The book that started it all is the “Lift the Flap Questions and Answers about Dinosaurs.” With over 60 flaps with questions ranging from “How big was the biggest dinosaur?” to “Were Dinosaur’s smelly?” and other amazing questions, my daughter was constantly asking to read the questions and learn more about the dinosaurs. I knew that I had to get all the books in this series and more books on dinosaurs as she was hooked.
We spent the first couple days doing 5 questions at a time in the morning and before bedtime. We looked up videos about dinosaurs, did a fun activity I found online, and went to the Natural History Museum to see the dinosaur fossils while we waited for her additional books to arrive.
I found a great playlist of videos from the Jim Henson Company that features all the Dr. Scott the paleontologist videos from Dinosaur Train – they can be found here. Discovery Kids also has some great videos of what we imagine certain dinosaurs to looks like. They are brief and just visual representations, no talking. They can be found here.
The first activity we did was to make dinosaur skeletons by cutting out dinosaur shapes with construction paper and then glued q-tips to make bones. I found it on Pinterest here.
Once the next set of books arrived she was so excited. First we played with the “Build Your Own Dinosaur Sticker Book” which acted like a jigsaw puzzle using stickers. The pages had a dinosaur in action with some bones/organs showing in certain areas, then you had to find the right stickers to go over those spots to make the full dinosaur. She was enthralled with this activity and I couldn’t have been happier as she was learning about the dinosaur AND doing a fine motor skill activity.
As we love science experiments at our house so we bought some tiny plastic dinosaurs and did this great DIY Hatching Dinosaur Eggs. You make simple baking soda mixture, make it whatever color you want (she chose pink!) and put the dinosaur toy inside, mold to make an egg and let dry. The next day spray with vinegar to help the dinosaur hatch!
Also included in that set of books was the “Wipe Clean Dinosaur Activities“. The Wipe Clean sets come with a dry erase marker and help our toddlers with pen control, critical thinking, alphabet and numbers. I love these books and she works independently when she plays with them, which is also nice!
The last activity we did was to take those plastic dinosaurs and make fossils using salt dough. My daughter loved making the salt dough and pushing the dinosaurs in to make fossil molds. For directions and photos click here.
In addition to the more educational/activity based books, I decided to get her two fiction books as well to make the dinosaur themed few weeks extra fun. We got “Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide” and “The Dinosaur who lost his roar.”
“Nibbles: the Dinosaur Guide” is the second in a series about a book eating monster that eats his way into books and causes mischief. In this book he’s eaten his way into a dinosaur guide and while you follow along on his antics you also learn a little about the dinosaurs in the guide. My daughter loved it and we read it frequently throughout dinosaur weeks.
“The Dinosaur Who Lost His Roar” is a brand new Usborne book with a cute story and depictions of dinosaurs. I love these early reader books as they are short and easy books for when you don’t have a lot of time, but can be extended by asking your child to help read words or whole parts of the book.
To end the Dinosaur themed education weeks we bought the Dino Kit, which is a mini excavation kit that my daughter LOVED. She wore the little goggles and dug out her dinosaur. She was so proud and excited when she uncovered the bones.
After 2-3 weeks on dinosaur books, activities, videos, and a trip to the Natural History Museum we ended with my daughter knowing tons about dinosaurs, wanting to learn more and visit the museum again, and even claiming to want to be a paleontologist.