31 Dinosaur Activities For Toddlers & Preschoolers

dinosaur activities for kids

Who doesn’t find the allure of dinosaurs appealing?  Adults and children alike see these reptiles as fascinating, making them the perfect focal point for family crafting and knowledge exploration.  Whether a Tyrannosaurus Rex or a Brontosaurus captures your fancy, there is something for everyone in these delightful dinosaur activities.

Whenever a blogger goes the extra mile to incorporate books or other activities into their projects, I take notice.  Many of these have links to additional resources, and I strongly encourage you to take a look at all the supplementary materials.   You’ll find a plethora of bonus opportunities included throughout these ideas.  

I loosely grouped these dinosaur activities into two age categories:  those for toddlers [ages 1-3] and dinosaur activities for preschoolers [ages 4-5].  There is some overlap– and most activities can be modified to suit the appropriate age– so browse the list and see what works best for your family. 

Dinosaur Activities for Toddlers (1-3 Years Old)

Hatching Dinosaur Eggs

hatching dinosaur eggs

One of my favorite crafty STEAM blogs, Little Bins For Little Hands never disappoints.  They design their activities with the parent and/or teacher in mind– simple instructions, readily available items around the house, minimal cleanup, and FUN!  Dinosaur ‘eggs’ are exponentially cooler when they fizz, which they certainly will do when you combine baking soda with vinegar.  Food coloring and plastic dinosaurs make it even more exciting.   

From:  Little Bins For Little Hands

Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils

salt dough dinosaur fossils

Yet another fun way to use salt dough– along with acrylic paint and mod podge.  Make sure you bake the salt dough for two hours prior to painting.  Huge bonus points to Rainy Day Mum for including a section about children’s books covering rocks, fossils, and earth science.  We’re a family full of bookworms and it’s always nice to have books to accompany our crafts.

From:  Rainy Day Mum

Dinosaur Feet Craft

We’ve got a winner with this one!  This craft so excited me I stocked up on duct tape en route to my 12-year-old son’s carpool line.  Creekside Learning must have anticipated my enthusiasm because they suggested using a variety of velcro dots so all different feet– including Mom– can try them on for size.  On a completely unrelated note, I noticed the author had an indoor sandbox [sand in a high walled, kiddie-sized inflatable pool] and thought that was a brilliant idea.  

From:  Creekside Learning

Making Play-Doh Dinosaur Eggs

making play-doh dinosaur eggs

Little Fish is one of the Top 100 parenting blogs in the United Kingdom, so there’s no doubt in my mind Rosie knows what she’s doing.  Plus, I feel so glamourous reading about various colours [see what I did there?] and knowing that Play-Doh is equally treasured across the pond.  Rosie suggests using multi-coloured Play-Doh to either wrap around a plastic Easter egg so it can ‘hatch’ or simply put a mini dino toy in a ball of clay.  Quick, easy, and inexpensive.  That is definitely my cup of tea and crumpets!

From:  Little Fish Blogs

Dinosaur Scavenger Hunt

dinosaur scavenger hunt

It is my honest belief that you can make any craft an educational learning experience for your kiddos.  Frogs and Snails present a gross motor skills workout that lets the little ones climb and play while working their brains as they hunt for eggs.  Incorporating playtime and knowledge makes for a winning combo.  This activity can be adapted for kids a few years older by choosing more difficult hiding spots.  

From:  Frogs And Snails And Puppy Dog Tails

DIY Dinosaur Mask

diy dinosaur mask

Halloween is another one of my areas of expertise ((consider linking article here)).  While this article is geared more towards masks that you can use for Halloween [as opposed to Halloween-themed masks], it has some wonderful ways to bring pizazz to your paper plates.  Use construction paper, markers, or paint to follow the dinosaur instructions as shown on Mom.com.  

