Let’s roar and stomp and chomp along with the dinosaurs this week with these dinosaur preschool activities! There is something so fascinating about these giant lizards that roamed the Earth so long ago that everyone, especially kids, is intrigued by them. So let’s roar into learning! Here’s a look at our weekly overview:
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Dinosaurs: Books We Love
There are so many dinosaur books out there, it was hard to pick! I always try to find books that are engaging but also tie into content (dinosaur facts this week). Here’s our top 5:
Hello, World! Dinosaurs by Jill McDonald introduces different species of dinosaurs with simple and colorful text. I love how this book also includes extra dinosaur facts!
Am I Yours? by Alex Latimer is the tale of an egg that rolls out of its nest and tries to find its parents by talking to other dinosaurs and comparing characteristics.
Dinosaurs Galore by Giles Andreae explores the world of dinosaurs through bright illustrations and rhymes for several types of dinosaurs.
Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones by Byron Barton allows children to see the journey of dinosaur bones from the excavation site to the museum in this simple introduction to paleontology. I love how they construct the dinosaur together like a puzzle at the museum.
Dinosaur Roar by Paul and Henrietta Stickland is a colorful book of opposites that shows dinosaurs of every shape, color, and size. I am so glad I found this book because we just started working on opposites!
Dinosaurs: Literacy Activities and Centers
Dinosaur Egg Hunt
Hunt around the jungle (or classroom) for dinosaur eggs of every color! I hid dinosaurs with beginning sound pictures (uppercase and lowercase letters included) inside of Easter eggs. Once my little one found them, we colored in the egg on the recording sheet to match. I just love Easter egg hunts, so this was a great way to incorporate letter sound practice!
Dinosaur Alphabet Writing
These dinosaur alphabet cards were a great way to get some letter formation practice in and build vocabulary with the dinosaur-themed word for every letter! We stomped all over them with plastic dinosaurs and used some in our sand tray with paintbrushes.
Draw a dinosaur card, find the matching letter (these ones fit great), and have Alpha-Saurus chomp it down! I made this dinosaur using a leftover disinfecting wipes container, which was perfect to tape Alpha-Saurus on. We definitely had a ton of fun with this activity, singing the Alpha-Saurus song and gobbling down some letters! I think we will be playing this game over and over again! This was definitely and continues to be my favorite dinosaur preschool activity!
We pretended to be paleontologists this week by gently exposing these lettered fossils and matching them to the Fossil Find recording sheet.
After reading Dinosaurs Roar by Paul and Henrietta Stickland, I realized that we haven’t worked on opposites at all! I made these opposite cards, and we dug around our dinosaur bucket to find tall and short dinosaurs, fierce and mellow dinosaurs, dead and alive dinosaurs, etc. Believe it or not, these are free! Grab yours here!
Capture the Dinosaur
Race around the board and try to land on the same space as the dinosaurs to capture the dinosaurs! This is a great way to practice letter identification while playing a game. This is available in both uppercase and lowercase letters in my TpT store.
Dinosaurs: Math Activities and Centers
Dino-Mite Math Match
Expand on those number identification / addition skills with these adorable dinosaurs! I just love how the answers are clipped along the plates on the dino’s back. Grab yours here!
Dino Tracks Measurement
These giant lizards had humungous tracks! We cut a T-Rex track out of cardboard (they can measure up to 3 1/3 feet in length and 1 1/2 feet wide), and we cut a footprint the size of a 3-year-old girl. Then, we measured different objects around the room and recorded it on this form. It was crazy to see how big the dinosaur’s footprint was compared to ours! I also added in those dinosaur measurement cards to measure with a footprints ruler for some extra practice!
My little tot is obsessed with scissors and hole punches, so we “cracked” these numbered dinosaur eggs using a hole punch. Also great for fine motor practice!
Dinosaur Skeletons Build, Sort, & Count
This week, we built dinosaur skeletons out of small, medium, and large bones. Then, we sorted them by size and counted them for this math activity. This activity could also be done as a large version using small, medium, and large cardboard tubes!
Dinosaur Ten-Frame War
A classic game of “War” with a ten frame twist! Flip over two dinosaur ten frame cards and see who has the most! By using ten frames, we are not only working on counting, but learning about visually discriminating between numbers. Building number sense from an early age is huge!
Dinosaurs: Sensory Bins & Dramatic Play
Paleontologist Dramatic Play
This paleontologist / dinosaur dig dramatic play was so much fun! We first learned all about what a paleontologist does through reading books and taking a look at our “How to Be a Paleontologist” instructions sheet. First, we divided the dig site using string so that we would know in which quadrant we found each dinosaur bone. Then, we used our digging tools to carefully uncover the fossils. We drew pictures of our bones in our research notes booklet, and took the bones to the research lab to be measured and weighed. Finally, we used our dinosaur fact sheets to match each bone to like a puzzle to determine which type of fossil it was. So many skills and so much fun!
Dinosaur Habitat Sensory Bin
Sand, trees, blue gems, rocks, eggs, and, of course, dinosaurs! So much fun to play in the sand and pretend to be dinos! I found the blue gems and rocks at the Dollar Store and picked up this bucket of dinosaurs.
Play Dough Fossils
It was so much fun to make fossils by imprinting dinosaur skeletons and leaves and shells into play dough! Love that this incorporates math with the ten frames!
One of the most impressionable activities that I did in elementary school was pretend to be a paleontologist and dig for dinosaur bones. So, of course, I had to recreate this for my daughter, too! I mixed together 2 cups of corn starch and added about 1 cup of water until oobleck was formed. We placed some dinosaur skeletons inside and waited, oh so patiently, for two days for it to dry. Then, we got out a hammer, chisel, and brush to pretend to be paleontologists, trying very carefully not to damage the bones. Amazing!
Volcanic Eruption Sensory Bin
Even though we are not quite sure what killed off the dinosaurs, it is still so fun to see a volcanic eruption. After wetting down some sand, we mixed baking soda in the sand and formed a volcano around one of the test tubes from our science kit. I added several tablespoons of baking soda inside of the test tube, and gave my tot the beaker full of vinegar with the eyedropper. She added the vinegar, and we watched the volcano erupt over and over again! She wants to do this 5 more times this week. Pretty cool!
This dinosaur unit was roaring with fun and learning! I love that my little one knows so much about dinosaurs now! It was really neat to see her actually name the dinosaurs at our field trip to the museum. Hope you got some giant-sized ideas for your classroom! Grab the entire Dinosaur Unit Bundle with all of these dinosaur preschool activities here with a 20% discount!