We had so much fun learning at home with our Dinosaur Learning Shelf. Here’s a summary post of all the activities we have done for this theme. To learn about how we do home learning at home with our shelf, I encourage you to read our How HTS Works page first. To know why we love a themed learning shelf, check out this page.
Dinosaur Theme Learning Shelf
- Pinterest Idea Board: [theme] DINOSAUR
- Unique Hashtag on Instagram: #dinosaurhts
- Focus Book: If You Happen To Have a Dinosaur by Linda Bailey & Colin Jack and Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton
- Focus Letter: D
- Focus Chinese Words: 火，山
- Additional Resource: Dinosaur Box from Applenana Box shop
*I received a free Dinosaur Box from Applenana Box shop in exchange for featuring the product on this learning shelf. I will only accept/ use/ feature products that are good fit for my children’s learning purposes on my learning shelf.
This learning shelf and the activities are created for children of ages 1.5 years old to 6 years old. My son was 4 years old and my little girl was 1 year 9 months old when I made this learning shelf for them. All the activities have been categorized into the six main learning areas (language, numeracy, motor skills, discovery of the world, arts & creative expression, social & emotional development) that I am focusing on for my children.
DINOSAUR THEME LEARNING ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS (1.5 TO 3 YEARS OLD)
- Poke and pull straws out of a volcano box. I made that using a tissue box and poked holes at the top (motor skills)
- Open plastic eggs (save those plastic eggs from Easter egg hunts) with hidden mini dinosaurs in them and match the dinosaurs to their pictures. Teach the concept that all dinosaurs are hatched from eggs. (motor skills and discovery of the world )
All of the above activities for toddlers are suitable for preschoolers as well.
DINOSAUR THEME LEARNING ACTIVITIES FOR PRESCHOOLERS (3 TO 6 YEARS OLD)
- Look for and erase D and d on the dinosaur footprints. All you need is a laminated piece of paper and a dry erase marker (that comes with the eraser on the other end). I included lots of b, p, q and d so that my 4yo gets to practice differentiating them. (literacy and motor skills)
- Play a game to learn our Chinese focus words 火 (fire) and 山 (mountain). Toss the red token with the fire and mountain symbol on each side. If the token lands on the fire symbol, pick up a fire symbol and cover 火. If the token lands on the mountain symbol, pick up the mountain symbol and cover 山. (literacy)
- Poke a word activity to learn the strokes for our two Chinese focus words 火 (fire) and 山 (mountain). Push the pins into the white circles according to the strokes (笔画). (literacy)
- Play a dinosaur graphing game. Toss the pom pom into the egg carton to see which hole it lands in. Then give a sticker to the corresponding dinosaur. Discuss about which dinosaur gets the most or least stickers.
- Sort the dinosaurs into herbivores or carnivores and make a sticker chart. Discuss what features a herbivore or a carnivore has. (discovery of the world, numeracy)
- Count the number of dots and complete the egg puzzles by finding the matching numbers. (numeracy)
- Button on the spikes for the cardboard stegosaurus. I used hot glue to attach the buttons onto the cardboard dinosaur. If you have a 2yo who loves prying things off, sewing on the buttons is more recommended. (motor skills).
- Match the dinosaurs to their names (discovery of the world)
- Invitation to draw a dinosaur and make a dinosaur fossil with white pipe cleaners
- Match baby dinosaurs to their parent dinosaurs by stretching rubber bands over the corresponding push pins (motor skills, discovery of the world)
- Be a paleontologist. Find pieces of dinosaur bones and put them together. Use this activity to talk about the paleontologist job and also parts of a dinosaur. These pieces of cardboard bones are attached to a large piece of cardboard on the shelf using Velcro dots. (discovery of the world)
CRAFT PROJECTS, EXPERIMENTS & SENSORY PLAY
- Build a dinosaur with pebbles and leaves (arts & creative expression)
- Pretend play in a dinosaur small world with baking soda and vinegar volcanoes (discovery of the world, arts & creative expression)
- ‘Break’ the kinetic sand dinosaur eggs. To make these eggs, compact the kinetic sand with a dinosaur inside and mold them into an egg shape. (motor skills, discovery of the world)
- Rescue the dinosaurs from their frozen eggs. Provide bottles of warm water and salt shaker and let the kid explore ways to melt the ice. I made these ice eggs by squeezing 2 mini dinosaurs into a balloon, adding water and freezing them in the freezer. (discovery of the world)
- Make a lava lamp using oil and water in a bottle. Drop Alka-Seltzer tablets in and be fascinated with the bubbling. (discovery of the world)
- Paint dinosaurs and then finish with a dinosaur bath. (art & creative expression)
- Make handprint dinosaurs (arts & creative expression)
Do you have a dinosaur lover at home too? Try these activities and have fun learning more about dinosaurs. Be sure to check out the rest of our learning shelves and activities!