There is just something about dinosaurs. Kids love the giant lizards that once walked the Earth. These simple and fun learning activities are perfect for a dinosaur unit. Or, choose just a few of the activities to do at home with your child.
This year our favorite homeschool unit was our dinosaur unit. I have to admit, I learned a lot during this unit, too. And, after being corrected by my daughter 100’s of times, I can now say the name of her favorite dinosaur — Parasaurolophus — correctly. During our unit we enjoyed reading and learning about the lives of dinosaurs.
Some of our favorite dinosaur books were:
- Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur? (Who can resist Cat in the Hat?)
- Dinosaurs before Dark (Magic Treehouse Series)
- Dinosaurs Big and Small
- Digging up Dinosaurs
- Dinosaurs (Discovery Kids 3-D Reader)
- Dinosaur Tracks
- The Complete Book of Dinosaurs
We finished our unit by creating lapbooks detailing some of the facts we learned about the different time periods and some of our favorite dinosaurs. Along with learning lots and lots about dinosaurs, we also enjoyed using dinosaurs in a variety of learning activities.
Explore Dinosaur Footprints. I love this life-sized triceratops footprint from Schleich. Just print out and tape the pieces to the floor for your child to explore. How big is your child’s footprint compared to a dinosaurs? Once they compare their feet, trace your child’s footprint and cut out 30 or so copies. Use the footprint cutouts to see how many of your child’s footprint can fit into the triceratops footprint. (Bonus: have your child guess how many it will take before hand and see how close their estimate is.)
You can continue by using a tape measure to see how big the dinosaur footprint is. We used masking tape to create a few more footprints to explore. T-Rex’s foot was approximately 3.3 feet long. (The actual footprint would be smaller since T-Rex walked on his toes, but we chose to explore his actual foot size with this activity.)
Make Dinosaur Footprints. This is always fun! Your child can use toy dinosaurs to make footprints in playdough. Talk about how the footprints are different. Which dinosaurs make 4 footprints? Which make only 2? Do plant eaters leave different looking tracks than meat eaters?
You can also use paint to make your footprints. Just put a little paint on a paper plate and have your child use their plastic dinosaurs to stamp prints across a sheet of paper.
Dinosaur Footprint Cookies. This was a huge hit! Using your favorite sugar cookie recipe, roll and cut circle cookies. Then use a large toy dinosaur to make a footprint on each cookie before baking them.
Dinosaur Sight Word Activity. Cut simple dinosaur footprints from construction paper. Write a sight word on each footprint and then create a path for your child to follow. They must read each footprint correctly to move forward. If they read one incorrectly have them start back at the beginning. Challenge them to see how fast they can go. Make it even more fun and have your dinosaur footprints go through tunnels, under tables, and even across the couch cushions.
This activity could easily be modified for preschoolers. Write one letter from the alphabet on each footprint and have them identify which letter it is. Or, make it a math activity and write math facts on each footprint.
Dinosaur Spelling Activity. This is such a fun way to practice spelling words with a dinosaur twist. It could easily be modified for sight words or even letter identification for preschoolers.
Dinosaur Math Activity. I love activities that require almost no prep. This one is super simple. Make a path with your flashcards and have your child hop their toy dinosaur to each card as they answer the math question. If they miss one, have them start back at the beginning. You can modify this and have 2 or more children race their dinosaurs. And, since you are using flashcards you can modify it to your child’s level, using math facts they need to practice, whether they are addition, subtraction, multiplication, or even division.
For more fun activities that are perfect for a dinosaur unit:
- Here are 20 Dinosaur Crafts and Activities your kids are guaranteed to love.
- Learn more about fossils with this Dinosaur Fossils Unit Study from Brain Power Boy.
- We loved going outside and figuring out just How Big Dinosaurs Were with this activity from Frugal Fun for Boys.
- And if you have kids of different age ranges, Brain Power Boy has 9 Dinosaur Activities for Toddlers and Their Big Brothers (or sisters) to enjoy together.
Homeschoolers: Be sure to check out this amazing deal on 54 awesome teaching resources just for you!