Preschool dinosaur activities


These preschool dinosaur activities start off with a believed experiment. If you were provided a living dinosaur to take treatment of, what would you do? There are no policies, and youngsters can use a wide variety of props to bring their strategies to life. The target is to discover about dinosaurs, assume imaginatively, resolve realistic challenges, and retain a record of your discoveries.

toddler girl playing outside with four different plastic dinosaur toys, including a sauropod, Pachycephalosaurus, and hadrosaur


To begin, you will need to have at least just one toy dinosaur, if possible a single that is fairly accurate in its representation. Then you’ll want to help assist your baby understand additional about the creature. What did it try to eat? How did it move? Do scientists feel it lived alone or in teams? A superior on the net resource for mom and dad and lecturers is the opens in a new windowDino Listing of the Organic Record Museum of London.

In addition, you are going to need to gather objects for developing a creature habitat. Objects like:

  • toy blocks
  • cardboard packing containers, tubes, canisters, or egg cartons
  • bowls
  • sand, clay, rocks, moss, leaves, conifer needles

Encourage fake enjoy with dinosaur “zookeeping”

You can get children began by asking a very simple query. “What if you had a true (insert creature title in this article) to just take care of?” What would you do?

Toy Maiasaur (duckbill) in homemade zoo habitat -- with rocks, leaves, moss, a cup of water, and a dandelion flower.
Toy Maiasaur (duckbill) in do-it-yourself zoo habitat. Picture by Parenting Science.

For youthful young children, tackling this issue could consist of building a crude creature habitat, and, maybe, thinking about the animal’s demands for food items and water.

Older young ones may well confront more complicated problems, like figuring out how to subdue a risky, injured dinosaur so it can get clinical therapy.

Depart young children free to acquire their very own scenarios, but be all set to take part. You can promote participate in by inquiring thoughts.

  • What ought to you feed your creature?
  • The place will it rest?
  • What products can the creature use to create a nest?
  • Wherever can the creature lay eggs or hold its babies protected and heat?
  • What can the creature do for exercise?
  • How can you retain the creature from finding bored?

Expand participate in to incorporate other preschool dinosaur functions, including the following.

Feeding herbivores: Preschool dinosaur pursuits about diet program

Food stuff search and “taste test”

There have been quite a few herbivorous dinosaurs, and some of these can be discovered as plastic toys, including sauropods, “duckbills” (hadrosaurs), Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and other people. Talk with your youngster about what forms of plant foodstuff your creature could have eaten. Then launch a mission: Let’s appear for foods to supply the dinosaur.

Egg carton filled with potential foods to feed a toy dinosaur - leaves, seeds, garlic glove, apple core, broccoli
Picture by Parenting Science

Your baby can attempt hunting outside in a green room – a park, garden, or yard. You may possibly also test raiding your very own kitchen. Persuade your youngster to obtain modest samples of attainable food items merchandise, which includes wide leaves, grass blades, berries, conifer needles, and flower petals. A useful way to kind and store your child’s collection is to use a recycled egg cartoon.

Some food items may well not have existed during the time when your creature was alive, so you can explore this if you’d like. Maybe your creature will be eager to consider some thing new!

To increase this activity, you can talk to your baby to phase a faux “taste test” – presenting each individual meals style to the dinosaur, and then determining if the dinosaur “likes” it. Your baby can choose notes on the final results of the taste take a look at, either by drawing photographs or obtaining you assistance with a composed history of the outcome.

An experiment with “gizzard stones”

Three sequential images: 1. three pebbles with arugula leaves 2. everything in a plastic bag 3. arugula leaves after having been crushed with stones in bag
Arugula leaves and pebbles. Put them all in a plastic bag and grind the leaves with the pebbles. What takes place? Pictures by Parenting Science.

Paleontologists believe that that some toothless, plant-having dinosaurs swallowed gastroliths or “gizzard stones” — stones that remained in a muscular aspect of the abdomen, in which they aided grind up tricky, fibrous food items (University of California Museum of Paleontology 2007).

You can have your child test the usefulness of gizzard stones by positioning a number of stones in a paper or plastic bag with some leaves. (You can use salad greens if you favor). Assistance your youngster wad up and twist the bag, emotion for the stones in just, and grinding them with the leaves. Then open the bag and see what has occurred. Are the leaves mashed up now?

Generating tracks: Preschool dinosaur actions utilizing plastic toys

toy dinosaur feet being pressed into clay and leaving tracks
Image by Parenting Science

Make dino-tracks by dipping the toy’s feet in finger paint and stamping foot prints on to paper. Alternatively, roll out some clay and have little ones make impressions. Then stimulate young children to analyze the toys’ ft, and question these thoughts:

  • What do the feet glimpse like?
  • What form are they?
  • Do the dinosaur’s ft remind you of the ft of any other animals? Which types?

Children can continue to keep track of their observations in a zoo keeper’s log (down below).

If you have quite a few diverse toys, you can also function backwards — beginning with the footprints. Make footprints for just about every toy, then question children to examine the prints and the toys. Can they guess (predict) which toys produced each set of prints? Have young ones test their predictions by producing their own prints. For related suggestions, see my Parenting Science report, Preschool and kindergarten science routines about monitoring animals.

Recording observations

Maintain a document of your preschool dinosaur actions with a zookeeper’s log or scrapbook. Your youngster can attract shots, and dictate composed notes for you to include things like. You can also consist of pictures of your creature’s footprints, images of its habitat, and actual physical specimens symbolizing your creature’s most well-liked foods or nesting substance. Flat specimens, like leaves, can be pasted right onto paper. Other components can be stored in plastic baggage and stapled in place.

Producing comparisons

Assess the sizing of your creature with the dimensions of other, dwelling animals. If your toy have been lifetime-size, how huge would it be? Help young children realize size distinctions by evaluating their creature to animals and objects they are acquainted with. Would the creature be the dimensions of a chicken? An adult human? A faculty bus?

Preschool pursuits: Much more suggestions

On the lookout for much more? These instructing strategies may well encourage you to  opens in a new windowdevelop extra preschool dinosaur pursuits on your personal. And verify out my  opens in a new windowpreschool science actions page. There you will locate the recommendations for several experiments and initiatives, as perfectly as science-based mostly suggestions for presenting science to youthful kids.


This scientific paper discusses the proof for gastroliths in various kinds of dinosaur:

Wings O and Sander PM. 2007. No gastric mill in sauropod dinosaurs: new proof from examination of gastrolith mass and functionality in ostriches. Proc Biol Sci. 274(1610):635-40.

For a significantly less specialized account of gastroliths in dinosaurs, see opens in a new windowthis article on the College of California Museum of Paleontology web site.

Content material very last modified 3/2022

graphic of youngster with toy by Alina Demidenko / iStock

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