If you're looking for dinosaur activities to do with your kids, look no further than your back yard and neighborhood. You can execute these simple but fun dinosaur activities on a low budget as long as you've got time to prepare and creativity to spare.
Paint Dinosaur Footprints
Mix up a solution of washable paint and a little water. Look up the sizes of different dinosaur footprints and write down the measurements next to photos of each of the dinosaurs. Using a measuring tape, sidewalk chalk and your imagination, draw the outline of a dinosaur footprint of your choice, showing the kids which dinosaur print you are creating. Let the kids paint the footprint.
Use your imaginations to decide the shape of the footprint, talking about what kind of dinosaur it was and how it used its feet. Did it run on all fours? Was it so big and fat that it would need wide feet to support its weight? Was it a flying dinosaur with little feet? Speculate and compare your ideas with what you can see in the pictures you printed out. Have the kids compare the size of their own feet with the dinosaur prints you paint on the sidewalk.
Conduct a Dinosaur Walk
For another fun dinosaur activity, look up information about dinosaurs online and print out information sheets on several different types of dinosaurs. Bring these printouts along with you as you take your children on a dinosaur walk.
Look for a good nature trail or park nearby where you can pretend to spot dinosaurs. Discuss how big or small the dinosaur would be. Could it hide in that stand of trees, or would it tower overhead? What would the dinosaur eat? Would it be munching on those treetops over there, or would you need to hide from it because you would be the perfect snack?Look for ways to use your imagination and play with your kids as you take your dinosaur walk.
Build a Dinosaur Model
Using modeling clay for your dinosaur activity, have your kids make a model of a dinosaur and a person to scale. Help your child look up the measurements of his favorite dinosaur, then help him calculate what the size difference would be between him and the full-grown dinosaur. Talk about what it would have been like to encounter this dinosaur in real life as you work on the model together.
Although T-Rex, Pteranodon and Stegosaurus are all extinct, some of the animals that lived with them are still alive today. Learn about these living fossils, which could be as close as your own back yard.
Try sharing some dinosaur facts with your child to separate reality from the movies and to encourage an interest in science.