinated by dinosaurs and enjoy learning about them. A great time to teach about dinosaurs is in October, when it is National Dinosaur Month.
Dinosaur Songs and Fingerplays
Triceratops (Tune: Three Blind Mice)
Look and see. One, two, three.
Count with me. One, two, three.
Triceratops has three big horns.
That's the way that he was born.
One, two, three. One, two, three.
Five Enormous Dinosaurs
Five enormous Dinosaurs letting out a roar
One went away and then there were four...
Four enormous Dinosaurs munching on a tree
One went away and then there were three...
Three enormous Dinosaurs didn't know what to do
One went away and then there were two...
Two enormous Dinosaurs having lots of fun
One went away and then there was one...
One enormous Dinosaur afraid to be a hero
He went away and then there was zero...
Dinosaurs of Long Ago
The Dinosaurs lived long ago,
And walked like this, and that. (Walk heavy like Dinos)
Some were large (Stretch arms apart)
And some were small. (Squat down)
Some liked water (Swimming motion)
And some liked land (Stomp feet)
Some had wings that flapped and flapped. (Flap arms)
Some had long necks that stretched and stretched (Put hand above head)
The meanest, rudest one of all was ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex
These were the Dinosaurs of long ago.
Goodness gracious! Where did they go?
I can stomp like a dinosaur...look at me.
I can walk like a dinosaur...look and see.
I am big and I stomp.
And my feet go clomp clomp.
I can stomp like a dinosaur.
Stomp, stomp, stomp.
Give children different shapes of pasta, glue, paper and crayons...let them design their own dinosaur skeleton.
Sponge Painting Dinos
Cut out dinosaur shapes and provide paints and small sponges. Have children dab sponges in paint and blot on dinosaurs.
Place plastic dinosaurs inside balloons, then paper mache. Let dry, then paint. Crack open to "hatch."
Glue different types of cereal on a dinosaur cardboard cutout. When dry, paint over the cereal.
Dinosaur Motor Skills and Movement Activities
Move Like the Dinosaurs
Talk about how the different dinosaurs moved (flew, walked on 2 legs, walked on 4 legs, took little steps, took big steps, etc.) As you discuss each one, have the children move to the other side of the room like that dinosaur.
Stay out of the Swamp
Use a jump rope, broomsticks, or pieces of rope, etc. Set the two objects parallel to each other (forming a swamp). The children then jump across the swamp trying not to land in the dinosaur-infested area. Move the objects farther apart after each attempt.
Dinosaur Math and Science Activities
Use masking tape to measure out the length of a specific dinosaur across the floor. (Example: A stegosauras was about 25 feet long). Have the children lie down at the end of the tape line and mark their name off at where they measure against the line. When finished the children can see how tall or long they were compared to the dinosaurs. You can also have the children predict how many of them will make up the length of the dinosaur. Line all kids on the tape and find out the answer.
Meat vs. Plant Eaters
Create a graph of which dinosuars were carnivores and which ones were herbivores. More information can be found here.
Dinosaur Bone Hunt
Boil and clean chicken bones. Be sure there are no sharp edges. Bury them in a sand box for the children to find. As an extension, have children place each bone in wet, packed sand to make an imprint. Remove the bone and pour Plaster of Paris into the imprint (or mold). Let it harden and then remove it from the sand...just like a fossil.
Dino Sorting and Patterning
Use Mini Dino Counters to sort dinosaurs. Sort by color, sort by type of dinosaur, sort by whether they spikes on their backs, etc.
Provide round crackers (like Ritz), a tub of soft cream cheese and goldfish crackers. Have children spread cream cheese on crackers then press goldfish crackers onto cream cheese. Lift up goldfish to see the fossils.
Toasted Dino Shapes
Toast wheat bread. Let the kids cut dinosaur shapes with cookie cutters. Tint softened cream cheese with green food coloring and let the kids spread it on their own toast.