Friday, May 10, 2013

Dinosaurs for Preschoolers - Part 2

It was a sad day when I announced Dinosaur Week was over. One week had not been enough to quench the thirst of a new found interest it seems. To appease the sadness, I gave Adrian the dinosaur toob and told him it was his to keep now and for a mere moment, it seemed to make amends but not for long. I love feeding Adrian's curiosity but at the same time, my mini-units are planned for a one week span only. I guess we'll be adding this theme to next year's agenda? :)

Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils
Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils

This was my first time making salt dough and so I decided to make it without Adrian to see how much work it was. I was unsure how much dough it would make too. My initial idea was to make a separate salt dough disk for each dinosaur fossil but not knowing how thick it had to be, if it'd thicken or not, I decided to keep my dough together and make my impressions (using all the dinosaurs from Safari Ltd. Toob) all in the same dough disk. I used Rainy Day Mum's recipe and overall, I quite liked it. I wanted to try hers since it was a microwave drying one (speedy!) Of course, mine took much longer to dry (12 minutes?) since it was an entire sheet but I was quite satisfied with my first salt dough still. I didn't want it to look flat and perfect anyway because dinosaur fossils shouldn't be! :) If it had been for Christmas ornament, well...who makes such a big one anyway? The next day, Adrian was shown the fossils, we discussed what fossils were and he tried to match the dinos to the fossils. Not as easy as you may think. It's a good eye exercise if you ask me!

Salt Dough Dino Fossil Close up
Close up of the fossils

Salt Dough Dino Matching
Adrian Working at Matching Dinosaur Fossils with Dinosaur Figures

Dinosaur Pasta
Pasta Dinosaur

Now if this only got Adrian to eat pasta! *sigh* Oh well. At least it was fun to do. I poured Wacky Mac Veggie Shapes's pasta (you could use any pasta and dye yours or even keep it plain) into a bowl and Adrian's task was to create a dinosaur using the pasta. He came up with lots of possibilities but I first had to show him one picture to get him started (nothing unusual here). This inspiration came from PreKinders.  After that, he was on a roll. He quite liked the prints the dinos left in the play dough (see below).

Dinosaur Fossil Play Dough
Pasta Dinosaur Fossil

Penne Pasta Dinosaur T-Rex
Penne Pasta Dinosaur Craft

Another pasta dinosaur we did this week was one involving glue and only penne. We used Wacky Mac's veggie shapes again but you could used plain penne dyed green too. Our template for this beautiful T-Rex came from Busy Bee Kids Crafts. This idea was to involve more fine motor by having Adrian use the glue bottle himself and spread it on the lines and then put the penne on the glued lines of the dino. It turned out great and he quite liked it. It is still hanging on the fridge as we speak.

Dinosaur Bath Applique Marbles
Fine Motor: Dinosaur Bath Applique & Marbles

Another fine motor activity we enjoyed this week was this cute bath applique shaped like a dinosaur! It had so many suction cups that my idea of involving tweezers to add a challenge was a no go. :( Adrian still quite liked putting the marbles on the cups and it was a bit more challenging than last time since the cups were so much closer together and much more numerous.

Dinosaur Puzzle M&D
Math : Giant Floor Puzzle featuring Dinosaurs

Every birthday and every Christmas, Adrian prepares a wish list with my help. Ever since he was little Melissa & Doug's puzzles have always been on it. Now that he's big enough, the giant floor puzzles are  his favorite of course so for dinosaur week, I dusted this one off. That's right. Dusted it off. Until now, this one was not quite so popular (it is a bit harder than the others because of the muted colors I assumed) but's practically flying off the shelves because dinosaurs are a well liked topic! :)

Dinosaur Q-Tip Craft
Dinosaur Bones Craft (Q-Tip)

Crafting we have been this week. Adrian likes it more and I don't mean to push it but I like to explore things when they are popular! :) Q-tips have been used by many to represent bones and were used here to be dinosaur bones. I saw this on Stuck on Glue originally and thought it was really cute and thought we'd try it as well. I made mine (above) and Adrian did his (see below). He glued the head first (template taken from PBS Kids) and glued Q-tips after. I did not draw any lines on the paper. I really wanted this craft to be taking its own form. The head was just a way to get him started. Art is a process in which there is no right or wrong and I wanted him to know that. Get creative!

Q-Tip Dino Craft
Q-Tip Dinosaur Craft; Adrian's Version

Dino Pre-Writing Printables
Dinosaur Pre-Writing Practice; we're getting better at staying on the lines!

Looking for a dinosaur package? I did too. Didn't use much of it actually. Never do but usually end up printing a few pages (and these were  SO inviting). This week, we used Over the Big Moon's free Dinosaur Package for its prewriting practice (and counting dinos clip cards featured in a previous post). 

Excavating Dinos
Excavating Dinosaurs from Plaster

Months ago during a clearance event, I bought from Lakeshore Materials this Dino Dig & Build kit. It contained a T-Rex and Triceratops skeleton, excavating tools and mounting hardware for a ridiculous price. I never really paid much attention to the fact that it was for kids 6 and over. Maybe I should have. It wasn't unsafe or anything like that but digging took forever and was rather hard. In fact, we're still at it. And I helped a lot. Maybe we started on the wrong side of the plaster but anyhow. It was still fun. Just long. Kind of messy. And hard. Adrian did get the idea of what people do when digging for dinos though. If we ever finish excavating the remains, we'll mount and show them off! :)

Dinosaur Excavation Plaster
Half-Way Done with Excavation of Bones
1 hour in the digging process with LOTS of mama help

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  1. What great ideas! I'd love for you to link up at my weekly virtual lesson sharing fair! ~ Marnie

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words and for the invitation Marnie! I'll hop by and link up over the week-end. Can't wait to see this fair! :)

  2. I love the creativity with the qtips! would love if you shared this over on our #kidsinthekitchen linky

    1. Thanks for the invitation Melina! I'll hop by and check it out! :) Thanks for the nice words by the way! :)

  3. I find it absolutely hilarious that every link up I go to, I end up clicking on your links, not knowing they are yours. Definitely cracks me up! I really enjoy all of your activities. I can't tell you enough!

    1. LOL Well thank you. You know, I do the same too. I usually end up on the same blogs when I visit linkys. I ended up signing up for updates from quite a few now. I figured something was just appealing to me on those very blogs if I clicked on them week after week without knowing it was those. :)

  4. How much dough does one batch of her recipe make of the salt dough?

    1. The picture you see above shows exactly how much the recipe yields. I didn't really quantify it but it's really not that much. I had just enough to make that round patch you see with the dinosaurs "fossils". I think overall the diameter might have been around 7"...