Preschool Paleontology – Dino Dig! Class

January 14th, 2016 by Dionna | Comments Off on Preschool Paleontology – Dino Dig! Class
Posted in Eclectic Learning, Homeschooling, Preschoolers

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My four-year-old daughter has expressed an interest in dinosaurs, so I organized a Dino Dig! class for our homeschool co-op. I wanted to share the activities I planned for the preschoolers, because it ended up being just about the perfect amount for our small group. Feel free to use for your own group!

Dinosaur Stomp + Characteristics of Meat-Eaters and Plant-Eaters

We started by reading Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp, by Carol Diggory Shields. As we read, we talked about how the bodies of herbivores and carnivores differed.

I also passed out some of the dinosaur skeleton fossils I bought for the fossil dig activity. We checked the names on the bottom of the skeletons and tried to find them in the Dinosaur Stomp book. We also tried to figure out if each skeleton belonged to a meat- or plant-eater by looking at their body types, claws, etc.

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Dinosaur Footprint Estimation

We took turns guessing how big different dinosaurs were. We specifically talked about some of the dinosaurs that lived in North America, using my DK Dinosaur Atlas. I had printed off and taped together real-life sized footprints of a triceratops (link opens to a PDF) and a T-rex (we used Block Posters to blow up a small T-rex footprint we found online), and we talked about how a T-rex’s foot was much bigger than its footprint.

We each guessed how many of our own footprints would fit inside each dinosaur’s footprint, then we traced the kids’ feet in the dino footprints and compared the real number to their guesses. I found this activity at Prekinders.com.

Measuring Dinosaurs

Now that we knew how big some of the dinosaurs feet were, we wanted to know how long they were. Using measurements from my DK Dinosaur Atlas, we went to the driveway and marked out lengths with sidewalk chalk and a measuring tape. The kids were amazed at how long triceratops, T-rex, and diplodocus were!

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Dinosaur Dig – Preschool Paleontologists

Using the fossil recipe from Mom Inspired Life, we made fossils with the dinosaur skeletons. We used screwdrivers and hammers to chip away at the dirt, and firm paintbrushes to brush the residue off.

We finished class by learning more fun facts about dinosaurs reading through Usborne’s Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers About Dinosaurs. This was a fun way to wrap up!

We also tried to put together a plastic T-Rex Skeleton from Scholastic, but it was too tricky for little fingers.

How have you explored dinosaurs with your preschoolers?

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Amazon links are affiliate links, thanks for your support! And I’d love to be your Usborne rep – let me know if you’d like to order some gorgeous fun and educational books!

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