Backyard Dinosaur Dig

dinosaur themed activitiy

We hit the Dollar Store for some supplies for summer crafts and activities and while there we saw these dog bones and decided to grab a handful and use them for some outside fun. Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? This would be a great for all ages and as a game for a dinosaur birthday party. We left the plastic on the bones because the ground here is still pretty damp and the feeling of wet dog bones totally skeeves me out. Do what works for you!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some dog bones, and any props you might want to use for your little paleontologists!
  2. Hide your bones! Can you see ours?  You could do this egg hunt style like we did or use a whole bunch and make a whole excavation site, how cool would that be?
  3. Time to hunt for some dinosaur bones. Think he was excited?
  4. Dig them out.
  5. He closed his eyes while I re hid the bones.
  6. Hunt all over again.

This is a great activity that can be quick or a much longer adventure.  After finding the bones don’t forget about writing or drawing a scientific report detailing your findings!

Dinosaur Books

Dinosaurs! by Gail Gibbons is an interesting and comprehensive introduction to dinosaurs for preschoolers. If you have a little one who wants to know more, this is a great book for them. It covers the basics and then some about dinosaurs and paleontology.

Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up by Robert Sabuda is truly awesome. You will gasp, giggle and find yourself amazed at every turn of the page when you read this incredible book. There is a large pop up in each two page spread ( beware some might be scary! ), as well as smaller pop ups on the pages as well. Under neath the intricate art are a ton of facts as well, it can just be a little tricky to get some kids to pay attention to the text with a giant dinosaur coming out of the book.  My sister bought this for my son years ago but we waited until last year to give it to him, and at 4.5 he is still awed and distracted by the pop ups . My guess is as his reading skills get stronger this will be a favorite quiet time book to read and play with.

Dinosaur Roar! Board Book by Paul and  Henrietta Stickland and is a board book that I’ve read often enough , I don’t need to look at the book. The premise is simple, using 2 different dinosaurs every page illustrates a pair of opposites. Toddlers and young preschoolers adore this book and I can’t blame them, it’s adorable and a great tool for teaching ! My son loves how funny the illustrations are and clearly enjoys the rigidity of the opposite concepts.

Rainy Day Physical Activity

We live outside Seattle and even for us this spring has been rainy. This activity is a perfect example of simple being wonderful. As soon as I told my son about my idea he was eager to start, so this wasn’t our most polished project, but trust me we had a ball. I don’t know about the kids in your house but in ours we need to work up a sweat inside or out to ensure a smooth bedtime and great sleep. So rain or shine we need to move our bodies!

  1. Gather your materials – all you need are some card stock ( index cards would be awesome) , a marker, and scissors if you need to cut the card stock.
  2. Write out different actions, exercises, and physical feats twice.
  3. Cut and make two piles.
  4. To play you need two players ( I played as well- trust me you don’t need to see me do karate kicks in my Pjs…not a pretty sight). Each player gets a pile.  The premise is simple both players put their pile of cards face down,  count out loud to 3 and flip .
  5. Then do the action on the card.
  6. Keep flipping and moving!
  7. Exercise will make you strong!

Book

Like all the books this week this one Strong Stickfiggy is one of the ebooks available on the  free MeMeTales’ Mobile Reader App . We read it on my iPod , under the covers pretending it was the Batcave ( do not tell me that shocks you…).  You don’t have to read it in a Batcave or even at home , you can read it anywhere which is my favorite part of this app.

Strong Stickfiggy
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Strong Stickfiggy

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Add Your Activity

Do you have a game, sport or dancing activity that gets your kids moving? Add your link here :

