We are starting our annual storybook summer with a week of Dinosaur Activities for kids. Dinosaurs are such a fun theme to explore whether you have toddlers, preschoolers or kids at school they capture their interest and ignite their imagination. This simple dinosaur small world play is ideal for toddlers and preschoolers and is based on the book Dinosaur Farm. So here we go with this imaginative play idea with dinosaurs.
Storybook Summer Feature Book – Dinosaur Farm
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Dinosaur Farm is a fun twist on farm-themed books. The farmer in this story has a dinosaur farm. We follow him from sun up to sun down to see what it takes to run a dinosaur farm. Do you have a kid who’d love to be a dinosaur farmer?
Obviously, your kids can’t really be dinosaur farmers. But, they can pretend to be a dinosaur farmer by acting out each part of the farmer’s day. All you need to get started is a set of plastic dinosaurs, a bucket, your water table, and some dirt and water.
Materials Needed for your Dinosaur Small World Play
Old Tooth Brush
Sponger/Washcloth that you don’t mind getting dirty
I really like the new Sand & Water Fine Motor Tool Set from Learning Resources it’s perfect for this activity and can be used with the sandpit and water table throughout the year whilst helping to improve the muscles needed for fine motor skills.
I picked some toy dinosaurs up at our local Dollar Tree, but you can find them at just about any store that sells toys. If you can’t find them locally, you can also grab some on Amazon and have them shipped to your house.
Prompts for Reading Aloud Dinosaur Farm with Kids
After reading the story with your kids, talk about and/or act out each scene. Ask what the farmer is eating for breakfast. Compare that to what they ate for breakfast that morning. What do they think dinosaurs eat for breakfast?
After breakfast, the farmer puts on his hat and boots before hopping on his tractor to go to work. What kinds of clothes do other people wear to work – doctors, teachers, etc. How do they get to work?
For now, skip the dinosaur bathing scene. We’ll come back to that with a big surprise. Talk about the farmer’s chores – cleaning the pond, cleaning messes, watering the plants. What chores does your little one do to help around the house?
Do your kiddos think it would be hard to care for baby dinosaurs? Why or why not? If they’ve ever helped care for a puppy or kitten, remind them of the tasks involved with that.
After supper, the farmer takes a bath and heads to bed. Compare his routine to your child’s bedtime routine.
Setting up your Water Table Dinosaur Farm for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Now, circle back to bathing the dinosaurs. This is a great time to set up a fun dinosaur wash or water play activity for your kids. I used our water table because it has two sections. I filled the top section with potting soil and our dinosaurs. Try using taste-safe pretend mud or even chocolate pudding if you’re concerned about kids putting the dirt in their mouths.
I filled the “moat” with water. I pulled out some measuring cups, droppers and tongs, an old toothbrush, and a little washcloth. If you don’t have a water table, you can use a plastic tote or two – one for the mud and one for the bath.
Playing with the Dinosaur Small World Set Up
Now, sit back and let your kids explore the texture of the “mud” and water. Let them scoop and pour. As the dinosaurs get dirty, kids can pour water on them or scrub them clean with the toothbrush or washcloth.
It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. This simple dinosaur sensory play activity is a great way to follow up a read through Dinosaur Farm. It is sure to keep your kids entertained on a hot summer day.
The benefit of this – you can leave this set up for the week and your toddlers and preschoolers can explore, play, use their motor skills and sense throughout our Dinosaur Week here on Rainy Day Mum.
As a longtime homeschool mom, she is passionate about equipping and encouraging moms in their efforts to educate their littlest learners at home.
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Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.