Okay, seriously this was my favorite theme so far. So much so, that I might have gone overboard with activities and whatnot.
I got two dinosaur color pages, two sheets of white paper and a white crayon to trace the dinosaurs. Then I gave the boys watercolors.
Dinosaur Dress Up
Egg Hatching Experiment
One of the cool things about the dinosaur theme was the serendipity of doing it in the two weeks that Bee was also out of school a lot for snow days and such. It’s not often that there is a theme with such a huge age range of interesting things to do.
For this project, I took four regular balloons, inserted mini dinosaurs inside before filling it with water and freezing it. Once the “eggs” were frozen, we experimented in different melting (hatching) approaches and hypothesized (Bee’s favorite word) which one would be fastest.
We were mostly wrong on all our hypothesis because we forgot to factor in that a highly competitive and motivated eight year old will find a way to work out the dinosaur no matter what technique she was assigned. 🙂
At the end of the two weeks, we talked about what might have happened to the dinosaurs and because there were no people, all we have are the things we’ve found. We talked about the theory of asteroids and volcanoes. Then we role played the volcano’s effect.
After the lava cooled (aka, lost most of its pungent vinegar smell and being completely soaked in red food-colored water) we dug for the dinosaurs and the “fossils.” In fact, we did this over and over. If I had known how much Turtle was going to have digging through sand, I would have had us do it before I soaked it with vinegar, water, dish soap, baking soda and red food coloring. Ooops. Oh well, he was only red-handed for one day. 😉
You would think with all that, we wouldn’t have had time to also read books. But you’d be wrong. We read A LOT of books. Some of them a lot of times. This is were I discovered the only flaw in my dinosaur theme–I forgot that I have troubles pronouncing many of their names. Thankfully, a lot of the books had a list of phonetic spelling that helped tremendously.
Here’s a few of our favorites:
Trouble at Dinosaur Cafe by Brian Moses was a fun way to talk about the differences between herbivores and carnivores.
Dini Dinosaur by Karen Beaumont was a cute book about a dirty dinosaur who needed to take a bath. The repetitiveness made it easy for both Turtle and Froggy to predict what was going to happen as we turned each page. This made it really easy to get them involved.
Dinosaur Roar! by Paul Strickland, another fun book that had the boys fascinated with what would happen next.
Edwina The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems. We’ve actually been reading this and laughing about Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie’s predicament for years now.
Dinosaur VS. The Potty by Bob Shea Actually, we read almost all the Dinosaur VS. books in the last two weeks. We’d discovered this one when Turtle was starting his potty training nightmare, and now since it’s Froggy’s turn, we got it again. We also read (and loved) Dinosaur VS the Library… School and Bedtime.
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