Dinosaur and Fossil Fun

Dinosaur and Fossil Fun

by Catie Hayes of WomanLinks.com

Insect Fossils

Materials:

clear nail polish

small dead insect or plastic insect model

bottle cap

pine cones (optional)

Focus: demonstrate how insects from prehistoric times became fossilized in amber

Amber is the fossilized resin secreted by pine trees. Just as sap from the pine trees of today (use pine cone, if available, to demonstrate the texture and appearance of sap) is sticky, insects stepping in the sap were held fast in prehistoric times. As the sap hardened, and more leaked from the tree, fossilized insects were eventually covered. The sap hardened and fossilized over time, leaving intact insect specimens for study today.

Place insect in small bottle cap. Slowly drip clear nail polish over insect. Let it dry and repeat the process. Over time, the insect will be completely encased in the hardened nail polish, just like a true amber fossil.

Read about Dinosaur Bones!

Pipe Cleaner Dinosaur Fossils

Materials:

a bulk of pipe cleaners

scissors

pictures or models of dinosaur fossils (optional)

Skills : fine motor, creativity, planning

This is a great activity as a follow-up to studying families of dinosaurs.

Encourage your child to select a specific type of dinosaur he/she would like to build. Ask them what things they will need to include in their model. For example, Triceratops had three horns on its head, so this is a feature your child would need to include.

Once they plan the type of dinosaur and features to include, offer a selection of pipe cleaners. Keep scissors handy to trim unwanted lengths from the pipe cleaner. For extra support and stability of the model, your child may need to intertwine two pipe cleaners for the backbone and tail. Start with the spine, and allow your child to add features; legs, tails, arms, etc, but winding the pipe cleaners together.

Dinosaur Masks

Materials:

three paper plates

stapler

crayons or markers

yarn

paper punch

construction paper

scissors

Fold each paper plate in half. Have you child decorate each to look like dinosaur skin. On one plate, have them include eyes. This plate will be the head portion, and the remaining plates will make up the mouth area. Once all plates are decorated, take one plate and slide it partially under the head. Staple in place. Repeat the process for the third plate, sliding it partially under the second plate. Once the plates are stapled together, punch one hole on either side of the head. Thread a length of yarn through each hole, and tie in place. Fold one sheet of construction paper in half lengthwise, and cut down the fold line. To turn each into a row of teeth, cut several triangles out. Staple a row of teeth on each side of the mask.

Place on top of your child's head and tie yarn under chin.

Naming Dinosaurs

Materials:

chalk or white board

paper

markers

crayons

On the chalk or white board, list and define common prefixes and suffixes used to create dinosaur names. For example :

ankylo - stiff

ptero - wing

apato - deceptive

ceratops - horned-face

sauros - lizard

don - tooth

stego - covered

plesio - near

tri - three

proto - first

tyranno - tyrant

Ask the kids to 'translate' the names of common dinosaurs like ankylosaurus, apatosaurus, plesiosaurus, protoceratops, pteranodon, stegosaurus, triceratops, and Tyrannosaurus.

Using paper and crayons or markers direct the kids to create an imaginary dinosaur using the prefixes/suffixes and draw what such a creature might look like. (for example a tripterosaurus - three wing lizard)

Some references you may want to check out of your local library in preparation include:

Ultimate Dinosaur Book By Dorling Kindersley Learning

Is also available at Amazon.com Here.

Usborne World History - Prehistoric World

Amber by Andrew Ross

Is also available at Amazon.com Here

Dorling Kindersley "Fossils" or "Prehistoric Life"

About the Author

Catie Hayes is founder/editor of WomanLinks.com, a community of support, spirituality, growth and empowerment for women. She is a freelance writer, the single homeschooling mom of two, and an avid fan of laughter, spontaneous dancing, cats and chocolate (not necessarily in that order).


 
 
 

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