Category Archives: dinosaurs

Dinosaur Halloween Birthday Party

Last year my daughter wanted a dinosaur birthday party, and since her birthday is on Halloween we combined the two themes.

We started the party by having kiddos work on a personalized dinosaur bag and foam magnet. It was a great arrival activity!

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My husband then read a Dinosaur Halloween book called T-Rex Trick or Treats. It was a PERFECT literature connection between our two themes- I liked the book so much that I based all our party activities on it!

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Our games included pin the skull on the dinosaur,

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jumping our dinosaur inflatables around on our parachute,

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t-rex trick or treating,

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and making dinosaur witches brew. All the images from our signs are from the book- loved how it worked out!

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The kids got to take a small bag of our brew home as part of their goodie bags.

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Treat table included this fruity monster and other dino foods:IMG_0957 IMG_0948 DSCN9765

We also handed out dinosaur books to kids- you can never have too many books! And yay for educational ones, too!

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I hope these pics inspired you to create your own amazing dinosaur party!

Happy teaching!

STEAM Summer Camps

Happy Summer everyone! I am so excited to have lots of time to hang out with my #1 kid before she heads off to first grade (and all day school! eeks!) I like to have a lot of summer plans to avoid lots of down time (aka TV time). steam I will be honest- as a teacher mom I have been frustrated with the lack of differentiated curriculum and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) learning in our schools. So I have taken it upon myself to provide my daughter with more extensive activities based on these areas and her interests and abilities. I was introduced to Core Knowledge by my sister and a colleague and knew it was a curriculum I wanted to integrate into our activities as well. Core Knowledge is a comprehensive curriculum that builds on the knowledge of previous years. I took some units from this program, tied them in with STEAM, and came up with this summer camp program. I am really excited about it!

The basis of this program is to provide my daughter with activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). Every week we will be experimenting with Science on Saturdays. There will also be a weekly Engineering Challenge. The majority of our STEAM learning however will be from learning camps we will have on Thursdays and Fridays. I have a lot of science camps planned (based on content from Core Knowledge and my daughter’s interests) as well as Art, Music, and Math camps. Each camp has different ways you can integrate STEAM. For example, the Rock Camp will not only teach kids the science behind the rock groups, but have ways to incorporate technology, engineering, art, and math into your lessons.

Here is our weekly plan:

Make Something STEAMy Monday: (art project/fun treat/iMovie/etc) centered around STEAM

Take a Trip Tuesday: a day we can take a STEAM centered field trip

Wednesday: Worksheet (I just had to sneak in one day of paper and pencil work) and work on an Engineering Challenge. I made a letter template so the challenges could be done with friends who live far away.

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Engineering Challenge idea

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STEAM Engineering Challenge Letter template

Thursday and Friday: STEAM camp

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Sample STEAM camp idea sheet

Science Saturday with Daddy

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Science Saturday ideas

I am uploading my plans on Teachers Pay Teachers. Feel free to download and let me know what you think! There are also lots of STEAM based activities that can be found in many communities. Check your local library… many libraries will have science activities that go along with their summer reading programs. I also know of communities that have “Arts in the Park” or “Science in the Park” activities. If you live in the Salt Lake area, The Leonardo Museum downtown will be opening up some children exhibits in a few weeks based on STEAM learning…. I am thrilled!!!! And if all else fails, host your own camps! Your neighbors will love you 🙂

Happy STEAMing!

Dino Learning- Our Expedition to Prehistoric Times!

Our first mini Exploration unit this month has been on dinosaurs. Funny thing- last September we were doing the same thing! A little repetition never hurt anyone! Here are some of the activities we have done together as part of our exploration:
  • played, played, and PLAYED with the plastic dinosaurs! This helped my Boo to learn the dinosaur names (we taught her the correct names of several of the dinosaurs) and their eating habits. Boo went through a “no way am I eating meat” phase thanks to T Rex. While we played we sorted the dinosaurs, role played with them, had them speak Spanish, talked about manners, etc.
  • visited a local dinosaur park again, and again, and again. . . This place is great for Boo because she can see full size statues of the dinosaurs.
  • we made a mommy and me book! Making another book with my daughter has been on my to-do list for a long time. I was so faithful at making her a book a month, and then my daughter became an active toddler and. . . well, my time disappeared! I decided prior to making the book that I wanted this to be about her favorite dinosaurs and some interesting facts that SHE has learned about each of them. We went on a dino hunt at the Dinosaur park for all her favorites and I took her picture by each of them. I then printed the pics on sticker paper and let her add a picture to each page. Her favorite dinosaur has been Parasaurolophus:Some dinosaurs were not at the dinosaur park (shock to me!) In that case, I just downloaded an image of that particular dinosaur.We ran out of room in her book so I had to put four pics on the inside back cover.I really should just make a sequel with her because she is quickly adding more dinosaurs to her schema! You may have noticed the little meat/plant stickers on each page- those represent what each dinosaur ate. The reason why we put those stickers on? My daughter is very interested in their eating habits! 🙂 We also sorted dinosaur stickers and added those to each of the pages.
  • We found this great dinosaur book in the dollar bins at Target. It is a little too advanced for my Boo, but she loves looking and learning about the dinosaurs!
  • dinosaur game– we found this for a steal of a deal at a local bookstore. The game comes with a tube of plastic dinosaurs- and each dinosaur is labeled so I didn’t have to play the guessing game trying to figure out their names! I love that! This game also includes a short book with facts about different dinosaurs. And although the game itself was a little tricky, we tried it and had fun!
  • dinosaur sticker book– this was also found at a local bookstore. My Boo is into stickers lately- so this was perfect. The kids match the sticker to the dinosaur shape- another great skill.

