Do you work field trips into your homeschool routines? We try to as much as we can because we’re blessed to live near the city of Cleveland. There are museums, historical societies, working farms, and so much more nearby. Many of those places offer homeschool classes too. Lucky for us, when the kids were fully immersed in their most recent {because it does recur} study of dinosaurs, a local museum offered a dinosaur class for homeschooled children.

 

Hands On Dinosaur Study via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

We love visiting the Cleveland Museum of Natural History — especially when they are offering their amazing homeschool classes. CMNH offers the classes on two days each month, and has separate plans and instructors for different age groups. There’s a preschool class, one for 5-8 year olds, another for 9-12 year olds, and a middle/high school class. The themes are the same, but the content varies by age and ability.

I highly encourage you to check out the offerings in your area, and if your local museums don’t currently offer classes and programs for preschoolers and homeschoolers, call them up and ask them to. They may not know how strong the market would be if they were to offer affordable classes during times when most of the population can’t be in the open {and often empty} museum.

At home, before we went to the museum, we got lots of fun dino activities in. Are you looking to add some dinosaur fun and learning into your little one’s preschool day? Try out some of these fabulous {and fun} hands-on activities:

 

Read Great Books

I love starting any preschool study out by collecting great books to scatter around the house and prop up on the tops of shelves. For this topic, I pulled some books from our own library as well as the public library. I’ve included links below so you can find them easily.

 

Great Dinosaur Books for Kids

 

Set Up a Dinosaur Dig

I pulled together a fun dino dig using some simple materials. The kids used some sand toys we had for their archaeologist tools. I threw in oversized paint brushes so they could be careful when they came across the skeletons and fossils. Our water table was pulled inside and filled with cornmeal, and lots of tiny dinosaur skeletons were buried deep.

The kids played with this for hours.

 

Hands On Dinosaur Study via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

Put Out Dino Trays for Independent Play and Learning

Since I have some bigger kids that need to keep progressing through things like phonics and math, I try to set out themed trays for my preschooler and toddler to enjoy together while I work with the bigger kids. And…those bigger kids enjoy the tray play, too, and go join in as soon as they’re done with their work, so it serves as a great motivator.

This time I put out three trays.

We had a simple transferring tray where I put “dinosaur eggs” and fine-motor tweezers on a two compartment tray. My little ones moved the eggs {marbles} from one side to the other with the tweezers. The toddler still puts things in his mouth occasionally, so I have him play with this one in the same room where I’m working with the older ones.

On another, I had this adorable World Animals Baby Dinosaur set for imaginative play. My preschooler and toddler played together with this tray so sweetly.

For their math tray, I set out this set of colorful dinosaur counters and six corresponding colored bowls I picked up years ago at the dollar store to create a simple sorting activity. While the toddler tossed the dinos around roaring, my preschooler happily sorted and resorted.

 

Learning Toys for Dino-Themed Tray Play

 

Get Them Moving

If it’s at all possible, I like to work in music and movement to our workday. One of my favorite children’s artists of all time, Laurie Berkner has a fabulous song called We Are the Dinosaurs on her CD The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band. We cranked it up on the CD player, and stomped along, pretending to be dinosaurs. It was great fun.

 

Get Out on the Town

Finally, to end our fabulously fun dinosaur study, we headed to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for our classes. The big kids went off to learn in the older classes, while the little ones went to the preschool sessions where they heard stories, worked on dinosaur nest pictures, played with toy dinosaurs, and then went for a walk through the hall filled with dinosaur skeletons.

 

Taking a Dinosaur Field Trip

 

We all had a blast before coming home to make fossils of our own…but that is another post.

Dinosaurs is one of those topics that all kids — big and small; boys and girls — love to study. There is so much you can do with the topic, that you could study it for a long, long time.

While you’re thinking about all the great things you can do to study dinosaurs with your kids, take a look at all of the other great #playfulpreschool posts this week. These ladies are awfully talented in working with and designing lessons and activities for little ones — go and be inspired.

 

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

Dinosaur Habitat Sensory Play With Slime by Little Bins for Little Hands

Backyard Dinosaur Dig by The Kennedy Adventures

Colleen Kessler

Colleen is an explorer, tinkerer, educator, writer, creator, and a passionate advocate for the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children. She has a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in gifted studies, is a sought-after national speaker and educational consultant, and is the founder of the popular blog and podcast Raising Lifelong Learners, as well as Raising Poppies, a community of support for parents of gifted children. She lives in northeast Ohio with her four bright and quirky kiddos, patient husband, and ever-changing collection of small reptiles, mammals, and insects.

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