Monday, April 30, 2012

The Dinosaur Roars!!

We’re buried elbow deep in boxes and the kids are bored with the unpacking! I decided to go back to my old idea of picking a “theme” to focus on with them to help keep them busy and me organized. I sat with the kids and we discussed certain topics that they are interested in and they agreed that Dinosaurs is what they wanted to learn about. They’re completely OBSESSED with PBS’s Dinosaur Train cartoon (which we stream through Netflix).

OFF TO THE LIBRARY!! We got each of them their own library card and we set out to pick dinosaur themed books! I got an activity pack from the library that includes 6 books, 3 toy dinosaurs, and an instruction sheet full of ideas to help keep kids interested. For the past two weeks we’ve been having circle time after breakfast, doing an activity and a craft and setting our days around dinosaur “things”.

Seriously, at this age anything goes. We made green Jell-O one day and instantly it was “dinosaur Jell-O”. We had yogurt covered raisins for snack another day and they were “dinosaur eggs” etc. See? Easy!

I found some cute educational activity sheets that had cartoon dinosaurs on them, so that counts! Find them on a cute blog called 2TeachingMommies.  Here’s a few pics of them doing the activities we printed:

I also found this really cute idea to make dinosaur feet at ItMom: With all this cardboard laying around, I knew this project was meant for us! I grabbed some green tempra paint from Hobby Lobby for $1.77, got the ribbon from my current (overly abundant) ribbon stash, threw the kids in their old preschool shirts and went for it!

What made it more awesome, is we already had a book called “Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp” written by Carol Diggory Shields. You can check it out at your local library or buy it on here:
We strapped on our new dinosaur feet, read the story and had our own dinosaur stomp in the livingroom!!

One afternoon while running through Michael’s craft store, I saw these really cool dinosaur eggs for $1.50 each (I forgot to take a picture of them in their packaging). They’re like compressed dirt and inside are miniature plastic dinosaur bones that you can put together and display when finished. We set up our dig site out back and the kids pretended to be Paleontologists for the morning. It took about an hour total with both kids and me helping them back and forth but we successfully dug out the “bones” and got them put together. They’re now proudly being displayed on their dressers.

Last event to close out the theme was a trip to Jurrasic Park here in Copley. I have to tell you, I was ecstatic to learn that we had a Fossil/Science center so close to our house! We chose to just do the park only so the fee was just $3.00 each. The park is a cute little area full of different activities for the kiddos. They rode cars in the Dino 500, they shot balls in the ball toss at dinosaur cut-outs, they climbed across a shaky bridge, they played in the sand dig area, they played on the swings and the slides and the most fun of all, they rode on zip lines! They had a little 12ft (I’m guessing…) long “baby” zip line that Ryan loved and then they had a 200ft (not guessing, ‘cause I asked) long zip line that Ash LOVED!!

While a lot of the learning was pretend and we were being silly, I was surprised to find out how much of this information stuck in their brains. One day while out, Ashlynn was holding onto one of the toy dinosaurs from the library. A lady said to her, “I like your toy, what is that?” To which Ash replied “a Brachiosaurus.” The lady looked at her shocked and said “well, I was expecting you to say dinosaur but Brachiosaurus will work!” :)
Also for those of you who know about Ryan’s speech issues… he says Stegasaurus clear as a bell!! Crazy!

Whew, learning about dinosaurs and pretending was great fun. We’re off to a new activity for the next few weeks.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. What a great idea. I'm glad you're back home with the kids full-time. I know you missed it terribly. Miss you girl! T