We're Diggin' Dinos!
Our interest in dinosaurs began when Jaxson and Olivia pulled out a few dinosaur books from the book buckets and began to read through them. When Shirley, our volunteer, came in the children brought her the dinosaur books to read.
We wanted to find a way to document their experience with dinosaurs, so for craft one day we got out some small dinosaurs and some paint and stamped the dinosaur tracks onto our papers. During this activity, Emmett and Karmen enjoyed playing with their dinosaurs and having them walk on their paper. Several of the other children, including Maya and Octavia enjoyed using their hands in the paint, but still used the dinosaurs to play with.
After snack one day Logan, Nash and Jaxson were crawling under the tables and sitting under them. Following this interest, we put two tables together and draped a sheet over top. We called it our “dinosaur cave,” and we crawled under into our cave just like the dinosaurs. We pretended to sleep but when we woke… We ROARED!
Sierra created salt dough one morning with the children so they could make their own dinosaur fossils. Using the same dinosaurs as the paint craft, the children stamped the dinosaur footprints and bodies into the salt dough. We let them dry out over several days, then we painted them.
Debbie brought in several dinosaur toys, including dinosaur heads that we can wear on our hands. Nearing the end of one day, the children had a little bit of energy. Sierra took them for a “dinosaur walk” in the school. The children wore the dinosaur heads on their hands and practiced stomping and roaring! Lincoln laughed every time he roared, he loved stomping down the hallway.
We had found a homemade book called “Dinosaur, Dinosaur, What Do You See?” and put it out with the dinosaurs for the children to read. Jaxson loved the book and was able to identify a “T-Rex” and a “Triceratops.” The realistic photos in the book helped the children to identify and label characteristics of the different dinosaurs. Jonah repeated “spikes” when we talked about the spikes on some of the dinosaur’s backs.
Our interest in dinosaurs has been continually expanding, and we have had dozens of books lent to us while this interest is still strong. We plan on finding exciting ways to incorporate the books into play as well as finding songs about dinosaurs. We also plan on bringing the fossils we created outdoors for a special dinosaur fossil hunt!