Showing posts with label dinosaurs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dinosaurs. Show all posts

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Preschool Dinosaur Free Printables

We had a great time studying dinosaurs in August and doing a lot of dinosaur related activities. So much fun that it has taken me a while to write about all of it. And I am very excited to finally be able to share some free dinosaur printables for some of the fun activities that we did. Thanks to my wonderfully patient hubby for helping me learn how to turn drawings into vector graphics (did you know there was such a thing?) and then into simple pdf files to share with everyone. You can access all 10 coloring, tracing and craft pages here.

Now you can do all of these fun dinosaur activities, or you can just have fun coloring or painting these very simple pictures. Make some watercolors and some glue, and you'll be all set!

If you use these and like them or come up with new ways to use these pages, I'd love to hear about it. Feel free to leave a comment or a link to your blog post below.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dinosaur Themed Preschool Activity: Dinosaur Sensory Bin

I haven't done much with sensory bins for the boys before, in part because I just heard about them not that long ago, and in part because our little boys already love to explore everything with their hands anyway. Playing outside and eating seem to give lots of opportunities to explore with their senses, without making anything special, but this dinosaur unit seemed to lend itself well to a sensory bin, and we already had everything on hand. It really didn't take any time to throw the dinosaurs, fossils we made and hunted for, and some plastic shovels in a tub with sand after all.

Preschool (or Tot-school) Activity: Dinosaur Sensory bin

  • A bucket or bin with some sand or rice in it
  • Dinosaur fossils, plastic dinosaurs, or even dog bones
  • Small shovels if desired
Arrange the items in your bin, and then call the kiddos over to explore it. We put this on the balcony so sand wouldn't get all over the house. We practiced naming dinosaurs for a while and talking about other things like the different colors in the bin as well. The boys played for much longer than I thought they would with this simple set up. Andrew played with it for about 1/2 an hour, and Aaron spent almost 2 hours straight playing with the bin the first day I put it together. They kept asking to play with it for quite a few days afterwards too. Perhaps I should try sensory bins more often, as they had so much fun with it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dinosaur Themed Preschool Craft Idea: Dinosaur Fossils

In August, we learned about dinosaurs. We did so many fun things that I still haven't written about them all. For this project we used a simple salt dough recipe and some plastic dinosaurs to make our own "dinosaur fossils."

Preschool (or Tot-school) Craft Idea: Dinosaur Fossils

  • 1 batch of salt dough
  • plastic dinosaurs
  • cookie sheets or other baking pans
  • oven (optional)
  • paints (optional)

  1. Mix up a batch of salt dough, and let it rest for 20 minutes. Use this time to hunt for all of the plastic dinosaurs that have suddenly gone missing in your house. No, I didn't plan this part of the activity, but it worked out to be fun though.
  2. Divide the dough into balls. We have big plastic dinosaurs so we just made 6, but if you had smaller dinosaurs you could make a lot more.
  3. Flatten into a roughly oval shape and press a different type of dinosaur into each piece of salt dough.
  4. Bake, or let dry.
  5. Have fun with the dinosaur fossils by painting them, naming the different dinosaurs found in each one, putting them in a sensory bin, or going on an archeological dig for dinosaur fossils.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dinosaur Themed Preschool Craft Idea: Dinosaur Reconstruction

We're studying dinosaurs this month and doing some fun crafts to go along with our theme. For this project the boys got to reconstruct a paper dinosaur skeleton. You can print out your own dinosaurs and skeletons from my free dinosaur printables available here.

