Can you dig it? Romp, stomp, and roar with prehistoric dinosaurs in this action-packed week of dino-themed activities for ages 4-8.
Whether you're T. rex-obsessed or think Triceratops is tops, we can all agree on one thing: Ancient reptiles rule! Activate your inner paleontologist for a whole week of dinosaur delights, from puppet-making to word-searching to edible-nest-tasting.
Please note: While Science @ Home activities are designed to be conducted by kids, some little ones might need adult help with reading instructions and preparing crafts.
Day 1: Terrific T. rex
Tyrannosaurus rex was one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs—and boasted the strongest bite of any land animal in history. Summon the power of this apex predator with a puppet craft and some pasta paleontology. (45-60 minutes)
Even though Tyrannosaurus rex was one of the largest predatory dinosaurs, its arms were only about as big as an adult human’s—and each hand only had two fingers! Create your own T. rex puppet from a paper bag and bring it to life. What do you think T. rex sounded like?
Join a T. rex skeleton on an adventure through time to discover how its bones came to be at the museum.
Which bones go where? Pretend to be a paleontologist who just got back from a dig— except instead of fossilized bones, you have pasta! Assemble the “bones” you discovered into a T. rex skeleton.
Day 2: Triceratops time!
Much like a modern-day rhino, Triceratops was a big and stout herbivore with horns. See how you measure up to this mighty plant-muncher—and don't forget your homemade Triceratops hat! (45-60 minutes)
From the tip of its nose to the end of its tail, the average adult Triceratops was about 30 feet (9 meters) long—almost as long as a city bus! Find out how you compare to the size of a Triceratops in this outdoor measuring activity.
Triceratops was a distinctive dinosaur, equipped with three horns, a beak, and a bony "bonnet" at the rear of its skull. Create your own walking Triceratops and pretend it's cruising the Cretaceous period 60 million years ago.
Day 3: Mama Maiasaura
Maiasaura brought food to their young while they were still in the nest—which explains why their name means "good mother lizard"! Get inspired by these unique dinosaurs through today's coloring, crafting, and cooking activities. (45-60 minutes)
Color a Maiasaura mother and her young as you learn more about how she took care of her eggs.
A thaumatrope is a device that creates the illusion of two pictures becoming one. See this special effect in action in this craft. You will make a thaumatrope with a mother Maiasaura on one side and her nest on the other side. Help her find her nest by giving the thaumatrope a spin!
Day 4: Hungry herbivores
Did you know that most dinosaurs ate plants, not meat? Go green with a plateful of herbivorous activities, including mazes, connect-the-dots, and your very own musical instrument. (60-90 minutes)
Get your pencils and crayons ready! Enjoy six separate activities that will introduce you to a who's-who of fascinating dinosaurs.
- Hidden Ankylosaurus (coloring): Can you find the two Ankylosaurs hidden in this busy design?
- Hidden Ornithomimus (coloring): Can you find the Ornithomimus in this busy design?
- Triceratops dot-to-dot (activity): Connect the dots to draw a Triceratops and learn about its adaptations for defending itself.
- T. rex dot-to-dot (activity): T. rex needs your help! Connect the dots to draw its body and then color it in.
- Pachycephalosaurus food maze (activity): Pachycephalosaurus is hungry! Help it find its way to each plant and then return home.
- Edmontonia nest maze (activity): Can you help this mother Edmontonia find her way back to her nest?
Fossilized skin impressions tell us that some dinosaur skin was scaly, like reptile skin, and some was armor-plated for extra protection, with circular scales packed tightly together with flexible edges where they touched. How would it have felt to pet a dinosaur? Print out this Lambeosaurus, glue on some lentils, and feel for yourself!
Sauropods are a group of herbivorous dinosaurs that had long necks, long tails, small heads, and four thick legs. They are famous for their staggering size and include some of the largest animals that ever lived on land! In this craft, you will make a tiny version of a sauropod from a paper plate.
Some paleontologists believe that the bony head crest of Parasaurolophus may have been used to produce noises. Pretend you are a Parasaurolophus and see how many different sounds you can make!
Extension activities and together time
Find a fellow dinosaur-lover and sink your teeth (or beak!) into a bonus video, reading list, and dino tic-tac-toe.
What’s the difference between a Triceratops and a Torosaurus? Scientists investigate the skulls of these ancient animals to find out.
Curl up with a good book about dinosaurs. Visit your local library to browse their dino books, either in-person or online. Use this list of recommended books to help you get started.