Sunday, January 6, 2019

Little Scientists: Dinovember

Little Scientists take on dinosaurs! This was one of my favorite Little Scientists sessions of the year. As usual, we started with a story (Dinosaur Bones by Bob Barner) and then broke out into stations. Here's what we were up to:

We used our math cubes to measure how tall or long pictures of dinosaurs were and then assigned some superlatives like shortest or longest.

I like using tangrams when I can- they're great for practicing fine motor skills and visual discrimination.

We also worked on estimating skills by guessing how many people could fit inside a triceratops footprint and how many steps it would take to walk from a triceratops nose to tail. (I found the printable footprint here)

We practiced our field work with shovels and then brushes to find different types of dinosaur toys.

I usually have a one-t-one correspondence activity, since it is such an important skill for future math & science success. This one matched dinosaurs with a digit to eggs with a number of dots.

Visual discrimination is also an important skill for scientists and puzzles are a great way to practice that. Each puzzle only having 2 pieces makes it easier for toddlers and preschoolers.

Having a physical activity seemed like a good idea for when the weather is so yucky. Moving around like dinosaurs fit our theme and got some energy out! I used a prize wheel from our summer reading club and added tasks like "roar like an ankylosaur" and "jump like a triceratops".

Our take-home experiment today was making your own fossils. Each scientist got air dry clay, two dinosaur figurines, and instructions on how to make their own fossils. I made sure everyone got two different figurines so the scientists could observe the differences between the fossils they made.


  1. Hi there! I love the look of this program, it sounds like so much fun! I just had a couple of questions, if you don't mind! How often do you run Little Scientists, and do you register for it, or offer it as a drop-in? I'm wondering about space, and how much space I'd need to give something similar a go. As a dinosaur nut, I have to say this program theme is a particular favourite. ;-)

    1. So sorry it took me this long to reply! Last year I did Little Scientists once a month, but in 2019 I'll be doing it quarterly to make room for some new programs. I do register for it since sometimes they are supply-dependent. If I don't think I'll run out of any craft supplies I'll be less strict about letting kids in day of, but for the most part we try to encourage registration.


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