Dinosaurs are fascinating to all ages, but to very young children they are interesting, awe inspiring and sometimes even frightening. These dinosaur games will bring the world of dinosaurs and the search for answers to their lives to a kindergarten or preschool aged child’s level in non-threatening, creative and imaginative ways that will increase their curiosity about and interest in dinosaurs .
Cut dinosaur footprints of different kinds and sizes out of thick cardboard. Make them larger than the children’s feet and shoes. Punch a hole on either side of the cutouts. Tie string, ribbon or thin elastic through each hole. Tie it across the top of the children’s shoes to hold the footprints in placed so they can walk with them on. You can make the footprints last longer by covering them with clear colored sticky shelf lining paper.
If you want extra sturdy dinosaur feet good for repeated use, make them out of pine or plywood cut out with a coping saw or jigsaw. Drill holes in them and tie them on the same way you tie the cardboard feet.
Have the children walk around pretending to be dinosaurs and compete to be the best dinosaur. Give the best dinosaur a dinosaur sticker. Spread sand or dirt out deep enough so they can walk through it and see their own dinosaur prints on the ground.
Put different dinosaur feet around the room, playground or yard. Then give each child or team a sheet with a small picture of each different dinosaur print you have on the ground and a writing utensil. See who can find all the matching prints and mark them off in their checklist first.
Have a dinosaur race on the grass or soft ground while wearing the dinosaur feet. Try walking or running races.
Dinosaur Treasure Hunt
Set up a dinosaur treasure hunt. Cut out dinosaur footprints from construction paper or poster board. Use masking tape to secure them in place on the ground. Create a dinosaur treasure trail for the toddlers to follow to different spots. At each spot, place a treasure of some kind. A large paper dinosaur egg, a stuffed baby dinosaur, a dinosaur nest, some pretend bones or dinosaur stickers are a few ideas of treasure pieces to find at each stop. At the end of the dinosaur hunt, hide a book or movie about dinosaurs that all the kids can enjoy together during story time.
Take the kids outside for a dinosaur dig to pretend they are paleontologists and hunt for finds. Fill large bowls full of sand or dirt or use a large sand box. Use plastic dinosaur figures of all different sizes, types and colors. Add a few plastic, wood or real bones that are thoroughly cleaned. Bury the dinosaurs and bones in the sand or dirt. Hide them at different depths and all over the digging area.
The children finding the most bones, the biggest bone, the smallest dinosaur, the biggest dinosaur, the dinosaurs by colors and so forth win points in the game or small prizes such as stickers or a rubber stamp dinosaur image on the back of their hand.
Alternately, make more than one digging area outside and label them with signs that have pictures of dinosaurs. Split a group of children up into smaller work groups. Make each sign outside a different color with a name for each type of dinosaur that is hidden. Cut small digging tickets out for each color. Have the kids pick their tickets out of a bowl or bag. Put the kids in the group with matching colored digging tickets. Give each child a small hand held shovel in toddler or child size. Beach shovels or large spoons will work fine. Give each child a small bag, bucket or container to put their dig finds in. The winning group finds the most buried artifacts.