Our Playful Preschool Series is moving right along. This month we’ve already explored Fall colors and the nighttime. This week we move on to dinosaur activities.
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Dinosaur Fossil Making and Matching
Why We Chose This Activity
My kids love to play with playdough and cookie cutters. They are fascinated with the impressions the cutters leave on the dough. Since this week is all about dinosaurs, I thought we could explore making fossils to build on their playdough play.
We are also working on beginning sounds so I decided that we would create fossils of different items that began with different sounds so that we could sort them in a follow-up activity.
Preparing the Fossils and Dinosaurs
First, we went on a hunt around the house finding objects that might make good impressions on the dough. This was a lesson in itself because my son had to really pay attention to details and feel each object to see if it would be a good candidate for the project. We collected about 10 items to try. Items that worked well included a key, tire from a toy monster truck, puzzle shape, paperclip, fork, domino and a button.
Then we prepared the super easy salt dough that the kids could help make. We used the salt dough recipe from Rainy Day Mum. There was enough dough to make 10 fossils. My son rolled out pieces of the dough and then pressed each object into a piece of the salt dough. We transferred the pieces to a baking sheet and baked until hardened.
When the fossils cooled, I buried them in a container of sand. You will want to have some excavating tools handy such as paint brushes, small shovels or spoons and tweezers.
I took some paper dinosaurs I had on hand and wrote a letter to represent each beginning sound that matched the fossils. You could print out some dinosaur templates to make your own. Or, if you have a collection of dinosaur figurines you could label those instead.
Fossil and Dinosaur Sorting
Your little archaeologist is now ready to start their fossil dig. After unearthing the fossils, have them name the impression on each fossil. Ask your child what sound they hear at the beginning of the word.
Then they should find the corresponding dinosaur letter and place the fossil on the dinosaur. Play continues until all the fossils have been matched with a letter dinosaur.
Grab some more dinosaur books to read with the kids too on our Dinosaur Book for Preschoolers list.
Keep reading. Visit the links below for more great dinosaur activities from the Playful Preschool team!
Additional Dinosaur Activities for Preschool by the #PLAYfulPreschool Education Team:
Dinosaur Math Play by The Educators’ Spin On It
Dinosaur Dig for Fossil Puzzles by Mom Inspired Life
Dinosaur Theme for Preschool: Hatching DINO Eggs – Early Math & Science.by The Preschool Toolbox
Dinosaur Activities: Beginning Sound Fossil Matching by Growing Book by Book
Classification and Sorting of Dinosaurs by Rainy Day Mum
Can You Be A Dinosaur? by Learning 2 Walk
Dinosaur Sensory Play by Still Playing School
Dino-Gourd Dinosaur Egg Hunt by Capri + 3
Dinosaur Hatching by Tiny Tots Adventures
Dinosaur Hunting with Paint by Powerful Mothering
Hands-on Play-based Dinosaur Activities by Raising Lifelong Learners
Dinosaur Habitat Sensory Play With Slime by Little Bins for Little Hands
Backyard Dinosaur Dig by The Kennedy Adventures
Cassie @ 3Dinosaurs.com says
This is such a great idea! We love dinosaurs at our house.
The Preschool Toolbox says
Great sensory and matching ideas for the Dinosaur Theme! I love that you matched the fossil imprints to the beginning letter! Nice post, Jodie!
Colleen Kessler says
This is a great idea — such a fabulous twist on fossils. Where did you get those adorable little shovels and rakes?
Jodie Rodriguez says
They are so fun Colleen. My mom found them at a yard sale.
Cerys from Rainy Day Mum says
We love making fossils and this would be a great way to match the beginning sounds.
Thank you as aswell for linking to our salt dough fossil recipe 😀
Great idea. Fun and learning all in one. I like that he got to choose what the impression object was.
Great way to work on beginning sounds!
Theresa (Capri + 3) says
We are working on beginning letter sounds with our preschoolers. They would love this hands on activity.
I love this creative literacy idea!
Neat idea! I know my son would enjoy helping me make the fossils.