A favourite bedtime book of the children's is “Things you never knew about dinosaurs” by Giles Paley-Phillips. Giles, a musician who toured the UK and performed at festivals such as Glastonbury, turned his hand to writing and I was first introduced to his stories when we read his first book “The Fearsome Beastie” which won the Peoples Book Prize amongst other shortlisting and awards. Shortly after we became Facebook friends via blogging and books, with the children happily receiving a signed copy of their now favourite book.
Things you never knew about dinosaurs is an amusing tale of dinosaurs who actually haven't died but continue to live among us doing things we all do daily such as playing tennis, riding bikes and bouncing on trampolines. The hilarious illustrations draw the readers into the story and have the kids in fits of giggles, especially when they are wearing hiking boots and then queuing for the loo.
Of course, this is a fictional story but it has given the children a love of dinosaurs which we can build upon, learning the names of those in their book and watching documentaries and visiting museums.
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More dinosaur book inspiration can be found with our book list of dinosaur books for toddlers and preschoolers.
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Making shadow puppets
Drawing from this love of dinosaurs, we have created our own dinosaur shadow puppets which we have all enjoyed playing with.
If you aren't the best at drawing this isn't a problem, there are loads of printable dinosaur pictures available on the internet or you could do what I did and trace pictures from a book (if you don't have tracing paper then normal white paper will work if you hold the book page up to a window and trace that way).
You will need:
- Tracing paper or white paper (unless you can draw freehand)
- Dinosaur pictures
- Black card (we only had green so improvised)
- Straws or lolly sticks
- Blank wall or white paper to create a background
How to make your Dinosaur Shadow Puppets
Draw your dinosaur shapes and cut them out, if you have traced them either cut around them and draw again onto the card or trace the outline pressing down hard with your pencil so you can see the outline to cut around.
Sellotape a lolly stick or straw onto the back of your dinosaur
If you have a clean, clear wall you can use this to shine your light onto, otherwise, tape some white paper to the wall.
Shine the lamp at the wall and place your dinosaurs in front of the lamp, this will project the silhouette onto the wall where you can now have a shadow puppet show.
We coloured in the paper on the wall to create scenery for our dinosaurs.
More Shadow Puppet Fun
- Retell the classic fairy tale of Princess and the Pea
- Use shadow puppets to retell the story of the Nativity
Clare is a former Nanny with 14 years experience working with children, now a WAHM blogging life's adventures and misadventures of life with her 2 young whirlwinds Emmy and Harry. Clare blogs over at www.emmysmummy.com where she shares their days out, reviews and the hugely popular blog series – Top Tips from a Former Nanny