Today we welcome Darla from The Preschool Toolbox to join us sharing a favourite Story Book in our Land Before Time week of Story Book Summer. She's bringing to life Whatever Happened to the Dinosaurs by Bernard Most [affiliate link] with a fun activity for preschool aged children.
Whatever Happened to the Dinosaurs by Bernard Most is a fun and whimsical book for young children. It is a great book to introduce dinosaur explorations or to access any prior knowledge the children might have. Kids will love the illustrations and the scenarios in the book open the way for wonderful discussions about the word, EXTINCT! Read the book and share with children how dinosaurs lived a long time ago and they are now EXTINCT! The dinosaurs are ALL GONE and no dinosaurs are now left on our Earth. Expand on the concept of extinct by discussing the various scenarios in the book and by asking the following questions.
- Would a real dinosaur come to your house or to school? Why?
- Would a real dinosaur show up at the grocery store? Why?
Kids will laugh at the questions, but they are learning it is impossible for dinosaurs to be anywhere on our Earth today!
Inevitably one of the children will ask, “How do we know that Dinosaurs lived on our Earth if they are all gone?” It’s a great question to explore with children through discussions and sensory play!
Share with the children about scientists who study fossils. Paleontologists have found dinosaur fossils on our Earth. Explain that fossils are parts of a plant or animal (dinosaur) found in rocks or in the ground. Go outside and invite the children find small rocks (or have some available if using the activity in the classroom). Use magnifiers to take a better look at the rocks. Ask the children what they see and feel. Invite the children to share about their rocks: what shapes, colors, patterns, textures, etc. did they find as they discovered and explored the rocks. Scientists who study dinosaurs carefully study fossils found in our Earth to determine what kind of dinosaurs once lived here.
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DINOSAUR ACTIVITIES TO EXTEND THE BOOK
Dinosaur Excavation Sensory Bin
- One large plastic bin (a sand or water table will work, too)
- Small Plastic Dinosaurs
- Paintbrush, child’s lab coat, tweezers, and magnifying glasses or goggles
- Any container to house the dinosaurs after excavation
Fill the plastic bin with sand and hide miniature dinosaurs or plastic dinosaur bones in the sand. Invite the children to use tweezers and excavate the dinosaurs from the sand. Remind the children to gently dust off the dinosaurs as a good scientist always handles fossils carefully! If lab coats, magnifying glasses, and goggles are available, it makes the play area extra special!
- Add rocks or colored glass flower arranging stones to the excavation bin. Invite the children to sort rocks into containers according to size or sort different flower arranging stones by color.
- The children might also enjoy excavating frozen dino eggs:freeze miniature plastic eggs or plastic dinosaurs in small cups of water. Thaw the ice partially before giving to the children. Invite the children to use craft sticks to “dig” for the treasure inside the ice cups.
Homemade Dinosaur Fossil Dough
- 1 cup of used coffee grounds
- ½ cup of cold coffee
- 1 cup of flour
- ½ cup of salt
- Wax paper
- Mixing bowl
- Large plastic Dinosaur to make footprints in the dough
- Stir the together the coffee grounds, cold coffee, flour, and salt until well mixed.
- Knead the dough together and then flatten it out in circles onto the waxed paper.
- Press your dinosaur feet firmly into the dough. When the children remove the dinosaur, it will leave a dinosaur imprint.
- Let the fossils dry for 24 hours on each side. HINT – to shorten drying time, bake the dough in a 200 degree oven (turning once) before air drying.
For more DINOSAUR FUN with Science and Math, please visit: DINOSAUR HATCHING and CLASSIFYING!
About the Author: Darla is a teacher, mom of 6, educational blogger, and co-founder of The Preschool Toolbox which provides curriculum design and playful learning activities for Early Childhood. Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.