Preschool (or Tot-school) Craft Idea: Dinosaur Reconstruction

  • Dinosaur skeleton drawn or printed out and then cut into pieces
  • A piece of paper or a dinosaur coloring page drawn or printed out
  • School glue (homemade works great!) or glue sticks
  • Q-tips to spread the glue if desired
  • Markers or crayons if desired
  1. Assemble supplies.
  2. I let the boys color the dinosaur coloring pages while I cut out the skeletons, but this is optional.
  3. Give the children the skeleton pieces and glue (or glue sticks), and have them glue and arrange the pieces to reconstruct the dinosaur skeleton how they think it should look.
Using plain paper makes this a more open-ended project, and using a coloring sheet to match the skeleton pieces to adds a degree of direction and complexity. My 20-month-old just enjoyed gluing the pieces wherever, but my three-year-old really liked building the dinosaur in the coloring sheet so it looked more like a real dinosaur.
    Brachiosaurus skeleton cut apart
    Brachiosaurus skeleton I drew

    Dinosaur Themed Preschool Craft Idea: Shape-a-saurus

    We're studying dinosaurs this month and doing some fun crafts to go along with our theme. The boys had fun making a Shape-a-saurus three different ways. The different ways to make a shape-a-saurus change how open ended the project is and the difficulty level of this project. You can print out your own stegosaurus and correspond shape from my free dinosaur printables available here.

    Preschool (or Tot-school) Craft Idea: Shape-a-saurus

    • Shapes cut out of construction paper, paper the child has already colored on, or a shape dinosaur print out printed on colored paper or on plain paper and then colored in
    • A piece of paper, dinosaur coloring page, or shape dinosaur print out
    • School glue (homemade works great!) or glue sticks
    • Q-tips to spread the glue if desired
    1. Assemble supplies.
    2. For a completely open-ended, and the easiet way to do the project, have the child simply design their own dinosaur out of the precut shapes and glue them down.
    3. To add a degree of complexity, and give the child some direction in their project, have them try to glue shapes that roughly match the outline of a coloring page.
    4. For the most complex way to do this project, have the child match the shape cut outs exactly to a shape dinosaur print out, like a puzzle, and glue them down.
    5. For any of these methods talk to your child as they make their picture, and ask them questions about the shapes and colors they are using. This is a great way to start to get a young toddler to see shapes all around them.
    This is a great project to review shapes and colors for any toddler, and it can easily be adapted to the child’s individual level. You can create shape pictures for any other theme as well.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Dinosaur Themed Preschool Craft Idea: Archeological Painting

    Archeological Painting: T-rex Discovered
    Here is another really simple and fun dinosaur themed craft suitable for a preschooler or a tot-schooler. It is basically painting a crayon resist drawing with watercolor paints and making it dinosaur themed to go along with our unit study. The boys had so much fun painting and I was really surprised at how careful both of them were. You can print out your own dinosaur skeletons to trace from my free printables availabe here.

    Preschool (or Tot-school) Craft Idea: Painting Dinosaurs and Dinosaur Bones

    • Paper and pen or dinosaur coloring sheets
    • Watercolor paints (Homemade works great!)
    • Paintbrushes
    • White crayons or oil pastels
    1. Print out some dinosaur coloring pages, or draw dinosaurs and/or their skeletons on some paper.
    2. Place a second sheet of paper over the coloring sheet, and trace the outline heavily with white crayon or oil pastel.
    3. Have the kids paint over the entire page with watercolor paints to reveal the dinosaur who was hiding there.
    The boys had lots of fun painting dinosaur skeletons and regular dinosaur coloring pages. I had thought this project was going to make a much bigger mess, but even Andrew (19 months) was really careful and there wasn't much mess from the paint. What little paint did get on their hands and the table washed off really easily. 

    Painting regular coloring pages

      Dinosaur Themed Preschool Craft Idea: Popsicle Stick Dino Skeleton

      We're studying dinosaurs this month and doing some fun crafts to go along with our theme. This is our first dinosaur creation: a Stick-a-saurus Skeleton. You can print out your own stick-a-saurus outline from my free dinosaur printables available here.

      Preschool (or Tot-school) Craft Idea: Stick-a-saurus Skeleton

      • Popsicle sticks (for long bones)
      • Q-tips, toothpicks, or cut popsicle sticks (for ribs)
      • A piece of paper (lines to use as a guide for where the sticks go can be drawn or this can be more of an open-ended project, and you can leave the design totally to the child)
      • Small dino head cut out of paper
      • School glue (Homemade works great!)
      • additional Q-tips to spread the glue if desired
      1. Assemble supplies.
      2. Have the child spread the glue on the sticks or on the lines for the long bones, and press into place.
      3. Then glue the ribs and the head on top, and you're done!
      4. The child can name the dinosaur if they want.

