dinosaurs

Children’s Dragon Books: Same and Different with “Not Your Typical Dragon”

Welcome to Dinovember and some dragon fun activities—after all dragons are like dinosaurs and we’ll start with some children’s dragon books and stories. Since we’ve done some dinosaur activities before we thought we’d try something a little bit different. Dragons.

children's dragon books

Dragons can be pretty scary, although Mike the Knight’s dragon Sparkie, is quite friendly. Toothless isn’t terribly scary either. We don’t often talk about dragons, but Little Sister knew they breathed fire and roared. A great way to learn about something new is with books so we found some at our local library.

Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el and Tim Bowers is a very funny story of a dragon with a special birthday. This is the day the dragon will breathe fire just like all the other dragons. Or will he? Somehow, what comes out is quite unexpected, like whipped cream, teddy bears, and bandaids. This is a surprise to the dragon’s family and, feeling like a disappointment, the dragon runs away. With a friend, he tries a variety of solutions, like research, and eating hot foods and spices. The road to acceptance is bumpy, but it does happen. The family is quite proud of their unique dragon.

children's dragon books

Little Sister has asked for this story over and over. Now, whenever we need something and don’t have it, we wish we had a dragon to breathe it for us. What a fun story with a great message. It’s okay to be different.

Same and different isn’t an easy concept for kids but it is an important thinking skill. The amount of information that our brains take in every day is overwhelming. The brain uses strategies to reduce this amount. One of these is same and different. For example, instead of remembering 10 details about dinosaurs plus 10 about dragons, we can remember the 10 about dinosaurs and add a couple of how dragons are different. That makes a smaller amount.

children's dragon books

I asked Little Sister how dinosaurs and dragons were different. She replied that dragons breathed fire and had wings. How they were the same was harder. She told me another detail about dinosaurs: they were big. I asked if dinosaurs had tails and listened as she told me about long tails. I followed up by asking if dragons had tails. She knew that they did. Together, we figured out that dragons and dinosaurs both have tails so that’s something the same.

Elmo and Abby talk about this. Kids need lots of experiences with same and different. The brain figures this out itself. We can support this learning by talking about same and different, showing it, and reading books. Do you have the same idea or a different one?

Basic Social Skills and Dinosaurs

The upcoming holiday season will likely have more social interactions. Helping kids with basic social skills will make these easier. Dinosaurs to the rescue.

Well, a little bit. Although the t-rex was better left all alone, scientists think that some dinosaurs banded together in groups or herds. Any group behavior comes with expectations and conditions and these must be learned.

suppose-meet-dinosaurFor kids, picking up social skills can be a challenge. Besides opportunities to interact with others, stories are another effective way to support learning. In the book, Suppose You Meet A Dinosaur, A First Book of Manners by Judy Sierra and Tim Bowers, a child quickly uses some very important words to talk with a somewhat clumsy dinosaur. These are the words that kids need every day, like please, thank you, and excuse me.

While it’s easy to accept why it’s important for kids to be able to communicate with others, it’s harder to understand why social skills are so critical. We tend to think that learning is something that happens to us as individuals but really we learn from and with others. Watching and imitating are two strategies that even infants use to figure out the world. Toddlers will expand this to pretending and if there aren’t any real people to be part of the play, will imagine them.

dinosaurs and social skillsThe most sensitive time for a child to learn basic social skills is during the preschool years. Besides books, parents and caregivers can use dolls, puppets, or dinosaurs. When your child is playing, you might be the voice of a dinosaur and interact with your child. The dinosaur could ask a question, such as “Is it okay if I have a turn, please?” Using a different voice and another dinosaur, you might comment that you noticed the other one asking instead of simply grabbing and using the word please.

The words thank you and being thankful are so important we have a day to celebrate! Are you thankful you won’t meet a dinosaur?

Dinosaurs and Yoga for Universal Children’s Day

Dinosaurs and yoga are a rather unique way to celebrate Universal Children’s Day. In 1954 the UN established this day to promote children’s welfare. I know, we tend to think every day is children’s day, but in many places on the planet, children’s life is a struggle. But no matter where children live and their … Continue reading Dinosaurs and Yoga for Universal Children’s Day

Dinosaur Float Sink Science Dinovember Fun

Real scientists estimate the mass (weight) of dinosaurs by floating scale models. We tried some dinosaur float sink science too. Not for checking on water displacement, just to see if they would float or sink. Water play is appealing for kids so with some warm water in the kitchen sink, Little Sister checked to see … Continue reading Dinosaur Float Sink Science Dinovember Fun

Dinovember: One-To-One Correspondence and Play

Play is so amazing for learning. Play time with dinosaurs and cars was a great opportunity for figuring out one-to-one correspondence or matching. Besides counting and making a pattern sequence, this is another critical skill for math. Not only that, it’s important for language too. What is one-to-one correspondence? Just like it sounds, it’s matching … Continue reading Dinovember: One-To-One Correspondence and Play