They may be extinct but dinosaur activities are still a huge hit with kids.
I’m not sure if its because they’re powerful, ferocious or that they stomp and rawr but my kids LOVE them.
So, it makes sense to use their interest in ways that will extend their knowledge, vocabulary and invite lots of wonderful play.
This list of dinosaur activities are the most popular for kids, and the most easy to prepare for parents.
We love when it’s easy, don’t we?!
Top Dinosaur activities
1. Listen to dinosaur songs
A gentle introduction to dinosaurs can be achieved by listening to dinosaur songs. It’s a very popular topic and there are many musical variations out there. We searched YouTube and found some impressive dinosaur animations too.
Our favourite song is Dinosaur Roar by Justine Clarke. It also made our top wildlife song list.
2. Watch dinosaur movies
In a previous post, I showed you that watching a movie isn’t all that bad if coupled with further educational play ideas. Here’s a list of our favourite dinosaur movies:
- Ice Age
- The Land Before Time
- Jurassic Park (for the older children)
- Disney’s Dinosaur
3. Go to the museum
Sadly, it’s taken us almost a year to get back to the museum but it’ always so worth while when we visit.
If you’re looking for a day out with the kids, add to their growing dino curiosities by visiting the one place you can get all the correct information.
4. Read dinosaur books
There’s a heap of fascinating and enjoyable books related to dinosaurs. Here’s just a few we love:
First Dinosaur Encyclopaedia by Caroline Bingham
Dinosaur Roar by Paul Stickland
Digging Up Dinosaurs by Aliki
The Dirty Great Dinosaur by Martin Waddell
- The Little Dinosaur by Catriona Hoy
5. Visit kid-friendly dinosaur websites
Here are some terrific dinosaur websites for technological savvy children. Parental supervision may be required for younger children though.
6. Make dinosaur footprints
We studied some dinosaur footprints online and were lucky enough to see a replica of the Lark Quarry trackway at the museum. It’s the only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede in the world and shows more than 3,000 dinosaur footprints.
When we got back, we made dinosaur footprints in our sand pit and measured them against our own.
Here’s a great dinosaur footprint activity for older children too. What can fossil footprints tell us?
7. Learn about dinosaurs through play
I bought some cheap dinosaur toys and off we went. The sand pit made for a great play area and we learnt that some dinosaurs eat meat, while others eat plants, some swim and some fly and of course we roared a lot!
You can bring in the names of the dinosaurs here if you think your child is ready to learn more.
You can also use these printable dinosaur masks for prehistoric play including a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops and Stegosaurus!
8. Learn about fossils
Fossils are preserved remains or traces of animals and plants. Examples include footprints in mud or petrified organisms. Learn more about fossils together with your child by borrowing some books from the library or looking them up on the internet.
9. Make dinosaur fossils
Buy some powdered plaster at a local craft shop and make your own fossils. My kids loved this activity and it’s really simple to do. Just make sure you follow the instructions on the back of the plaster container.
10. Paleontologist play
After you’ve made fossils, why not become paleontologist? Use small garden tools and paint brushes to dig up those fossils. I even hid some dried out chicken bones in the sand pit too!
And because my children had learnt that dinsoaurs come in all shapes and sizes, they through they were real. Aren’t dinosaurs closely related to birds?
There’s something intriguing about an entire ecosystem of larger-than-human predator and prey species that just… disappeared.
I can’t wait to continue to learn more about them with her. I hope you enjoy learning together with your child too.
Extend their learning
- What was the environment like back in dinosaurs times? Research this topic.
- Find out how long ago dinosaurs lived.
- Research the many theories on how dinosaurs became extinct. What do you think happened?
- Make a prediction about what would happen if we brought dinosaurs back to life (ask this question before watching Jurassic Park).
- Learn dino vocabulary: extinct,
More, more dinosaur activities?!