Jar Lid Letter Game

baby food jar lid letter match

When my son started eating solids I made all his food… you can guess that is not the case with my daughter as I have this many baby food jar lids waiting to be made into something. I am just happy we made something useful and fun with them since they can’t be recycled like the jars can. This took me 5 minutes to make and $1 for the foam letter stickers. Frugal, Educational, Earth Friendly-ish ( foam letters are probably not eh?) and fun! Oh and super simple for the uncrafty or crazy busy .Oh and if your child is not ready for letters yet do colors, if they are way past letters try sight words. This idea can be adapted to any ability.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some foam letter stickers and  many jar lids (or milk jug caps would work too). You may want to do the whole alphabet but I didn’t bother letters work in all different combinations and you don’t need the whole alphabet each time you do activities with letters. You may also want a wet cloth to wipe any lids that didn’t get washed as well as you’d hoped.
  2. Peel and stick letters into the insides of the lids.
  3. Add them for each lid.
  4. Play. For beginners play with the letters facing up saying only “Can you find…” giving hints using the color and what letters it’s next to.
  5. For more experienced kids play face down. My 4.5 year old needed more help than I thought he would, not naming the letters but understanding he needed to remember where letters were. He also had a hard time flipping the lids with Grandma’s gloves Batman gloves on.
  6. Yay a match!

Alphabet Books

Quilt Alphabetby Lesa Cline- Ransome is a really pretty alphabet book that makes me think of autumn afternoons, my husband’s grandma ( she quilts) and crave caramel apples even though it’s not a strictly autumn book. Every page is devoted to a letter and the short poem that accompanies it never tells readers exactly what the letter represents, instead readers must figure it out. It’s not too hard though because the stunning illustrations in bright warm colors wonderfully give it away for every letter. My kids both liked it although my son was hoping that S would be for Superman explaining that he grew up on a farm in Kansas.

A Was an Apple Pie by Eitienne Deslessert takes the classic nursery rhyme and adds odd dinosaurish aardvarky  creatures to it. I personally thought the creatures were odd to the point of distraction but my son gobbled up this book and loved the creatures . Yet another reason I don’t just read the books themselves , just cause I think something is odd doesn’t mean kids will. I really like the text to this because it’s simplicity is as brilliant as how it uses both all the upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet easily. Also because it’s such an old rhyme there are words we don’t often see in children’s contemporary literature and offers some new additions to your child’s vocabulary too.

“A” Was Once An Apple Pie by Edward Lear and Suse MacDonald is an adaptation of the classic Edward Lear poem that had both my children transfixed. The bold bright colors kept my daughter who is 10 months old wide eyed the whole time and the playful way Suse MacDonald adapted the text had my son listening from A-Z as well. It was incredibly fun to read allowed tongue tying me at times which resulted in us all giggling hysterically in a heap. A book that can do that is a must have in my opinion.

Best Of 2010

#7

Musical Hearts – Movement Game

As you can see if you click over to the original post,  this video tutorial got quite a few comments but it also got kids moving which in the middle of winter is not always easy. My son loved it and the hearts are still in the drawer of our coffee table ready to play almost a year later. This game can be played anywhere rain or shine, so there is no excuse for kids not getting their whole bodies moving!

What is your favorite way to get your kids moving when they are stuck inside?

Fishing For Letters Game


alphabet activity

This fishing for letters game was a favorite in my classroom and is really easy to make. Tuck those kids in , grab some scissors and start cutting, by morning you’ll have a fun game to play with your kids!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need multiple colors of card stock or sturdy construction paper, a marker, scissors, eyelets and an eyelet setter ,or you can also use paper clips!
  2. Draw a fish to make a template. Make sure the tail is large enough to write a letter on it. Cut it out and use this to trace all the fish.
  3. Start tracing the fish on your card stock/construction paper. I normally trace one for every two fish.
  4. Get comfy on your couch, and cut! Layer two or three pieces of paper to make it go faster but be careful , the paper can shift.
  5. Add a letter on the tail and a smile too. If you are using paper clips add an eye too!
  6. If you are using the eyelet option, add the eyelet as the eye for each fish. The eyelet should be magnetic, double check though since some are so heavily coated with paint the fishing pole may not pick them up!
  7. I am using a fishing rod that came with a Melissa and Doug puzzle but you can easily make one with a chop stick, ruler or blunt knitting needle. Add some yarn or ribbon with a strong magnet on the end and you are set!
  8. Wake your baby ( aren’t they always our babies? ) and show them the new game!


Additional Activities

Click here for more Under The Sea themed activities!