Wednesday, February 25, 2015

D is for Dinosaurs!

We had so much fun with our dinosaur theme this week! If you wish to look back at Honey Pot's letter D unit from three years ago, click here. Or, see our dinosaur post from May 2013--it is one of our most popular posts! Keep scrolling to see what we did this week.



Dinosaurs are a favorite toy around here. Want to bring one toy to the playground? Grab a dinosaur. Don't want to play with any of your bath toys in the bath? Grab a dinosaur. So I was surprised to see that we only had two dinosaur books in our home collection. How did this happen? We LOVE the Curious George book especially though, and read it really often this week.

Here are the books we borrowed from the library this week. Honey Pot loved Brontorina, Dazzle the Dinosaur and Dinosaurumpus the best. Little M&M's favorites were Dinosaur Dig and How Big Was a Dinosaur? All wonderful though. And I'm getting a lot of practice in pronouncing dinosaur names!

Magnetic Pom Poms

This is the usual activity we do to introduce a letter. The printable came from Shannon's Tot School.

First Honey Pot found it and decided to make a pattern the whole way around.

Then Little M&M filled up all the circles in a random fashion.

Leap Frog Fridge Phonics

Learning the letter sounds, A-D.

Cutting Practice

These are fun cutting strips from 3Dinosaurs, and right at Little M&M's level. We worked on how to properly hold the scissors, and how to cut along the big grey lines.

These worksheets are beyond Honey Pot's level of course, at 4.5 years old. But she wanted to do some too!

As it turned out, she tailored this exercise to her skills anyway, by cutting out their shapes!

She pulled out more of these a different day during the week, and finished them all off!

Tracing Lines

Honey Pot worked on writing the letter D, with this worksheet from DLTK Kids.

And Little M&M traced pterodactyl trails on this page I made him with stickers.

Sticker Fine Motor Activity

I cut out a letter D from cardstock, and Little M&M filled it with dinosaur stickers.

A-D Review

I put this activity together for Little M&M to review all the letters we've covered so far. The idea as to match the egg to the mommy dinosaur.

The clothespins were a real challenge for Little M&M!

Honey Pot wanted a turn too, and had no trouble with the clothespins or the letters.

Math and Cognitive Skills

Color By Number

Honey Pot and Little M&M each did a color-by-number activity from the Education website.

Here is Honey Pot's:

Dinosaur Maze

This cute printable comes from Brother.

Honey Pot enjoyed this!

She even pulled it out another day to do with her little brother.

Recall Items Removed from a Group

I lined up five little dinosaurs in a row, and asked the kids to close their eyes while I removed one.

They had to try to guess which was missing. Great memory game!

Follow the Dinosaur Game

I put one dinosaur under the center cup, and asked the kids to follow that cup while I moved all three cups around.

This one was a lot of fun! They did really well. At the end, Honey Pot wanted to move the cups, and have me guess where the dinosaur wound up!

 Measuring Dinosaurs

Honey Pot worked on measuring, using dinosaurs of various lengths.

And as an extension, we also practiced writing the numbers.

Letter Confusion - Roll and Graph Game

I have been wanting to review b/d confusion for a while. This game from Time 4 Kindergarten was a perfect one, because it also included p/q. These are the only four lowercase letters Honey Pot has trouble with. I printed the cube and taped it together, then supplied Honey Pot with a dot marker before we started the game.

The object of the game was to see which letter reached the top first!

In the end, 'b' was the winner. But we got a lot of review for all four letters!

Button Puzzle

During puzzle time this week, we did pull out one dinosaur themed one. Little M&M matched the colors up!

Dinosaur Match-Up

I created this worksheet for Little M&M using dinosaur stickers. He had to find the match on each side, and draw a line connecting them.



For craft time, we painted paper plate dinosaurs, using the free printable from Learn with Play at Home. First the kids painted half of a paper plate with sponges, and colors of their choices.

Each of them chose which dinosaur they wanted to make, out of the five possible templates on the website. I printed them onto cardstock and cut them out.

Honey Pot chose the stegosaurus and Little M&M wanted the T-Rex. They came out AWESOME!


We pulled out the playdough a couple of times this week. There were just so many fun things to do! On the first day, we used our tools, cookie cutters and a few dinosaurs.

Little M&M began by making dinosaur tracks!

We also made fossils:

Honey Pot and I played a game, where we took turns making multiple tracks and then asking each other to guess which dinosaur made which.

Then we made a couple of cutouts.

On the next day, we extended our play with texture plates. They originally came from my scrapbooking stash. We hadn't used these with playdough before. But we had SO much fun, and will be using them a lot in the future.

First we made a jungle, for our leaf-eating friend. We discussed the herbivore/carnivore terms again, which we learned in a couple of our dinosaur books.


Then we made a snow-scape for our ankylosaurus. Just, for fun.

And oh no, they are stuck in a spiderweb! (Little M&M's idea...)

Honey Pot wanted to roll out an ocean for her dinosaurs.



Science + Sensory

This awesome idea comes from Inner Child Fun. First I froze the little dinosaurs in an ice cube tray!

Then, using pipettes and warm salt water, the kids tried to free the dinosaurs from the ice!

It was amazing to see the salt water melt the ice away!

Great fine motor practice! And it also opened up conversations about key words like melt and thaw. 

After most of the dinosaurs had been freed, Honey Pot had an idea to pour the warm water over the remaining three dinosaurs. So she did!

After that, there was some general sensory play that went on for a while.

And a lesson in shadows...all on their own!

TV Time

We usually limit our TV time each day to two age-appropriate cartoons, with the exception of weekly family movie nights! During dinosaur week, we made a few of those shows Dinosaur Train. They watched the four-episode show called Dinosaurs A-Z and loved it!

Social Studies + Sensory

For our final activity of the week, we learned about what Paleontologists do! A couple of our dinosaur books had mentioned the term, also referring to them as dinosaur hunters. We haven't used sand in awhile, as it is usually a material kept in our spring/summer sand and water table. But we pulled it out, and tried to contain it in a bucket in the laundry room. I provided the kids with a shovel, sifting pan, magnifying glass and paintbrushes. Oh, and I found this amazing dinosaur skeleton on sale from $15 down to $2. I couldn't resist! It came in eleven pieces. I buried them in the sand. The kids put on their explorer hats, and got to work like the real paleontologists do!

Once all the bones had been found, brushed carefully, and placed in the tray, the kids used the bucket for extra sensory fun.

Then we started to piece the bones together like a puzzle!

Super fun!!

And for $2, we now have a cool new dinosaur toy...for future dinosaur digs or pretend play!