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?

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