Pretend Play with Dinosaurs: Both New and Old

The authors of Dinovember have a new version of their book with more photos. Pretend play with dinosaurs can be constantly new and different, yet based on timeless play and prehistoric creatures.

dinosaur pretend playDinosaurs may have lived more than 60-million years ago but to kids, they can be as new as today’s play. Although the dinosaurs all died off long ago, they live in children’s imagination. In the words of Carl Sagan, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” Imagination is amazingly timeless and alive with possibilities.

As children pretend, both minds and bodies are engaged. Just thinking about going up in an elevator is enough to make eye muscles respond and go up too. However, as kids are involved in pretend play they are usually very active and bodies fly, bend, twist, stomp and more. Brains are very active, creating new pathways and connections, figuring out relationships and interactions.

Kids don’t necessarily need any dinosaurs for dinosaur pretend play. They can just be. However, there are inexpensive plastic dinosaurs small enough to fit in a child’s hand or as big enough to ride in a playground. Putting a whole bunch of tiny blocks together can make a huge dino sculpture. This Lego one was made as adults played.

A dinosaur tail is quick and easy to sew. Stuff it with light weight material so it’s not too heavy as kids play. These dino feet are also very simple; they are two tissue boxes covered with green paper and white teeth. They are somewhat slippery tho as kids take big dinosaur steps. A headband takes almost no time to make but can give kids hours of fun.

Usually, as kids play, they make up their own stories to go along with what they are doing. If the “dinosaurs” seem stuck on eating each other up, you can ask if they would like to have an adventure, such as making a dino blanket fort, or exploring the jungle. Whatever they do, aren’t kids and dinosaurs are a great combination for play?

Dinovember Patterns and Patterning Skills

Today’s play-of-the-day is Dinovember patterns and patterning skills. These are great ways to have fun and develop some smart brain strategies.

dinovember patterning skills Are there some dinosaur toys at your house? As your child is playing with dinosaurs, you can play a little too. Show your child how you can make a pattern; for instance, purple dino/blue dino, purple dino/blue dino. You can share what you’ve done and ask your child what color of dinosaur comes next. If your child doesn’t know, or uses another color, you can add some more purple/blues.

dinosaur patterning skillsWhen kids have figure out how a pattern works, they can continue patterns in long lines or even circles. But this takes lots of experiences and exposure to patterns. Older kids and those who get the idea may make more complicated patterns using a group of 3 objects, then 4 and more as well as with sizes and other aspects.

Patterns do not have to be only dinosaurs. Another series could be dinosaur/block, dinosaur block. This is useful when the dinosaur toys are all a similar color. Or maybe car/dinosaur, car dinosaur.

The skill of recognizing patterns may not seem important but language and math are based on patterns. So is Nature and for that matter, our nature too. According to Matt Powers, “Out of all mental skills, pattern recognition is said to have the highest correlation to intelligence.”

Patterns aren’t just for kids. Think of the stock market. Successful traders looks for patterns and trends. So do big companies. From weather forecasters to plant scientists, psychologists to engineers, we all depend on patterns. Patterns are key because they contain information about relationships and connections, helping to understand the world around us. Playing with dinosaurs and other toys, can support the development of patterning skills. Will some dino play be part of the pattern in your child’s day?

Simple and Easy Dinosaur Songs for Children

Dinosaurs likely didn’t sing, but here are some simple and easy dinosaur songs for children. These use tunes that are already well known.

Does singing happen at your house? Not on a machine or device but with family voices. It needs to because songs “aid a child’s ability to think” according to Sally Goddard Blythe. In her book, The Genius of Natural Childhood – Secrets of Thriving Children, Blythe writes that there is not enough emphasis placed on singing. It’s not only an essential part of children’s educational success, but also their well-being.

easy children’s dinosaur songsThis song has the fewest words but it’s tricky for adults to sing the word big instead of little. Even little dinosaurs are big.

1 big, 2 big, 3 big dinosaurs.
4 big, 5 big, 6 big dinosaurs.
7 big, 8 big, 9 big dinosaurs,
10 BIG dinosaurs. ROAR.

The Dinosaurs In The Swamp (tune: Wheels on the Bus)

The Tyrannosaurus Rex goes roar, roar, roar.
Roar, roar, roar. Roar, roar, roar.
The Tyrannosaurus Rex goes Roar, roar, roar,
All around the swamp.

The Apatosaurus’ feet go stomp, stomp, stomp.
Stomp, stomp, stomp. Stomp, stomp, stomp.
The Apatosaurus’ feet go stomp, stomp, stomp,
All around the swamp.

The Pteranodon’s wings go flap, flap, flap,
Flap, flap, flap. Flap, flap, flap,
The Pteranodon’s wings go flap, flap, flap,
All around the swamp.

The Iguanodon’s teeth go munch, munch, munch.
Munch, munch, munch. munch, munch, munch.
The Iguanodon’s teeth go munch, munch, munch.
All around the swamp.

easy children’s dinosaur songs

Dino-pokey (tune: Hokey Pokey)

You put your tail in, you put your tail out.
You put your tail in, and you sweep it all around.
You do the Dino-pokey and you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about.

You put your claws in…and wave them all around.
You put your teeth in…and you crunch them all around.
You put your feet in…and stomp them all around.
You put your eyes in…and look them all around.

Besides these verses, you can add ones that you and your child think of. Remember to include the actions. What kind of voice would a dinosaur use to sing?

Playing with Dinosaurs and Construction Toys

Playing with dinosaurs and construction toys was a popular play-of-the-day during Dinovember last year. Here is the blog post to inspire more fun this year: Dinosaur Play and Construction Toys Because kids never see real live dinosaurs now, they are not limited in any way as to how they play with them. Dinosaurs are almost … Continue reading Playing with Dinosaurs and Construction Toys

Dinosaurs, Letters, and Sand = Awesome Sensory Play

Sensory play is one of the ways the brain uses to load information into its circuits. Dinosaurs, letters, and sand combine for some awesome sensory play. Not all children are particularly interested in letters, but dinosaurs and sand can turn learning into fun. While a whole sand box or sand table is wonderful, a bowl … Continue reading Dinosaurs, Letters, and Sand = Awesome Sensory Play

Dinovember: Counting Dinosaurs and Number Sense

Number sense develops as children play with and experience numbers. Counting dinosaurs is an appealing and fun activity for young children. Dollar stores often have inexpensive bags with an assortment of dinosaurs. These can be used for counting and other fun. Kids just learning to count may not have all the names for the numbers … Continue reading Dinovember: Counting Dinosaurs and Number Sense

Learn About Time for Kids: What Time is it Mr. Dinosaur

Dinosaurs lived a very long time ago so let’s use them to learn about time for kids. Developing a sense of time will take lots of time and experiences. A sense of time is a challenge for kids although they will have some general ideas. Most of them have figured out the day-night cycle, and … Continue reading Learn About Time for Kids: What Time is it Mr. Dinosaur