Books Teaching Kids

Dino Week!

By on September 18, 2015

This week was a really crazy week mentally for me- we had something going on nearly every evening until late-and that was hard for this pregnant mama. I am feeling the end of this pregnancy more and more. But, in the midst of all that busyness we had some really good homeschool times! In fact, some of our very best, I think! If anything as the week continued and we got busier with all our extra activities we had less time to do cool stuff and the week kinda got harder. Where is my happy middle ground?! It is so hard to find sometimes!

This weeks theme was Dinosaurs!!! Definitely a fun one! And there was SO MANY good resources for Dino activities and SO MANY Dino books that it was really hard to choose! But this is what we did at the Wilson House:

Activity One: Craft Dinosaur Egg/Dinosaur search

So, I sadly threw away the packaging but basically a few weeks ago when I was buying other homeschool supplies in the glorious Dollartree I found the rare “non dollar item”…I almost didn’t buy it because it was $2.48 and that seemed super pricey surrounded by all the $1 items but the cool factor won out and I purchased this little “dinosaur excavation kit” -it looked like an egg made out of hard sand that came with a little paint brush and I was curious to see how fun it would be….but turns out it was a GREAT success! And a great introduction to Dinosaurs being extinct and how Scientists learn about them today (by their bones!). Bonus: it took Ransom FOREVER to chip away at that egg! hahaha! Inside was a tiny rubbery dino skeleton and he loved it. “Totally worth $2.48!” Said the cheapest mother in history.

While Ransom was working on his egg ( so glad I didn’t get one for Tabitha too! It would have been waaay too hard for her to get into and it would have been frustrating! I definitely recommend this for the 4+ set.) Tabitha found little dinosaurs that I had hidden in our Sand Box.

If you have not purchased yourself some Molding Sand you need to do it right away! I love it so much, I really want to buy more! Thankfully the sand that was gifted us well over a year ago is STILL going strong! ( Thanks Aunt Donnave!) And while I plan to get some more for one of my kid’s “need” present for Christmas we really are doing surprisingly well with the stuff we have ( even though you inevitably lose a little bit to the floor every time you play with it!)

You’ll need:
Dinosaur Egg ( I saw these at two different Dollar Trees so I feel like they are definitely excessible) but here is a much more expensive one on Amazon.
A baking tray
Dollar store dinosaurs.
A Broom-because your sand clean up is gonna be extensive. Trust.

Activity Two: Dinosaur Bone Classification ( measuring)

While my kids were working on Dinosaur excavations in the dining room I was throwing together the ingredients for your classic Salt Dough. (Mix 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 cup water and stir until almost fully mixed. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. )
So when Ransom was ready later in the morning he and I created our own Dinosaur bones. He had a lot of fun molding them into “bone” shapes and it was my job to make sure that they were varying in sizes and shapes.
We then threw those suckers in the oven at 250 for about 2 and half hours ( my oven runs hot so maybe close to three?) and then Ransom was VERY excited to see his “play dough” creations turn into BONES!

After the bones had cooled I wrote a letter on the back of each Bone with a Sharpie and then Ransom set to work “classifying them” like a real scientist.
Using a little measuring tape Ransom had to measure the length of each bone. He then had to write the Letter and then the number ( in inches, and we rounded heavily) on his piece of paper.

Ransom: Practiced both Letter and Number handwriting without evening realizing it. ( HIS LEAST FAV activity) and worked on some measuring math skills. Score, double score.

Tabitha: Surprisingly had a HUGE blast playing with the dinosaur bones when we were done with our activity. She pretended to measure them and she spent a lot of time identifying the letters on the back of each bone as she took them on and off of the tray.  Bonus! I didn’t even see that coming as far as a learning opportunity for her too! Hooray!

You’ll need:
Baking Tray
Measuring tape/ruler ( I think, in hindsight a ruler would have been easier)
TIME ( you’ll have a break between making your bones and doing your “learning” activity. Either do it on separate days or factor in your time)

Activity Three: Sight Wordosauras

This was my favorite activity of the week! I knew it would be and I was way excited about doing it! First I taped different colored dino foot prints ( different colors for each kid) on my floor. Ransom’s foot prints had 5 different sight words that I wanted to work on this week ( I repeated each one 3 times). And then on Tabitha’s I had letters that I thought she might be having trouble with ( turns out she knows all but one letter now…girlfriend is picking things up!)

I gave each kid a Dinosaur Hat to wear ( just for fun! picked up at the Dollar Tree, obvi)

Game 1: Say each word/letter as you STOMP through the footprints
Game 2: I yell out a letter/word and they have to LEAP to the footprint with the corresponding letter/word.

Both kids LOVED this activity. Ransom did it several times even though he had a hard time with two of the words ( as I suspected ).  To help him take the time to stop and think about the words he didn’t know I had him ROAR like a dinosaur before reading the hard words. That helped a lot.

Ransom worked on: Go, It, Is, The, And
Tabitha mastered her whole alphabet

You’ll Need:
Construction paper and the ability to draw a Dino Footprint ( which I didn’t so I cut out this printable as my shape). I was able to fit two prints per piece of paper.

Bonus: Dinosaur Hats.

Activity Four: Sightword Gems ( not really dino related….oops! If you can think of a connection let me know! haha!)

Using this awesome Printable site that has a TON of early sight words ready to print off, I printed off the 5 sight words for the week that we had already worked on. Ransom then had to write them and then find them and place a “gem” over the correct sight word. He could easily see through the “gems” and tell if he’d made a mistake which was nice, and it was way more fun then doing flash cards!

You’ll need:
Flat marbles ( found at the Dolla Tree, per usual!)

* After we had already finished, I remembered that I had some great sleeves I could have used so that I could not only re-use the bottom but also the tracing part! Therefore I’ll be doing that in the future and using dry-erase markers

Activity Five: “types” of Dinosaurs
Before you think we finally started to get technical with this week’s theme, forget it! hahaha! Instead, I re-used my sand box with the dinosaurs with Ransom this time. He had to find all the dinosaurs and then “classify them” into groups. He chose to do by color so after he had grouped them all he then had to graph them on his graph paper.

You’ll need:
Dinosaurs of various shapes, sizes, colors
Sand ( optional, but fun)
Graph paper

Activity Six: How Many Dinosaurs? 

I wrote about 6 ( the attention span of my 5 year old is shocking) small addition equations on a little white board ( more fun, save paper) and then I showed him how he could use his dinosaurs to help him do the addition equations. He was very quick with this activity and is definitely mastering his addition concepts!

You’ll need:
Dinosaurs for counting
Paper or white board with equations


WOW! Looking back at that post I’m really pretty proud we fit so much in! And to think I was lying awake at 4:30am this morning thinking about how little time we seemed to have to do homeschool activities! Hehe! Silly me! Anyway, I hope you will have fun with some of these activities in your own home-Dinosaurs are SUCH fun and I almost feel like we could have done another week!! I think this is a week we’ll have to repeat in the future ?