From:  Mom.com

Tissue Paper Dinosaur

tissue paper dinosaur

This craft is ideal for times when Mom or Dad needs to occupy the troops for a little bit to fold laundry or check email.  Cut an outline of a dinosaur for the wee one[s] from cardboard and show them how to tear out little squares of tissue paper to bunch up and glue onto the cutout.  Not only does this help with fine motor skills, but the larger the dinosaur, the more time will be spent on it, so everyone gets something accomplished!  

From:  Mom Unleashed

Dinosaur Ice Eggs

dinosaur ice eggs

Perfect for the sweltering August heat, these ice eggs are a fun backyard treat.  Place plastic dinosaurs in water balloons, pop in the freezer, and freeze overnight.   The following day, cut off the balloons to reveal ice eggs.  Let the kids use a tub of warm water to thaw the eggs so the babies can hatch.  Bonus points if you save some water balloons for an impromptu backyard water war.  Thanks, Teaching Mama, for this cool [literally and figuratively!] experiment.  

From:  Teaching Mama

Dinosaur Dig Activity

dinosaur dig activity

Bury plastic dinosaur skeletons and let your budding archaeologist unearth them with paintbrushes or toothbrushes.  That’s the gist of this activity, but there is slightly more to it than meets the eye.  Luckily, Fireflies + Mudpies provides specific supplies and detailed instructions.  I especially enjoyed their additional ideas for play, some of which include:  counting and sorting the bones, reading a dinosaur book [suggestions provided], and writing about the bones.  

From:  Fireflies + Mud Pies

Dinosaur Garden

dinosaur garden

I sensed a kindred spirit as soon as I read about “perusing Pinterest.”  The brains behind Fun At Home With Kids, Asia, has a mother with a background in landscape design.  In other words, she knows exactly what to do with an outdoor space.  Although I did not know the proper name for sedum [that greenery filler that forgives your lack of watering skills], I recognized it from the photo and think it will make a fantastic addition to a backyard play space.  Using blue aquatic rocks for a lake was a nice touch as well.  

From:  Fun At Home With Kids

Hatching Dinosaur Eggs Activity

hatching dinosaur eggs activity

Baking soda and vinegar never cease to amaze me.  The possibilities truly are endless when it comes to crafting and child’s play.  Growing A Jeweled Rose belives that submerging the eggs in a bowl of vinegar, using a droplet to squirt vinegar on there, or even ‘freeing’ them with a hammer and malette is the way to go when it comes to liberating the dino offspring.

From:  Growing A Jeweled Rose

Dinosaur Sensory Swamp Tray

dinosaur sensory swamp tray

Guest blogger Hayley swoops in with some sensational sensory tips.  Her dinosaur swamp involves water [very shallow] in a bin, sprinkled in with some green food coloring and flour.  She offers a very unique idea in the form of adding lentils and herbs for exploring various textures.  I especially like the herb idea as a way to introduce your littles to fragrant smells.  If you really want to take it up a notch, consider using some of the herbs from the bin in the meal you create after the craft.  

From:  Learning and Exploring Through Play

Handprint Dinosaur

handprint dinosaur

Now that I’m a parent, I completely understand why my mom teared up every time I gave her any craft that included my handprints.  It’s a time capsule with the unique imprint of your child.  And handprints are so versatile!  Let your kiddo select their favorite color and download the template provided by Simply Learning and you’re good to go.  

From:  Simply Learning

Fossils For Kids

fossils for kids

Who knew corn starch and baking soda blended so well together to make such a good sludge?  Little Bins suggests using 1 or 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for color.  Submerge plastic dinosaurs in the ‘dirt’ and let your kiddos excavate with a variety of tools, including disposable cutlery and paintbrushes.  Pro Tip:  File this sludgy recipe in your memory bank for future activities involving dirt or any mixture with a similar consistency.  

From:  Little Bins For Little Hands

Dinosaur Activities for Preschoolers (4-5 Years Old)

Draw a T-Rex

draw a t-rex dinosaur

Follow nine basic steps to create a high-quality drawing of a T-Rex.  I found the tutorial easy to do, and the paper was folded into a grid with eight sections, so that helped tremendously.  Adults can trace the T-Rex for younger kids and older ones can give it a go themselves.  If this mama who is not at all artistically inclined assures you it’s foolproof– you can take my word.