We have had so much fun learning about dinosaurs- and I know we are nowhere near the end of learning about these prehistoric animals- but I just wanted to share with you some of the activities that have helped our learning grow! Remember to keep your manipulatives/books/games that you make- you never know when your child will pick up interest in that particular topic again!

happy TEACHING!

Tot School Begins- Dinosaurs and more

Tot School

Boo is my brainy 22 months old tot who I can’t seem to kiss and hug enough

I have wanted to post my Tot school learning for some time- have been super busy, but took the time tonight to quickly jot down what my Boo has been working on this past week!

  • we started back up with our itty bitty curriculum! Boo LOVED reading books about babies, and one of the extension activities was to bathe a baby doll in your water table. Since we don’t have one, we just grabbed the baby bath from storage and used that instead! My daughter can’t get enough of water- this activity was perfect for her!
  • I hung an alphabet strip in my daughter’s play/learning room. She will know go up to the letters and say “big A, little A”. I wanted to teach her capital and lowercase- but those words are a little too tricky.
  • I had a small potted plant that was part of my Church lesson that has been designated as one of Boo’s responsibilities. She is in charge of watering the plant- no, all the water doesn’t make it in the flower pot and she still insists that the watering can is really a teapot.
  • Boo spent some time working on her shape sorter- we reviewed colors and shapes with this silly Elmo toy!
  • Played with my Yacker Tracker (a classroom management stoplight that will turn red when the noise is loud) I wanted my Boo to use it as a traffic light for her cars (she very recently learned what the colors on a traffic light mean and we review them ALL the time now in the car) but instead she runs up and says hi to all the colors. She is a very sociable little thing!
  • We stared at lots of bugs outside- my daughter got caught trying to lick ants- SICK! and yet, very creative in an odd way…
  • Boo tried her hand at tee ball. Great Grandma and Grandpa have this adorable little tee ball set and I am SO wanting to get one for my daughter! She does have a little sporty streak in her!
  • Pretty much every lunch consisted of the following: peanut butter, blueberries, tomatoes, milk, and cheese. A colorful, nutritious meal! (lacking grains- my daughter is a cracker baby and so she is not deprived of grains at all!)
  • Boo is all about large motor activities, and when I noticed she was struggling a bit with the concept of rolling a ball (she would throw it instead) we took out our CHEAP (i mean price and quality) bowling ball set and practiced setting the ball down and then pushing it towards a few pins. She seemed to catch on quickly and in fact grabbed another, bigger, ball to use instead since it knocked the pins down easier!
  • the big learning chunk this week was spent learning about dinosaurs. YES my baby girl likes dinosaurs! The fascination began after seeing the big green dinosaurs at local gas stations, blow up dinos at car lots, and then recently seeing Toy Story with Daddy (which by the way I totally want to get my daughter a potato head doll for her birthday- those things were the best growing up!) I took her to a local dinosaur museum which had lots of fossils, life size replicas of dinosaur skeletons, robotic dinos (made my Boo hesitate all of 5 seconds before running up to them and saying in her high pitched, squeaky voice “hi dinosaurs!”) and then there are several large dinos outside along a walking path. At the museum there is an area where kids can uncover dino bones in the dirt using paintbrushes. We had some of those sponge dino capsules that expand in water that we picked up from Target for a buck- those were a big hit! We would stare at the water and Boo says “changing” as the capsule turns into a dino! I also have a dino tub from second grade teaching days with plastic dinos- Boo was in heaven! She would have the dinos lay down and go to sleep, giving them big slobbery kisses and saying sweet “dreams”. When the dinos woke up, and before they could eat she said “puh-way”- folded her arms, bowed her head and said this sweet prayer: “dadada dinosaurs. Amen.” She then spotted a fishy (she can’t say “f” yet) and then revised her prayer to this: “dadada dinosaurs shishy. Amen” I love that she brings the girly, sweet side to the dinosaurs!

That is ONE busy week behind us!
Happy Teaching!

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