We had so much fun learning about Dinosaurs this month! We even hit up the T Rex restaurant in Disney Springs when we made a quick trip to Disney for the weekend. Savanna impressed our waitress by rattling off a bunch of facts that she had learned over the past few weeks. Nothing like a three year old surprising an adult on things they know!
Below is a recap of some of the activities we did this month. All of the activities can be found on our Pinterest board as well and more information regarding materials needed can be found in our preview post.
Most fun fact Savanna (and I!) learned this month – a Tyrannosaurus Rex had teeth the size of a banana!
BUILD YOUR OWN DINOSAUR WITH SHAPES
This activity is a great review for shapes as well as an awesome critical thinking activity for preschoolers. You can even let them name their dinosaur after they are done! Savanna named hers Grandpa-saurus.
MATERIALS: Construction Paper and Glue
SET UP: Prep this activity by cutting out various shapes that could be used to build a dinosaur like half-circles, circles, triangles, squares and rectangles all of different sizes. I placed all the shapes on a tray with a glue stick and laid out a large piece of butcher paper.
ACTIVITY: Show your child how to build a dinosaur. Then let them go at it! Let their imagination go wild as they build different dinosaurs with all the shapes you have cut out.
It doesn’t matter if you have a little girl or a little boy, preschoolers love dinosaurs! In this activity we will be making our own dinosaur fossils in playdough in order to examine differences in types of dinosaurs.
If you have clay, you can also use that instead of playdough for the fossils. Any material that will leave an imprint will work!
MATERIALS: Dinosaurs and Playdough
SET UP: You can use a tray or work directly on a table. Provide different dinosaur toys and playdough for your child to work with.
ACTIVITY: Have your child push the dinosaurs into the playdough and examine the imprint that it has left. Compare the fossils of different types of dinosaurs. Your child can make fossil imprints of different parts of the dinosaur as well – compare feet size and body length.
DINOSAURS WITH CLUB TAILS
Why do some dinosaurs have club tails? The Ankylosaurus was a slow moving dinosaur that was able to make quick movements when necessary. Maybe because it was slow, it needed another way to fight against it’s predators. The club tail is thought to be one of the Ankylosaurus’ ways to protect itself in combat.
This STEAM activity will examine the differences between a regular tail and a club tail and why a club tail was so much stronger than others.
MATERIALS: Legos or another type of block, (2) Pens, Pencils or Straws and Playdough
SET UP: Have your child stack the blocks or legos 6-8 inches high. Make a ball out of playdough and put it on one end of a pen or pencil to make a club.
ACTIVITY: Lightly tap the blocks using the pencil without the playdough. Take note on how the blocks fall (or if they didn’t!) Then try the experiment again using the pencil with the playdough. Did the blocks fall harder or easier with the playdough pencil?
Explain to your child that a weighted tail gives the dinosaur more power. Since the Ankylosaurus was a slow moving dinosaur, it wasn’t going to be able to outrun other species of dinosaurs and needed a strong method of fighting.
MEAT VERSUS PLANT EATING DINOSAUR
The goal of this activity is to be able to differentiate between dinosaur characteristics and not necessarily know the exact names of the dinosaurs for each classification. I also attempted to teach carnivore and herbivore but it lead to a little confusion, so I left it as meat versus plant eating (much easier for a toddler to understand!).
Make two labels – one for meat eating and one for leaf eating – on a piece of card stock. Then have your child pick up a dinosaur and together talk about it’s characteristics. Finally, is the dinosaur a meat eater or a plant eater? Place the dinosaur with the correct label.
Here are some general characteristics you can teach your child to distinguish the difference between the two types of dinosaurs.
Meat Eating Dinosaurs (Carnivore)
- Stand on two feet
- Sharp teeth
- Long, strong legs to be able to run faster and catch their prey
Leaf Eating Dinosaurs (Herbivore)
- Stand on four feet
- Flat feet
- Flat teeth
Dinosaur Fossil Dig
You can find the free printable here! I cut up the puzzle and placed the pieces in our kinetic sand. There are actually quite a few pieces to this puzzle, and we didn’t have enough sand to hide it all!
Savanna loves to paint so I knew this one would be right up her alley. In fact, we did it a few times over the month. We used our dinosaurs to make dinosaur tracks and talk about the differences in the tracks. We incorporated these characteristics in meat vs leaf eating activity we did as well.
And we also used our Dinosaur Egg Hatching activity from Legacy Learning Academy!
We can’t wait for August activities – Fairy Tales!