There are a lot of dinosaurs in our house, and I’m not referring to the parents! I’m talking about the toys, pictures, books, stickers…. lots and lots of dinosaurs. The children will play with them for hours, as they would any plastic animal toy, accompanied by roars and attempts to pronounce some dinosaur names, which are hands-down, some of most unpronounceable words in the English language.
There’s so much that can be done to use this exciting and inspiring prehistoric animal in all manner of play. Below are ideas for all dinosaur enthusiasts, big or small!
Draw and cut out large dinosaur footprints and make a path around the living room. It can be a treasure hunt, or a hide-and-seek game. We use them at Easter to help the younger children find the eggs in the garden. You can draw and cut out dinosaur hand prints to decorate a room too!
Salt Dough Fossils
Find a good dough recipe, either one that air dries or one that can be baked. We have a great sand dough recipe that would work really well. Once the dough is made, shape into small pieces and, using plastic dinosaur toys, create some amazing foot prints in the dough. These can be decorated or left to look natural as if they’d been found on the beach.
Ice Age Dinosaur Eggs
All you need is a balloon, some water, a few plastic dinosaur toys and a freezer. Fill the balloons with water and place a small dinosaur toy inside. Tie the balloon and place in the freezer overnight. The next day, cut the balloons open to reveal the frozen eggs containing the toys dinosaurs. Use a range of tools, water and techniques to free the frozen creatures.
This is a really simple way to get kids playing in the dirt, or in sand or rice if you prefer. Get a shallow tray or bucket and fill it with your desired medium. Bury your dinosaurs in the sand and watch your little ones enjoy hours of play by digging and finding them.
If you have toy trees, outdoor-scapes and other pre-made items then these will work fine, but if you have some time, make your own and place them in a shallow tray to create a mini-world for the toy dinosaurs to trek through. Add water and hills to make it even more exciting. We have some more ideas on mini worlds on our blog.
Dinosaur Handprint Art
This is great for getting hands involved in paint and muck. It’s not limited to just colour on paper; you can use soil and mud to make hand and footprints on the ground and fill in the gaps to make the dinosaur pictures. Use pebbles, shells, leaves and sticks to create your very own dinosaur art!