      My preschooler, Aaron, (who is three years old) was able to follow the lines and make the dinosaur look really good all on his own. My little guy in "tot-school" Andrew (who is 19 months old) just stuck them all over, which is absolutely fine with me. Gluing and sticking at this age is already kind of advanced, and everyone says his project looks like they just discovered the bones at an archeological site. :)

        Thursday, August 4, 2011

        August Unit Study: D is for Dinosaur

        The boys love dinosaurs, or as Andrew calls them, "bump, bump," so we decided we'd try to learn more about them for our August unit study. It turns out there are lots of people who love dinosaurs, so there is tons of stuff available online to put together your own unit study.

        We like the cute book D is for Dinosaur by Ken Ham, and the video that goes along with it is good as well; albeit the graphics are now a little cheesy. We also like My Creation Bible and Dinosaur, Genesis, and the Gospel and Creation Adventure Team videos that are also put out by Answers in Genesis as well. They have some other great free resources, including answers to common questions and free audio and video talks as well.

        This month, I wrote out our memory verse (Job 40:15, 19) and made a calender with a quick facts about a dinosaur for each day. For simplicity, I used info and pictures from Enchanted Learning to put it together quickly. This site has some good resources for teaching about dinosaurs and so does the PBS Dinosaur Train site, but they are from an evolutionary perspective, so the content can take some wading through.

        Since the boys went through worksheets and activities so quickly last month, I needed to come up with a way to make them last longer. We bought a book full of clear page protectors, and I put all of the worksheets and small pieces for activities in separate sleeves. This is working very well as they can write on the pages with a dry erase or washable marker, and then I can simply wipe them down and they are ready to be used all over again for the next day. Putting the puzzle pieces and cards in separate page protector has also really helped to keep them organized and not all over the kitchen. This workbook is sort of a mini workbox system. The boys can do all of the worksheets and then move from one activity to another, hopefully getting the first one put away before getting the next out. We probably will need to get a second book for next month though because Andrew wasn't as thrilled with the small worksheets I laminated for him. If his brother had small cards it was fine, but if Aaron has a big workbook, Andrew surely wants one too.

        To fill the workbook, I used free printables from all over the internet. Home School Share has a free creation based dinosaur unit study and lapbook printables. 1 Plus 1 Plus 1 Equals One has dinosaur tot pack with lots of free printables. 2 Teaching Mommies has a free preschool pack with lots of dinosaur themed activities for practicing basic preschool skills. Confessions of a Homeschooler has a Pre-K Letter D unit with lots more dinosaur printables. I found so many great resources that one of the hardest parts was choosing which pages to use from each.

        I even found some dinosaur themed beginning math activities. Mathwire had a simple dinosaur racing game to print which uses a die to learn about odd versus even numbers. File Folder Fun has a couple of matching dinosaur bones games to practice simple addition and subtraction. Learning Page also has dinosaur worksheets, including a few simple math ones.

        We have a few other dinosaur books including one with a dinosaur for each letter of the alphabet that the boys like a lot. And I found a few new silly storybooks about dinosaurs free online. Tyrone the Double Dirty Rotten Cheater, Tyrone and the Swamp Gang, Dinosaurs I Have Known, and I Am Tyrannosaurus are a few that are very fictitious but kind of funny. Again not everything on dinosaurs is written from a completely creation perspective, so parents may need to edit and explain the truth carefully to avoid confusion.

        The boys enjoyed coloring a T-rex and a dinosaur pop up card from Paper Toys. If we get time, I'd love to try to make some more of these dinosaur crafts. The boys boys love to glue things. And if I can find something to represent dinosaur bones, maybe we can have an archeological dig. Combining dirt and dinosaurs, the boys would love that!

        We'll see what we do this month and save the rest for another time.


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