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Dozens of Dinosaurs - Day 3

Number Fun - "A Number Train"

Cut some small squares of construction paper and suggest that the children make a number train with cars for numbers 1-8. This can be a group project or an individual project. Print a number on each car of the train and provide magazines and catalogs from which the children may cut the number of objects to correspond with the number on each car. For example, on a car numbered 5 they might glue 5 shoes. Instead of magazines you might want to provide a variety of stickers.

Science - Making Fossil Prints

Help the children to discover the meaning of the word "fossil," by doing the following activity. You'll need to prepare ahead of time by having some plaster of Paris, a shallow disposable pan, and some small tools available.

Talk with the children about the fact that dinosaurs lived here on earth millions of years ago. Then pose the following question to them:

"How did people find out about dinosaurs that lived here millions of years ago?"

Provide time for the children to speculate on this question and to tell their ideas. Then help them to discover what fossils are and how fossils have helped scientists to learn about dinosaurs.

Mix some plaster of Paris with water, according to directions on the package, and then pour it into a shallow, disposable pan. Before the plaster hardens, suggest that the children use the various tools to make prints in it.

After a few minutes, when the plaster of Paris has hardened with the children's prints in it, suggest that the children touch and feel the hardness of the plaster of Paris. Then say to them:

"Do you think that these prints will still be in the plaster tomorrow? the next day? next year? Why?"

Explain to the children that, as long as nothing or no one destroys the plaster, the prints could be in it forever! Then relate this to how scientists have discovered facts about dinosaurs. Explain that the dinosaurs made footprints, and other body prints, in the dirt and mud millions of years ago. The dirt and mud hardened like rock, or like the plaster of Paris. Since nothing ever destroyed the dinosaur prints, scientists found them and studied them, and were able to discover lots of things about dinosaurs. Tell them that these prints are called FOSSILS.

Large Muscles - Digging for Dinosaur Bones

For this activity, you'll need to use your sandbox, or another large container, such as a children's plastic swimming pool, to hold some sand. You'll also need to cut out some heavy cardboard dinosaur bones and hide them in the sand.

Tell the children that another way that scientists have been able to discover facts about dinosaurs is that they've found, and are still finding, dinosaur bones buried in the ground.

Now suggest that the children pretend that they're scientists looking for dinosaur bones. Explain that you've hidden some cardboard dinosaur bones in the sand and suggest that they dig in the sand and try to find the bones. Then, on your signal, encourage the children to begin to dig for the bones. You'll want to do the activity several times so that all of the children succeed in finding some "dinosaur bones."

Numbers - How Many Dinosaurs

In preparation for this activity, make 8 copies of the flannelboard pattern of a dinosaur, included in this month's Provider Pack. (This pattern was also used in an earlier activity.) You'll also need a small cup of cereal pieces for each child and a sheet of paper to lay in front of each child, on which they can lay the cereal pieces.

To do the activity, encourage the children to look at the number of dinosaurs that you're going to place on the flannelboard. Then suggest that they count that number of cereal pieces and place the cereal pieces on the paper in front of them. After the children have placed the cereal pieces on the papers, count together to see how many dinosaurs were placed on the flannelboard and how many cereal pieces the children should've counted and placed on their papers. Then let the children eat the cereal pieces which they counted. Continue until you've used all of the numbers from 1 - 8.

Song - "I Would Like a Dinosaur"

Large Muscles - Don't Step On The Egg

The children will be able to practice their coordination and running as they're doing this activity today. To prepare for it, you'll need to collect some objects to represent dinosaur eggs. You'll want to have enough so that you can lay them out to make a circle. Some items to use might include pillows, carpet squares, or towels.

Arrange the "dinosaur eggs" in a circle on the floor, with about 1 & 1/2' to 2' between each "egg." Then, one at a time, as the other children sit inside the circle, encourage a volunteer to run around between the eggs, in zigzag fashion, trying NOT to step on the eggs.

Craft - "A Triceratops"

Note: There are three triangles, one circle, and one tail for each child.

  1. Click on the link above to see a picture of the craft.
  2. Punch out the parts. Use tempera paint to paint the front of the paper any color you wish. Let it dry.
  3. Stuff the paper bag with newspaper or other scraps of paper. Staple or tape the end of the bag shut.
  4. To make eyes, put the two larger circle stickers on the circle face. Put the smaller circle stickers on the larger ones to make pupils for the eyes.
  5. Fold the triangles in half lengthwise to make horns. Put glue on just the two corners of one horn and glue it below the eyes. Glue the two remaining horns in the same manner above the eyes.
  6. Put glue on the back of the face and glue it to the front of the paper plate, letting some of the paper plate stick up over the top of the face, as shown in the sketch. Put glue on the back of the paper plate and glue it to the closed end of the paper bag.
  7. Fold back the rounded part of the tail on the fold line and glue it to the end of the paper bag opposite the head.
  8. Put glue on the bottom of each of the souffle cups. Attach them to the corners of the bottom of the triceratops' body to make feet for it to stand on.

Simplified Version: Cut the triangles in half rather than folding them and glue one half of each triangle flat on the face to make horns.

Extended Activities for After Schoolers

Paper Plate Dinosaurs - Provide your after-schoolers with paper plates and construction paper and suggest that they use them to make various kinds of dinosaurs. Have them fold the paper plates in half and glue or staple the plates together for the dinosaurs bodies. Suggest that they use the construction paper to make other features for their dinosaurs. You may wish to provide some pictures of dinosaurs to help them create ideas for their dinosaurs.

A Dinosaur Diorama - Provide your after-schoolers with shoe boxes, or other boxes, and have them cut out one of the sides. Then suggest that they color or paint a "dinosaur background" on the inside of the other three sides. Using play dough, suggest that they make dinosaur shapes to put in their dioramas. They may wish to use twigs placed in play dough for trees, aluminum foil for water, small rocks or sand for the ground, etc.