From:  Art Projects For Kids

Dino Nests

I love the way Stephanie, of Parenting Chaos, suggested supplementary lessons and activities to go with nest building.  She gave enough ideas and resources to make an entire dinosaur unit, which is pretty impressive.  The craft itself is surprisingly simple– basically your kiddos will be grabbing mud, sticks, grass, etc. from the backyard and creating a nest.  Preschoolers will get the most out of this activity because you can sprinkle in science and ask thought-provoking questions to get their little minds going. 

From:  Parenting Chaos

Volcano and Dinosaurs

volcano and dinosaurs

Anything that involves making a volcano has me sold.  The quintessential junior high science project is always a blast to recreate.  The folks at Best Toys 4 Toddlers state that “playing is serious business” and I couldn’t agree more.  I appreciate the level of detail and thought that went into this craft and how that translated into excellent instructions.  

From:  Best Toys For Toddlers

Lego Dinosaurs

lego dinosaurs

I’ll be honest– I was a little bummed when I saw the website for this blog.  But then I realized that their name has actually changed to the all-inclusive title “Frugal Fun For Boys and Girls.”  This mama knows from firsthand experience that little girls love their Legos.  

And anything with ‘frugal’ in the title sets my heart aflutter.  Normally I gripe about a lack of instructions, but in this case, I found it interesting.  It’s not so intricate and massive that you’re left scratching your head wondering how to proceed, yet just challenging enough to follow the picture to duplicate the results.  

From:  Frugal Fun For Boys and Girls

Homemade Dinosaur Bones

homemade dinosaur bones

Time to break out the salt dough!  Kitchen Floor Crafts suggests Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones by Byron Barton as a companion book to get a better visual as to what dinosaur bones look like.  Challenge older kids by asking them to make bones for specific types of dinosaurs.  If stored in a cool, dry place, these should be good for a few weeks of play time.  

From:  Kitchen Floor Crafts

Dino Slime

dino slime

Slime is something that I think can work for kids of any age, yet I decided to group this in the preschool category because Picklebums blogger, Kate, said that her 4-year-old son went wild over this craft.  I’ve written extensively about slime ((consider inserting link)) and this sounds like a winner.  

Kate uses cornstarch and cheap shampoo to create her slime.  Take your kids to Dollar Tree and challenge them to pick out the shampoo that most smells like a dinosaur.  Their responses and the reasoning behind them will put a smile on your face.  

From:  Picklebums

Dinosaur Land Play Mat

dinosaur land play mat

Stop what you are doing right now and head over to Preschool Powol Packets.  A clever play on ‘power’ and ‘cool,’ Powol is the buzzword of the day.  They offer a link to purchase 150+ Screen-Free Ideas For Kids– and this is just one of those.  Seeing as how I’m always trying to get the littles to put down their devices, I find this guide particularly appealing.  

Even though mine are past preschool age, I firmly believe you can adapt anything to suit your needs.  But I digress.  This Dinosaur Land Play Mat does not have to be sewn and when it’s done you can roll it up and tuck it on a shelf.  Perfection.  

From:  Preschool Powol Packets

DIY Dinosaur Eggs: Hunt and Hatch

diy dinosaur eggs hunt and hatch

Adventure In A Box inspired me with their outstanding tutorial.  The photos were high-quality and clear and the instructions were precise.  Placing the dinosaurs in air-dry clay [while allowing for a crack or two] was a fun activity, one with which older kids could easily assist.  

If yours are like mine, they have always loved hammers– any opportunity to smash and grab– so that’s a plus.   Be sure to coat the dinosaurs in Vaseline before putting in the clay so the dinosaurs come out clean.

