Dinosaurs are fun!
I am always on a campaign to bring more fun to early childhood. I am very familiar with the amount of curriculum and expectations that govern the time young children spend at school, but I just really believe that teachers need to advocate for play and fun. I shared a book we made about dinosaurs in an earlier post, now I am sharing a parent/child activity day that my kindergartners loved. I think these parent/child days are one of the most effective ways to educate parents about how children learn and things they can do with their child at home. If you are new to my blog, please check out other parent/child activities like Cowboys, Outer Space, Transportation, Oceans, and Pirates.
Here is our invitation:
When I planned these special days (or evenings) I tried to include activities from many areas of the curriculum, language arts, science, math, and social studies. We usually began the day by showing a little of our every day circle time routines, then we did a fun song, story or poem that got parents and children actively involved. For Dinosaur Day I passed around a basket that contained simple dinosaurs cut from construction paper, and everybody took one – parents and kids. Then as we sang this song, they stood up and did the motion.
Tune – If You’re Happy and You Know It
Then we did an enthusiastic version of Dino Pokey (think Hokey Pokey!) I really encouraged parents to get up and do this with the kids. I always practiced it the day before with the children.
Here are some very simple clipart pictures of these dinosaurs:
Next I quickly went over the activities that were available, passed out a check off list, and gave each child a paper bag to collect his/her work as they went between the classrooms. We usually decorated the bags ahead of time.
I repeated this parent/child activity many times and usually changed a few activities, but here is a simple description of the activities from one year.
I printed directions for each activity and posted them on 3 sided signs on the tables containing the materials for the project or game. Here is a picture to show what the 3 sided signs looked like:
I didn’t save all of these directions, but here are a few.
Some activities required a recording sheet, like Bronto Boats. The children placed small dinosaurs in different colored boats, after predicting which boat would hold the most dinos. They recorded their results on this paper (2 on the page).
We also play Dinosaur Soduku
The kids made up a dinosaur story with a beginning, middle and end.
Here is an assortment of dinosaur clipart:
This boy was tossing beanbags into the swampy basket!
Check out the stegosaurus hat – they glued spikes to a piece of adding machine tape that went down their back and was fastened to a headband. We put a stegosaurus head on the headband.
Here are a few more resources that I found in my files. I hope you find something you might be able to use.
Here are a few songs and poems about dinosaurs!
I hope you find some time to play dinosaurs with your class too!