Isn’t Dinovember just the best month? A whole month of dinosaurs turns all these fun and learning activities into PLAY. Or, is it that PLAY turns learning into fun? Whatever the case, dinosaurs make for really big and exciting times. And the best thing about play, unlike the dinosaurs, it never goes extinct! After all, it’s the brain’s favorite way to learn.
You can print off the image below and tape it to the fridge to inspire all kinds of play activities. Speaking of the fridge:
Q. How can you tell there’s a dinosaur in your refrigerator?
A. The door won’t close!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 … Continue reading Basic Social Skills and Dinosaurs→
From math to music, yoga to crafts, there are many ways to have Dinovember fun. This dinosaur craft is creative, colorful, and counts. This dino play-of-the-day just needs a few items that you likely have already. To start, adult hands need to cut a dinosaur shape out of thicker paper or light cardboard. We used … Continue reading Dinosaur Craft and Number Fun for Dinovember→
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→
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→
Dinosaurs are great toys for learning. Last week, they helped with letters as kids dug them out of sand. This week, how about a fun dinosaur word game? Letters have both names and sounds. Long before kids learn the names of letters they can have fun with sounds. Have you ever made a mistake reading … Continue reading Dinovember: Dinosaur Word Game→
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→
For a play activity that will never be extinct, mix of a batch of play dough. Inexpensive and appealing, combine dinosaurs and play dough for play time. This dino and dough post was so popular from last year, here it is again: For an invitation to play, I simply put some playdough, small plastic dinosaurs … Continue reading Dinosaurs and Play Dough Play-of-the-Day→