If your little ones love the Jurassic Period and enjoy playing around with prehistoric beasts on a daily basis, you may have already sussed out a dinosaur adventure live at the theatre. Dinosaur World Live is a spectacular show for little ones, completely with sensational puppetry that brings each beast to life. But if you’re also looking for at-home sensory activities to enjoy with preschool children, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five activities to add to your list.
Kids love anything a bit messy. So how about creating your very own dinosaur swamp? To do this, simply mix a quarter of a cup of chia seeds with one and a half cups of water. To create a runny swamp, add just half a cup of cornflour to the mixture. This will flow nicely across any play tray and plastic dinosaurs can stomp through it. For a thicker, more slimy texture, add slightly more flour. This will come off your children’s hands easier and is great for dinosaur footprints. Add some rocks and greenery from the garden as well as toy dinosaurs. This activity is best enjoyed outside so you don’t have to worry about sticky hands too much.
Making your own dinosaur garden will trigger many different senses. The first thing to do is to fill a large planter with soil and plant some evergreen plants or herbs. Children can touch and pat down the soil, see the roots of the plants and smell the aromas from each herb. Next, go on the hunt for various rocks, sticks and anything else that might look good in your dinosaur world. You can paint them or leave them as they are. You might even want to play around with different textures such as glass pebbles. Supervision is required for anything that’s a choking hazard.
Many people forget about salt dough until it’s time for homemade Christmas decorations. But this activity can be enjoyed all year round. To make the perfect dough, mix a cup of plain flour with half a cup of salt and half a cup of water to form a dough. Use dinosaur cutters to create a host of different shapes before baking them in the oven for around three hours, or until they’re solid. If you want to hang them around the house, poke a hole in the top of each one before baking. When they’re ready, thread through a piece of string or ribbon.
Another thing you can do with salt dough is make your own dinosaur fossils for a fossil dig. Either use fossil cutters if you can find them, or mould your own bones from scratch. Kids love getting hands on and can experiment with different textures and shapes. Once the fossils have been baked, hide them in sand for your children to find using only a small brush. Task them to gently brush away the sand like a palaeontologist would, until they discover each fossil.
Pop some bicarbonate of soda into a play tray. Then get your kids to squeeze vinegar with a bit of food colouring into the bicarbonate of soda using little pipettes. The chemical reaction will cause the mixture to fizz, providing a bubbly backdrop for prehistoric creatures. Use a variety of vinegar/food colouring mixes for visual stimuli.
If you’re looking for a ‘dinosaur event near me,’ don’t miss Dinosaur World Live. It’s one of the best dinosaur children’s shows of the year featuring spectacular puppetry.