What can you do with all those dinosaur figurines besides, you know, play dinosaurs? I can only take so many “roars” before I’m ready to switch it up. Next time you are forced into prehistoric play, pick one of these ideas to add into your game:
(Common Core Standards appear in italics. They correlate with specific standards in different grade levels. These standards are used in almost every school in the country. Click the Common Core tab above to learn more.)
- Order the dinosaur toys from smallest to largest
- Pick out dinosaurs to be in two groups (whichever dinos you want). Which group has more? (kindergarten- Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies)
- Categorize dinosaurs by an attribute and put them into groups. Some examples are meat eaters vs. plant eaters, number of legs, color, or size. (kindergarten- Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count)
- Make a graph of your categories. (first grade- Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another)
- Do some math problems while playing dinosaurs. There are three dinosaurs at the pond and then two more join them. How many dinosaurs play in the pond together? Or if your preschooler has some bloodlust…. How many dinosaurs are left after a T Rex eats two? (kindergarten- Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem)
- Identify the names of your dino figurines by looking them up in a book.
- Draw a picture using a dinosaur figurine as the model.
- Use the toy dinos to act out a dinosaur book that you have read together. Or maybe use them to act out the Three Little Pigs. Hilarious.
- Play “Hide the T Rex.” One person hides the dinosaur while the other close their eyes or face a wall. Give clues if no one can find T Rex.
- Measure the length of dinosaur toys (second grade- Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes)
- Make a dinosaur “sculpture” by piling up dinos. Estimate how tall it is, then measure to see if you were right. (second grade- Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters)
- After you are finished playing dinosaurs, write or draw pictures of what happened. (kindergarten- Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened) (first grade- Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure )
- Hide small dinosaur figurines in play-dough (or larger ones in a sandbox). Then pretend you are a palentologist and dig them out!
- Discuss imprint fossils and then make dinosaur imprints in play-dough.
- Paint the dinosaurs’ feet (with washable paint) and make dino tracks on white paper.
- Talk about how we don’t really know the colors of the dinosaurs. Then paint them whatever colors you want with washable paint.