On our second day of this year’s Storybook Summer – we’re visiting the Land Before Time again and sharing a fun activity for the book – Dinosaurs Everywhere and welcoming Jaimi from The Stay at Home Mom Survival Guide to share a fun activity for some DIY Dinosaur tracks that I know will be a hit this summer bringing another favourite children’s storybook alive. So over to Jaimi.
Dinosaurs are such a great subject matter for getting children interested in science exploration and history. I love this activity because it not only teaches what we can learn from dinosaur tracks, it allows children to use what they learn to create their own dinosaur track painting. You can make your own dinosaur footprint sponges to use with this painting activity.
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With the release of the Jurassic World movie and my children’s fascination with dinosaurs, this activity is a favorite in our house.
The dinosaur track sponge painting idea was inspired by the book Dinosaurs Everywhere. It is so simple to create your own dinosaur track sponges for painting and learning. Here are the supplies we used to make the sponges (it’s really quick) and use them to paint.
To make the dinosaur track sponges you will need:
Dino footprint patterns (optional)
For the painting activity you will need:
2 small trays for holding the paint or mixing colours
Dinosaur footprint sponges (DIY steps below)
How to –
Make your our own dinosaur footprint sponges
1)Create dinosaur footprint pattern stencils by drawing simple footprints (see the book for examples) onto a piece of paper. Cut the footprints out to use for step 2.
Pay attention to the size of your sponges so that the patterns will fit onto the sponges.
2)Trace the dinosaur footprint patterns onto the sponges.
(You can skip the patterns and just draw the footprints free hand if you prefer.)
We could get 2 small footprints or 1 large footprint per sponge.
2)Cut out the footprint sponges.
Simple sponges are great and easy to cut. The sponges we used had a little grip area for fingers, which would be helpful for toddlers in case you want to look for those.
3)Repeat making footprint sponges until you have as many as you like.
Read [affiliate link] Dinosaurs Everywhere (particularly the pages about dinosaur tracks and footprints).
This book is a favorite of mine for teaching about dinosaurs because it looks like a children’s storybook but has non-fiction facts. This makes the subject matter very accessible for even toddlers to listen along.
The illustrations take up the entire page and they are very detailed. We read about dinosaur footprints and dinosaur tracks. Then I reviewed the facts about what dinosaur tracks can tell us.
Children can learn so much about science through reading storybooks that explain details at their developmental level. It is fun to get children exploring their new knowledge with hands-on projects.
After reading a bit about the dinosaur tracks, we got to painting our own!
Paint your own dinosaur tracks.
1)Gather the painting supplies. (See above)
2)Let the kids pick their paper.
3)Get to painting!
While my older two children were working on painting their own dinosaur tracks creations, I was asking them questions about what their painting was telling us about dinosaurs.
“Is your dinosaur a baby or an adult?”
“Is your dinosaur walking or running?”
“Was your dinosaur a plant-eater or a meat-eater?”
My 7-year-old was able to converse in more detail, but my 4-year-old still really enjoyed talking about her painting of velociraptor footprints. They just love dinosaurs.
After my 7-year-old was done making his first tracks painting (he ended up making 2), he tried drawing a dinosaur onto his paper to illustrate the dinosaur that made the tracks.
I enjoyed using this activity to my preschoolers back when I was teaching. It is very special to share it with my children and here with you! I know you are enjoying the Storybook Summer series here at Rainy Day Mum. Thanks so much for letting me join in, Cerys!
Enjoy learning about dinosaurs with your children!
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Jaimi Erickson is mom to 4 (2+twins), a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom who shares simple activities for infants, toddlers, preschool and school-age kids along with homemaking tips and encouragement for moms on her blog The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide.