Dinosaurs Theme for Preschool
Triceratops, Brontosaurus and the ever popular T-Rex! This dinosaurs theme is endless in the possible activities and adventures your preschoolers can participate in!
You'll find more themes to help you with your planning on my preschool themes page.
This themed page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom.
Let the Theme planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Dinosaur Theme Art
Materials Needed: dino-shaped pasta, scraps of colored paper, glue, full sheets of construction paper
The children use the dino pasta to make a prehistoric collage. The colored scraps of paper can be used for them to make volcanoes, trees, etc.
Materials Needed: (uncooked) pasta- thin spaghetti, elbow macaroni, rigatoni, etc.
After reading about your favorite prehistoric dino, provide papers with dinos drawn on them. The children can create the skeleton bones from the pasta.
Materials needed: paper crowns (premade); dino stampers and stamp pads
In advance, create paper crowns and let them stamp away! Provide different colors of stamp pads for them!
Dinosaur Theme Block Center Ideas
Materials needed: shoe boxes, yogurt container covers (4 for each box) and brad fasteners (for each yogurt cover).
With box opening facing up, make 4 holes on the sides (near the bottom) to attach the "wheels" to.
Hole punch one hole in the middle of each yogurt container cover.
Place the cover over the hole in the box and attach using a brad fastener.
Repeat for the other three "wheels".
Make and place as many of these as you wish to the block area.
Also provide small dinos (sorters or mini stuffed animals) for them to take on rides.
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about theme!
Start your theme by hanging a large piece of paper on the wall at circle time.
Ask the children what they know about these prehistoric reptiles!
Write their responses on the chart.
Offer some basic facts for them when they are done (if they haven't already told YOU about it!):
The word DINOSAUR means terrible lizard.
People never saw a real one--people were not alive when the dinosaurs were.
Some were HERBEVOIRS--they ate only plants, they were vegetarians.
Some were CARNIVOIRS--they ate meat.
Some were large and some were small.
They were hatched from eggs.
There are real fossils in the world (see if you can find some online to print and show them).
They are EXTINCT, nobody knows for sure why the all died.
My Favorite Prehistoric Creature!
Materials: A marker, 1 piece of construction paper for each child
Ask the children, one at a time, what their favorite prehistoric dino is and one fact about it. Write what they say on the paper.
"I like longnecks. They have long necks and long tails"
Provide the papers to the children at the art or writing table and let them draw their dino and decorate their page.
EXTENSION: When complete, staple together as a class book and read at the next circle time and then place it in the library!
5 Ferocious Herbivores
Materials needed: 5 herbivore dino counters or stuffed animals and one carnivore. Act out the following:
5 ferocious herbivores playing in the swamp.
Eating yummy plants, chomp, chomp, chomp.
Along came a carnivore as LOUD as could be and.....gulp! (move one herbivore aside)
Continue backwards to 0!
Place in your library area for the children to use during the day.
Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Theme!
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific Space theme questions while making these fun snacks!
Prehistoric Toes and Nails
Ingredients and Items needed: whole wheat bread, soft margarine, plastic knives, toaster
In advance, cut some triangles out of the bread from the top of each slice of bread (to resemble a foot with toes!)
Toast the bread.
Give each child a slice of the toasted bread.
They spread their bread (toes!) with butter and then stick on the triangles you previously cut for nails!
Ingredients and Items Needed: refrigerated breadstick dough (an 11 ounce tube makes 10-12 bones); coarse salt; plastic knife
Unroll the tube of dough and separate the rectangular pieces.
Stretch each piece with the children to make it a bit longer.
Use the knife to help the children cut a 1 1/2 inch slit in the middle of each one.
Roll or shape the 4 corners into knobs that look like the ends of a bone.
Place bones on an ungreased baking sheet...a few inches apart.
Sprinkle some salt on them.
Bake until they are light golden brown (about 9-12 minutes).
Ingredients needed: 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 TBSP chopped onion, 2 TBSP parsley, 1 TSP dill weed.
Children help to put all the ingredients into a bowl.
Chill for about an hour.
children help to cut up some fresh vegetables (tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, celery, etc.).
Ingredients needed: ranch dressing, green food coloring; assortment of vegetables, plastic knives
Have the children help cut some vegetables (broccoli, celery, tomatoes, etc.)
Mix a drop of green food coloring into the ranch dressing and let the children take turns mixing.
Dinosaur Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area
Make a cave by hanging a sheet over the dramatic play area or by adding a tent. Provide stuffed dinos, blankets, artificial flowers and bushes. Hang crepe paper from the ceiling. Place a blue sheet on the floor for the water they would drink or bathe in. Provide plastic eggs with baby dinos in them.
Theme Ideas for your Easel--More Than Just Painting
(Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)
Materials Needed: Different prehistoric reptile shapes and water colors.
Themed Large Group Games that help build their muscles while they have fun together
Are you brave enough to do this one?!!
Materials needed: Wading pool, dirt and water!
In advance, ask parents to send their children in with their bathing suits!
Make mud in the wading pool and STOMP!
Move Like they Did!
Materials: Pictures of different dinos. Talk about how they moved (fly, walk on 2 legs, on 4 legs, little steps, big steps?
As you discuss each one, have the children move to the other side of the room like that dino!
Themed Ideas for Your Library and Literacy Activities for your Preschool Classroom
Book Suggestions for the Library
(I LOVE Amazon, and if you choose to get yours there, they do send me a few cents--which supports my coffee habit!)
Songs and Fingerplays
Around the Prehistoric Swamp (sung to Wheels on the Bus)
The pteranodon's wings went
flap, flap, flap...flap, flap, flap...flap, flap, flap
The pteranodon's wings went flap, flap, flap around the prehistoric swamp!
The Tyrannosaurus rex went grr, grr, grr....
The triceratops horns went poke, poke, poke
The apatosaurus ate leaves and went crunch, crunch, crunch....
The stegosaurus' tail went spike, spike, spike....
Which One? (sung to the Muffin Man)
Which dinosaur had a tooth like a banana, tooth like a banana, tooth like a banana?
Which dinosaur had a tooth like a banana? Which one do you think? (T-Rex)
Which dinosaur had a horn on its nose?........ (Triceratops)
Which dinosaur had plates on its back?........ (Stegosaurus)
Which dinosaur ran really fast................ (T-Rex)
Turn Around sung to Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, stomped around.
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, shook the ground.
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, gave some fear.
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, are no longer here!
Tyrannosaurus Rex sung to Mary Had a Little Lamb
Dinosaurs walked on this earth, on this earth, on this earth.
Dinosaurs walked on this earth...a very long time ago.
Tyrannosaurus Rex was the king, was the kink....a very long time ago.
Add facts about other prehistoric reptiles you've learned about!
Themed activities to help your Preschoolers develop those small muscles in their hands!
Estimation Foot Station
Materials: LARGE prehistoric footprints made from construction paper.
In small groups, encourage children to guess how many of them will "fit" into the foot prints. Write down their estimates.
The children then all try to stand in the footprint, count how many friends fit and then compare it to the number they estimated.
Prehistoric Memory Game
Materials Needed: Prehistoric sets of stickers and juice lids.
Make pairs of matching lids. The children then use them as a traditional memory game by placing them face down and turning over 2 to see if they match. If they do, they put them aside. If they don't match, they flip them back over and try again.
I recommend starting with only a few pairs first and then add more pairs as they become more comfortable with the game.
For children who do not have experience with this game yet, place the lids face up for them to visually find the matches.
Materials needed: copies of your favorite dinos or lots and lots of small dino sorters; 8X10 paper with numerals on them. Base the numbers you print on the number recognition AND the one-to-one correspondence you are working on. If your children are all able to count out 5 items, then make the papers 6-10 or higher.
Place the number papers out and a bowl of sorters or pictures. The children should count out the number of dinos to match the number that is on the paper.
EXTENSION: It may help to have the equivalent number of dots on each paper. This allows your preschoolers to place one dino per dot and therefore improve their one-to-one correspondence as well as their eye-hand coordination.
Themed Music and Movement Activities and Ideas to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!
Materials Needed: large paper bags (grocery bags) and music.
Place the bags on the children's feet for dino feet. In advance, cut out dino toes (claws). Tape them onto the bags once the children "put on their feet".
Dance like dinos!
Sing the traditional Goin' On a Bear Hunt song and change the words:
Going on a dino hunt (slap thighs)
And I'm not afraid. (point to self)
Look, there's a tall mountain (hand over eyes).
Can't go under it, can't go over it, I'll have to go around it!
Look, there's a river! .....Guess I'll swim across it!
There's some tall grass...... guess I'll go through it.
Look, there's a cave!......Guess I'll go IN it!
Shhh...It's dark in here!
It's cold in here!
I feel some scales..
I feel some teeth...what is it?
Quick run out of the cave, through the grass, across the river, over the mountain, back to our house, close the door...
Phew...We went on a dino hunt, and I wasn't afraid!
Dino Hokey Pokey
Sing and do the movements to this traditional dance but insert dino items instead!
You put your front paws in, you put your front paws out, you put your front paws in and you shake them all about!
You do the dino hokey and you turn yourself around, that's what it's all about!
You put your tail in.......
You put your head plates in....
You put your back plates in....
In advance make sets of different prehistoric footprints. You can make them from paper or felt, though felt could be saved and used year after year.
Tape the foot prints in pairs around your dancing area.
Play some dino themed music or just fun music!
Tell the children that when the music plays, they should come OFF the footprints and dance and move like dinos!
When the music stops, they should go to the nearest set of footprints.
SUGGESTION: Your preschoolers may not used to this type of "pick any one" type of instruction. At first, if a child starts on a blue set of prints, they think of those prints as "theirs" and if someone else goes on them, you may have a meltdown on your hands! There are several ways to start out with this!
1. As they are dancing, place their nametags near a set of prints and have them freeze when the music stops. Then instruct them to find their names.
2. As they are dancing, hand them a piece of paper or felt the same color as one of the sets of footprints. When the music stops, instruct them to freeze! And then find some footprints that are the color they are holding.
Themed Activities for the Senses!
Materials needed: shaving cream, dino sorters and paint brushes.
Cover dino sorters with shaving cream. Provide spoons and paint brushes for the children to "discover" the dinos!
VARIATION: Do this same activity at the art table! Cover a dino sorter with shaving cream. Provide each child with a paint brush to find the dino! You can add paint to the shaving cream and also encourage the children to write in the shaving cream.
Materials needed: sand, rocks, plastic plants, toy dinos, dirt/soil. The children use the materials to create a prehistoric habitat!
Materials needed: Ivory soap flakes, water, small dino counters/sorters.
Have children mix the soap flakes with water until it makes a thick paste.
They take a handful and cover a small dino with it. They should make it into the shape of an egg and be sure the dino doesn't show!
Let sit to dry. Take home and use in the bathtub!
Themed Science Activities--for your Preschool Scientists in Training!
Check them out!
Materials: Prehistoric skeleton models (available at teacher or science stores) or pictures of skeletons, magnifying glasses
Let the children check these out with magnifying glasses!
EXTENSION: Provide chalk and black paper for them to make their own x-ray-type skeletons.
Materials needed: Playdough, shallow trays (1 for each child) pipettes, vinegar, baking soda, goggles
Provide playdough for the children to make their own volcanoes.
Wearing their goggles (to avoid them from touching their eyes after touching the vinegar), the children use small spoons to put baking soda in their volcano and then use the pipettes to drop vinegar on the baking soda.
The Apatosaurus' footprint was known to be approximately 24 inches wide by 48 inches tall! Make one on paper and have the children guess how many children will fit! Then have them all fit in!
EXTENSION: Ask children how big they thought an Apatosaurus was. Provide a 70 foot piece of yarn rolled in a ball. Take it outside and unroll it with the children. THAT is how long they were!
Writing Activity Ideas for Your Preschool Classroom's Theme!
Materials Needed: Dino cut-outs, paper, crayons or markers
Tape cut-outs to the table and place paper over the rubbings.
Children rub the sides of crayons over the entire paper (or they can use markers) to uncover the rubbings.
When done, encourage the children to use markers to trace the outline of the dinosaurs.
This is a great activity to help your children develop the muscles in their hands and manipulate markers or crayons.