Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Dinosaur activities and books - roaring good fun!

Dinosaur activities and books - fun science, math, and of course literacy.  I love the Jurassic sand idea!
We love dinosaurs!  There's so much to love: they're big (mostly), make awesome noises (especially when voiced by small children), stomp through the prehistoric forests, chase each other, and generally get away with behavior that isn't often encouraged in children.  Who doesn't sometimes want to live vicariously as a dinosaur?!

For story time this week we read 3 lovely dinosaur fiction books: Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs, Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones, and Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp.  I talked about how much I love Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp in my last blog post, and it is, in fact, the reason we focused on dinosaurs this week - I really wanted to read it again!  Then big question was what we could do along with the books.

If you Pinterest (I believe that really should be a verb, because I do it all the time), you know there are a gazillion fantastic and fun activities to go along with any subject.  Here's a link to my dinosaurs board for those of you who also use Pinterest as a verb. 

We sorted dinosaurs by color.  I made some very simple sorting mats by cutting brightly colored copy paper into quarters, and then mounting 4 of the resulting rectangles on white construction paper.  We had a supply of red, blue, green and yellow dinosaurs in one of our resource kits, so a simple sorting activity was born.
Dinosaur activities and books - fun science, math, and of course literacy.  I love the Jurassic sand idea!
 I say simple, because yes, it is simple.  Simple to prepare, and simple for the children to use, but still very satisfying for young learners!
Dinosaur activities and books - fun science, math, and of course literacy.  I love the Jurassic sand idea!

 I brought in a couple of fossils for the children to explore (carefully).  This child was fascinated with the small vug of crystals in my amonite.
Dinosaur activities and books - fun science, math, and of course literacy.  I love the Jurassic sand idea!

There was dough for the children to make imprints in, much like fossils, but without the millions of years of waiting. (Nobody has time for that!)
Dinosaur activities and books - fun science, math, and of course literacy.  I love the Jurassic sand idea!
Of course, what I have in mind as I put the activities together, and the possibilities the children see, are not always the same thing.  Dinosaur skeletons dancing in the dough?  Why not, after Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp?!
Dinosaur activities and books - fun science, math, and of course literacy.  I love the Jurassic sand idea!

Here's another possibility I never considered.  Tyrannosaurus Rex balancing on his tail and doing the splits.  Bet you never thought of that either!
Dinosaur activities and books - fun science, math, and of course literacy.  I love the Jurassic sand idea!

Here's another early math concept we worked on this week: patterning.  I made AB, ABC, AAB and ABB dinosaur patterns, and the children (and parents) read the patterns, then extended them. 
Dinosaur activities and books - fun science, math, and of course literacy.  I love the Jurassic sand idea!

Our final activity was digging for dinosaur in the Jurassic sand.  There were usually 6 - 8 children gathered around this sensory bin, pretending, digging, or just running the sand through their fingers.  Little do they know they're working on their finger muscle strength, preparing their hands for all the jobs they will do!
Dinosaur activities and books - fun science, math, and of course literacy.  I love the Jurassic sand idea!

As the children left, we asked them to put one stamp on today's graph: Which book did you like best today?
Dinosaur activities and books - fun science, math, and of course literacy.  I love the Jurassic sand idea!
They loved Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones best of all.  After all, who doesn't like dinosaurs?!

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