5 Ways to Turn Your Home into a Dinosaur Safari

Kids

We know that keeping our kiddos entertained seems to get harder to do when we’re home for extended periods of time. One of the ways we’ve found to keep kiddos engaged and entertained is to pick a theme for the day and transform your space around that.

Changing the scenery for children can give them a different experience and add to the fun of learning while they play. One of our favorite themes to do is dinosaurs, so today we’re going to help you dive deep into Dino World with decorative ideas and games you can do from home to have a roaring good time!

Safari takeover

The best way to transform an area is to add decorations to set the scene and the tone for the area. There are some fun decorations that you can do at home with just some construction paper, scissors and tape. First here are some instructions to make some palm leaves at home and how to easily make some palm trees as well. All you will need is a green construction paper folded in half longways. Then cut along the folded side to make the stem and cut out half of a leave shape that would look like a “C” pointed at the top. Along the side of the leaves, make cuts that resemble the separation of the leaflets. These can be made as big or as small as you would like. To make the trees you can either use brown construction paper that’s crumbled to resemble a tree trunk or use a paper towel roll and arrange the leaves on top to make your tree. This works for wall decoration or standing decorations with the roll.

Another way to decorate would be with dinosaur cutouts accompanying the leaves and trees. The dinosaurs can be any color you would like and if you can’t print any out, feel free to draw some on paper and then cut them out and tape them around the house. Try to put up at least 10 dinosaurs to utilize them for the dinosaur hunt.

Dinosaur Safari Hunt

Next we will start getting ready for our safari hunt, tell your children that you think you’ve seen some dinosaurs roaming around but you couldn’t see very well from far away. You’ll need their help to find these dinosaurs but first you’ll need the proper gear, what do they think an explorer needs to go on a Safari. What would they wear? What will they need? One of the things an explorer needs to see things that are further away would be binoculars. Take this time to make binoculars with your children using 2 toilet paper rolls (or a paper towel roll cut in half), construction paper, masking tape and yarn.

Using tape, put the 2 rolls together. Then use a piece of construction paper to cover the rolls. Have your children decorate the construction paper however they would like, suggestions can be camouflage, animal prints or flowers and plants. You can use a hole-punch and the yarn to allow for the binoculars to hang from their necks. After they finish making their binoculars, have them put on their explorer outfit and get ready to go on a Dinosaur Hunt! You’ll need your binoculars and take a walk around the house. Talk about each dinosaur you find. Is it a meat eater? Or a plant eater? Does it Fly, Walk, or Swim?

As an added challenge, use any leftover plastic eggs and fill with a toy dinosaur and also spread them out through the house and have them look for those as well.

Dino Stomp

Have your children talk about how a dinosaur moves and the sounds they make. Ask them if they would like to walk like a dinosaur and make some with empty tissue boxes. Use a cut out of the dinosaur footprint or free draw a footprint to put on the tissue box. Encourage your child to put on the “dinosaur feet” and stomp around like a dinosaur! This helps them practice balance and use of arms by having them make extra-large stomps.

Pretend Paleontologist

This is another fun game to do with your kiddos 

and pretend to be paleontologists. Discuss what a paleontologists is: someone who studies the history of ancient life by looking at fossils, which are the remains or imprints of living things from long ago.

All you’ll need is a small tray or plate, a paintbrush, dinosaur bones, and sand or dirt. Place half of the sand or dirt in the tray and then spread the bones around on top. Then place the rest of the sand or dirt on top. Have the children use paintbrushes to uncover dinosaur bones.

After your child has found all the bones, talk about the types of bones that they found. What size were they? What do you think the dinosaur’s name was, what kind of food it ate, how many legs it had, and if it lived on land, air, or sea. You can give the children examples of various sized dinosaurs and have them match what bones they think go to which dinosaurs.

Dino Chants

Singing with children is a great way to get them excited for activities and to practice rhyme and rhythms.

DINOSAURS ALL AROUND

Tune: “If You’re Happy And You Know It”                                                                                                                           There are dinosaurs stomping all around.

There are dinosaurs stomping all around.

There are dinosaurs all around, stomping on the ground.

There are dinosaurs stomping, all around.

 Continue with additional verses of:

There are dinosaurs flying all around.

There are dinosaurs swimming all around.

There are dinosaurs eating all around.

FIVE ENORMOUS DINOSAURS

Five Enormous Dinosaurs let out a Roar, one got mad and stomped away.

Four enormous dinosaurs knocking down a tree, one got scared and stomped away.

Three enormous dinosaurs eating veggie stew, one got full and stomped away.

Two enormous dinosaurs sitting in the sun, one got really hot and stomped away.

One enormous dinosaur sitting by themselves, they got really sad and stomped away to find his friends!

 

All activities and songs are adapted from our YMCA Early Learning Readiness Program.

All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to info@austinymca.org

Contribute to the Y

We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. As the leading nonprofit committed to helping everyone thrive at each stage of life, we are uniquely positioned to take on new and long-standing challenges more comprehensively than anyone else.

Your support through the YMCA of Austin’s Annual Giving Campaign makes this possible.

Donate