LE FESTE – CELEBRATIONS
Kids love dinosaurs. They make for a great party theme. The Internet is crawling with great ideas on how to honor the dinos and teach your kids something to boot. I declared last week to be Dinosaur Week at our house, which we lovingly refer to as Camp Di Meglio during the summer months. The week ended with a trip to Field Station Dinosaurs in Leonia, N.J.
My mother and I made felt dinosaur tails (see photos below). I saw images on Pinterest and just went with it. (We’ll explain how to make them in an upcoming post.) And I used my Cricut machine, card stock, and adhesive tape to make the paper crowns.
1. Dinosaur Tails and Crowns
Earlier in the week, we studied dinosaurs and learned vocabulary words, such as carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, and paleontologist. We also did some other fun projects that really impressed the kids, who are ages 4, 6, and nearly 5. Here they are and they are simple enough for anyone to do:
2. Frozen Dinosaur Eggs
This one was by far the favorite of my 4-year-old nephew, and it was the easiest of all the dinosaur projects. Many a mommy blogger has done this activity, and there are all sorts of variations. All we did was plop a plastic dinosaur (bought bags of them at the dollar store) into a balloon. Then, we filled the balloon with water and blew it up just a bit. Finally, we stuck those babies in the freezer and left them there overnight. The next day, we carefully cut them out of the balloons and put them in the bathtub. We had been planning to put them in the pool, but it was raining. In fact, they actually salvaged a dreary, rainy summer day for us.
3. Dinosaur Eggs for Hatching
These eggs required a bit more effort on my part, but it was totally worth it. I used a recipe for Dinosaur Fossil Rocks, salt dough with coffee grinds, by blogger Stephanie Lynn. She suggests either letting the eggs air dry for a few days or placing them in the oven for four hours at 200 degrees F. I opted for the latter, and it worked out fine. But I will say that the eggs were hard, really hard. My son and nephew resorted to throwing them on the floor a couple of times, and I was afraid it might crack tile. Using the screwdriver and twisting into the areas where there were more coffee grinds made it easier to break ’em open and release the baby dinosaur. The kids felt like real paleontologists while doing this, which made it my favorite project of the week.
4. Dinosaur for Breakfast
Part of the purpose of these themed summer weeks is to get my son to try new foods. While he would not eat the strawberries, he did gobble up the banana, waffle (made with my handy waffle iron and simple All Recipes buttermilk waffle recipe), and the mini chocolate chip eyes. Yum!
5. Dinosaur Art
No themed week for preschoolers would be complete without some sort of art work. To make these masterpieces, I did a little pre-project work. First, I made the signs – again with my Cricut – that had my son’s name with o-saurus attached. Then, I traced a dinosaur shape with a pencil. The next day, he painted the dinosaur and added the horns to its back using his handprints. For the second piece of art, I cut out dinosaur footprint shapes from sponges and let the kids go to town. My son used a paintbrush to add talons. All the art work is still hanging in my basement. My son wants to show it to everyone. The week reminded me that dinosaurs are awesome enough to get kids to eat fruit and take a bath. Lesson learned.