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Dinosaur Learning Journal @Lynda's FDC

This year our main learning Journey is about dinosaurs. I have lots of interactive play activities planned throughout the year. We will follow other learning journeys in between so the kids have a variety of interests to follow. Below are some of the activities we experienced.

Dinosaur eggs

This was a winner. All the kids loved this activity from start to end. Firstly we made the eggs from dirt, sand, salt, flour and water. Kids measured out ingredients and had turns mixing it all together. Then came the tricky bit cupping some of the mixture in their hands making a hollow to fit a dinosaur in, then covering with more dirt and carefully moulding into an egg shape. The eggs were left to dry on racks for a week. In the meantime we had read a kids version book of an archaeological dig for dinosaur bones in Australia which we borrowed at the library.

Now the real fun started, the kids searched through their tool box to find archaeological like tools. Peter found a few pairs of eye protection glasses and away they went chipping little pieces away until a dinosaur appeared.

Trinity helped me make a tree for our dinosaur scene by twisting newspaper and covering in brown paper for the roots. For the top we found a large branch at the park which had fallen off a huge gum, it was a perfect fit.

There was lots of discussion about the type of dinosaur each child found in their egg. Once all the excavating had been completed we moved to our reading corner to reference books and find out more about each dinosaur.

One of the kids asked where the dinosaurs lived. We talked about the dinosaurs being extinct and what that meant. I explained how the scientists believe a huge meteorite came crashing down to earth from space. This blocked out the sun and caused temperatures to drop. Plants can’t survive without the warmth of the sun so when there were no plants left all the plant eating dinosaurs who lived through the crash died off from having no food. Then when there were no plant eating dinosaurs left this meant the meat eating dinosaurs had nothing to eat either. Then an ice age came where everything froze.

This is when we created an ice excavation; filling balloons with water and a dinosaur then freezing. We didn’t have to wait too long for a stinking hot day for this activity to cool us down.

We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make an erupting volcano. Papier mache has played a big part in this topic; the kids had more messy fun making mini volcanoes to take home. A few other kids made an art scene with a volcano and bubble wrap smoke.

Making Fossils – This was a multi play experience involving measuring, kneading, cutting, moulding and imprinting. Once dry we added water coloured paint to make the fossils look old.

I cut a couple of dinosaur place mats up to create a memory game match. The kids also matched dinosaur figurines and cards to our large poster.

Our papier mache dinosaur took forever to make. We were going for a Brachiosaurus but the long neck was a problem Nikson liked the spikes of a stegosaurus so that’s what we went with.

A parent donated lots of dinosaur cards from woollies; the kids had hours of fun just unwrapping the cards let alone the hours following sorting and classifying.

We made an igloo cubby to represent the beginning of the ice age which wiped out the dinosaurs and lead into a new learning journey.

For playgroup the kids helped make an arctic play setting with icebergs made from left over foam and ice made from bicarb and shaving cream then we selected all the animals that lived in an ice environment; little owls, arctic foxes and rabbits, polar bears, penguins, seals and whales.

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