From:  Adventure In A Box

Dinosaur Footprints

dinosaur footprints

Did you know that the average T-Rex footprint was about 3.3 feet long?  Neither did I.  Trace the length on poster board and cut out a foot-shaped print.  Tape it to the ground so your littles can see just how big those feet really were.  The Many Little Joys suggests lining up the shoes of every family member to see how many can fit inside, which is a great way to hone those counting skills.  

From:  The Many Little Joys

Build A Dinosaur

build a dinosaur

Teach your kids about dinosaurs and shape recognition with this fun activity involving craft foam.  Little Family Fun gets an A+ for the super easy-to-follow instructions and accompanying photos– and the overall simplicity of the activity.  Plus, it’s craft foam, so it can be used over and over again.  Depending on your child’s level, consider verbally instructing them where to put each shape or letting them follow the pictures on their own  

From:  Little Family Fun

Lava Slime

lava slime

Photos of Little Acorns lava dinosaur scene belong in a museum somewhere.  She has taken a basic slime recipe and combined it with creative use of food coloring to produce a glorious sensory bin, complete with toy dinosaurs [not the mini kind!] and rocks.  I really enjoyed looking at the artistic pictures she took every step of the way.  Her work makes me want to step up my game and for that, I salute her.

From:  Our Little Acorns

Dinosaur Matching Puzzle

dinosaur matching puzzle

Games that improve cognitive function are always a win-win with me.  Matching is an ideal way for preschoolers to sharpen their memory and have fun in the process.  Print out pictures of dinosaurs that correspond to your child’s dinosaurs.  Cut them in half and mix the pieces together, while allowing them to look at the original dinosaur figures for reference.  If you feel they could benefit from an additional challenge, consider cutting the pictures into three or even four pieces, for more of a puzzle effect.  

From:  Powerful Mothering

Dinosaur Alphabet Matching Game

dinosaur alphabet matching game

Another matching activity, except this one with letters of the alphabet.  This can help your little learner recognize the connection between upper and lower case letters.  Pre-K Pages took the time to design an activity that is very well-suited for this objective, so I encourage you to look at their photos and instructions to best grasp the how-to for this fun letter game.  

From:  Pre-K Pages

Footprint Hopscotch

footprint hopscotch

Technically it’s a monster hop, but dinosaurs can be monsters too, am I right?  Hopscotch is a fun, physical activity that gets your youngsters moving.  Raising Dragons is smart to suggest tracing the master design and taping each print to the sidewalk.  If you’re working with a mixed age group, scroll towards the bottom of the article to check our variations to satisfy everyone.  

From:  Raising Dragons

Comparing Homemade Volcano Recipes

Comparing Homemade Volcano Recipes

We’ve officially mentioned volcanoes enough for me to want to watch Dante’s Peak.  In this interim period, I will mold Play-Doh around milk jugs to see what happens!  Still Playing School brings an interesting question to the table– which recipe creates a more explosive reaction?  Our top contenders are baking soda and vinegar versus hydrogen peroxide and yeast.  I’ll let you be the judge,  

From:  Still Playing School

Toilet Paper Dinosaur

toilet paper dinosaur

Knowing that TP rolls can be repurposed into a delightful craft makes my heart [and my recycle bin] happy.  For extra oomph, use paper towel rolls for larger parts on the dinosaur’s body.  I believe this activity is best done with a group so the wee ones can bounce ideas off of each other and collaborate as to how to best achieve the results seen in the guidance picture.  

From:  Your Modern Family

Parents, rejoice!  I’ve sifted through these songs so you don’t have to– allow me to present my curated list of the best dinosaur songs.  Nothing should surprise me anymore, but there is a niche market for dinosaur ditties.  

Who knew?  As you can expect, some are good and others, not so great.  That’s why I’m here to help you get through the gunk to find the gold.  If you have suggestions of your own, feel free to let me know in the comments.  

Let’s not run the risk of “Baby Shark” getting stuck in our heads ad infinitum.  Because of my list, you have the finest selection of dino-themed tunes for your youngsters at your fingertips.  You’re welcome.

dinosaur activities for kids
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