Preschool dinosaur activities



These preschool dinosaur activities start off with a considered experiment. If you ended up offered a residing dinosaur to take care of, what would you do? There are no regulations, and young ones can use a wide variety of props to carry their concepts to daily life. The target is to learn about dinosaurs, assume imaginatively, remedy simple issues, and retain a report of your discoveries.

toddler girl playing outside with four different plastic dinosaur toys, including a sauropod, Pachycephalosaurus, and hadrosaur


To start out, you are going to need to have at least a single toy dinosaur, if possible one particular that is reasonably accurate in its illustration. Then you will want to assist enable your baby understand more about the creature. What did it take in? How did it transfer? Do experts assume it lived by yourself or in teams? A great on the net source for dad and mom and teachers is the opens in a new windowDino Listing of the Natural Heritage Museum of London.

In addition, you are going to require to get objects for setting up a creature habitat. Objects like:

  • toy blocks
  • cardboard boxes, tubes, canisters, or egg cartons
  • bowls
  • sand, clay, rocks, moss, leaves, conifer needles

Encourage pretend enjoy with dinosaur “zookeeping”

You can get little ones begun by asking a easy question. “What if you experienced a authentic (insert creature name below) to choose care of?” What would you do?

Toy Maiasaur (duckbill) in homemade zoo habitat -- with rocks, leaves, moss, a cup of water, and a dandelion flower.
Toy Maiasaur (duckbill) in selfmade zoo habitat. Image by Parenting Science.

For more youthful kids, tackling this issue could consist of earning a crude creature habitat, and, quite possibly, taking into consideration the animal’s desires for food and drinking water.

Older kids could possibly confront extra sophisticated issues, like figuring out how to subdue a perilous, wounded dinosaur so it can get professional medical cure.

Leave kids no cost to acquire their have eventualities, but be all set to take part. You can promote enjoy by asking concerns.

  • What must you feed your creature?
  • Where will it sleep?
  • What components can the creature use to construct a nest?
  • Where by can the creature lay eggs or maintain its infants risk-free and heat?
  • What can the creature do for workout?
  • How can you maintain the creature from finding bored?

Broaden play to incorporate other preschool dinosaur things to do, which includes the following.

Feeding herbivores: Preschool dinosaur activities about food plan

Food research and “taste test”

There had been quite a few herbivorous dinosaurs, and some of these can be identified as plastic toys, which includes sauropods, “duckbills” (hadrosaurs), Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and many others. Communicate with your boy or girl about what types of plant foodstuff your creature may possibly have eaten. Then start a mission: Let’s glimpse for food items to give the dinosaur.

Egg carton filled with potential foods to feed a toy dinosaur - leaves, seeds, garlic glove, apple core, broccoli
Graphic by Parenting Science

Your youngster can check out browsing outside in a inexperienced house – a park, yard, or yard. You may possibly also attempt raiding your own kitchen area. Really encourage your youngster to obtain smaller samples of attainable food things, which includes broad leaves, grass blades, berries, conifer needles, and flower petals. A helpful way to kind and retail outlet your child’s assortment is to use a recycled egg cartoon.

Some foodstuff may well not have existed throughout the time when your creature was alive, so you can talk about this if you’d like. Probably your creature will be keen to check out one thing new!

To broaden this activity, you can question your boy or girl to phase a fake “taste test” – presenting each and every food items style to the dinosaur, and then selecting if the dinosaur “likes” it. Your little one can choose notes on the success of the flavor examination, either by drawing photos or acquiring you support with a written document of the end result.

An experiment with “gizzard stones”

Three sequential images: 1. three pebbles with arugula leaves 2. everything in a plastic bag 3. arugula leaves after having been crushed with stones in bag
Arugula leaves and pebbles. Put them all in a plastic bag and grind the leaves with the pebbles. What comes about? Visuals by Parenting Science.

Paleontologists believe that that some toothless, plant-having dinosaurs swallowed gastroliths or “gizzard stones” — stones that remained in a muscular component of the tummy, where by they helped grind up tricky, fibrous meals (College of California Museum of Paleontology 2007).

You can have your youngster take a look at the usefulness of gizzard stones by putting a number of stones in a paper or plastic bag with some leaves. (You can use salad greens if you want). Assist your boy or girl wad up and twist the bag, feeling for the stones in just, and grinding them with the leaves. Then open the bag and see what has happened. Are the leaves mashed up now?

Building tracks: Preschool dinosaur activities using plastic toys

toy dinosaur feet being pressed into clay and leaving tracks
Impression by Parenting Science

Make dino-tracks by dipping the toy’s ft in finger paint and stamping foot prints on to paper. Alternatively, roll out some clay and have young ones make impressions. Then really encourage young ones to analyze the toys’ toes, and request these queries:

  • What do the ft look like?
  • What form are they?
  • Do the dinosaur’s feet remind you of the toes of any other animals? Which kinds?

Young children can hold keep track of of their observations in a zoo keeper’s log (below).

If you have many diverse toys, you can also work backwards — commencing with the footprints. Make footprints for just about every toy, then question youngsters to study the prints and the toys. Can they guess (predict) which toys built each and every established of prints? Have young ones look at their predictions by creating their individual prints. For connected suggestions, see my Parenting Science post, Preschool and kindergarten science activities about tracking animals.

Recording observations

Maintain a file of your preschool dinosaur pursuits with a zookeeper’s log or scrapbook. Your kid can attract images, and dictate prepared notes for you to incorporate. You can also include photos of your creature’s footprints, pictures of its habitat, and actual physical specimens symbolizing your creature’s preferred food or nesting substance. Flat specimens, like leaves, can be pasted right onto paper. Other resources can be stored in plastic bags and stapled in put.

Building comparisons

Assess the size of your creature with the dimensions of other, residing animals. If your toy were lifestyle-dimensions, how large would it be? Assistance young ones recognize dimension variations by comparing their creature to animals and objects they are common with. Would the creature be the dimension of a rooster? An adult human? A school bus?

Preschool pursuits: Extra thoughts

Hunting for additional? These teaching recommendations might inspire you to  opens in a new windowdevelop a lot more preschool dinosaur pursuits on your have. And examine out my  opens in a new windowpreschool science routines website page. There you will obtain the directions for several experiments and jobs, as properly as science-dependent tips for presenting science to young youngsters.


This scientific paper discusses the proof for gastroliths in many kinds of dinosaur:

Wings O and Sander PM. 2007. No gastric mill in sauropod dinosaurs: new evidence from investigation of gastrolith mass and operate in ostriches. Proc Biol Sci. 274(1610):635-40.

For a significantly less technological account of gastroliths in dinosaurs, see opens in a new windowthis short article on the College of California Museum of Paleontology site.

Content last modified 3/2022

image of boy or girl with toy by Alina Demidenko / iStock


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