It can be difficult to know how to educate children on the existence of dinosaurs and their types. The issue may be trying to determine where to begin. There’s really no dedicated start point. The more you can learn together, the more you can discuss in detail to enhance understanding.
There are several types of learners. While some are auditory and learn through listening, others need visuals or hands-on experiences. To give young ones an all-encompassing understanding of the beasts of the Mesozoic Era, follow these tips for teaching kids about dinosaurs. You may learn a lot yourself.
You can get a ton of excellent information about dinosaurs from books—now, it may not make sense to go out and purchase a bunch of literature on these creatures before you’ve gotten to explore a bit with your kids. Consider visiting your local library. Most have an extensive children’s section and can offer you a variety of materials on all types of dinosaurs.
You can bond in choosing books together and begin to determine where your kids’ interests lie when it comes to specific types of dinosaurs. Studying carnivores, herbivores, their behaviors, appearances, and other characteristics can be an adventure. Additionally, since you’re renting these books, it’s an opportunity to learn about responsibility when borrowing property.
Writing about dinosaurs is a great way to help solidify the information learned while strengthening fine motor skills, as well as writing, spelling, and phonics skills. Using your lessons on dinosaurs to cultivate other necessary areas of a child’s development is wise. Reciting the information you’ve learned together will help your child better retain it all.
There is a myriad of different types of videos to watch that depict different dinosaurs. As you begin to learn together, make sure the information you read and watch is matching up. Try to seek more recent videos on dinosaurs as researchers are constantly discovering new information that may contradict past statements.
More broad information on dinosaurs through movies and television shows is acceptable. Try to stay on the educational side of things such as The Magic School Bus or any PBS specials on dinosaurs and avoid cinematic Blockbuster versions of prehistoric creatures.
As museums begin to open up, you and your kiddos can take a field trip to look at real fossils and exhibits. Looking at illustrations and reenactments is one thing but being able to understand the true size of some beasts is another.
If you live in an area without a nearby dinosaur exhibit, keep looking. These displays are spread throughout the country. Research the areas around you to find one. Even if the exhibit is small, it’s a start. If you enjoy the time there, seek out larger, more famous dinosaur remains in museums.
There are many ways to incorporate art into your dinosaur lessons. After reading or watching information about dinosaurs, you can engage in activities where you and your children draw dinosaurs they know about. You can guide this by asking them to draw a specific dinosaur, where they’d live, and what they’d eat. This helps your child gain a more in-depth understanding while increasing fine motor and art skills.
There are also expandable water dinosaurs that come in small capsules. Over time, they grow exponentially in size when added to water. Observing this will give you shapes to trace, or you could dip a fully expanded dinosaur’s feet in paint to make stamps your child can use.
Observing different dinosaur tracks leads to further science studies. For instance, studying a dinosaur’s habits, diets, egg-laying, and behaviors are essential parts of developing knowledge about them. Implementation of the scientific method on a small scale to create hypotheses and draw conclusions is good practice. Since dinosaurs no longer exist, we can virtually think whatever we want about them.
If you’re interested in taking your child to observe something with dinosaur-related behaviors, birds—especially chickens—are considered by scientists to be the descendants of dinosaurs. Go to your local farm or petting zoo to understand more about dinosaurs’ movement and stance by looking at birds. Have your child take notes, even if they’re illegible or a series of shapes and lines (this is beginning writing). Later you can ask what they wrote. Even if they can’t write yet, this is a good experience for them since they’re sharing their thoughts with you.
Children learn a lot through play. During roleplaying, you can guide an activity where you have your child act like a dinosaur. This can be for the development of problem-solving skills and furthering their understanding of dinosaurs. Moreover, this offers an opportunity to play a game—for example, you could suggest the name of a dinosaur, and your child could mimic its behaviors based on what they know.
You could also act like a dinosaur and have the kids guess which dinosaur you might be by noting the characteristics you demonstrate. Roleplaying can be used in many ways. Perhaps you’d like to be paleontologists on a dig. Some museums offer children such opportunities to enhance the museum experience, but if you’re home, take the trip outside.
When children pretend play, resist the urge to guide them. You may leave out some books, toys, and other information that could keep dinosaurs in the kids’ minds. However, this is their time to explore what it all means. During pretend play, you may think the things your children say and do are silly or irrational, but it’s all part of brain and skill development. It’s best not to interfere with this type of play.
A great way to begin putting all your dinosaur information together and do some hands-on learning is to get realistic dinosaur figures that can be touched, observed, looked at, and set up in a variety of scenarios.
Creative Beast Studio has taken the time to take the information we have on the beasts of the Mesozoic Era and create replicas of these creatures. Whether you’d like to build a diorama, engage in play using the figures, or note the detailed features, we have an extensive selection you can choose from.
You may find your own tips for teaching kids about dinosaurs through these experiences. Young minds are brilliant, and the more information you can offer, the more they’ll absorb. The vocabulary alone that is associated with so many different phonetic sounds of dinosaur names will help develop speech. When you’re learning about these creatures, consider the other skills that can be strengthened through your teachings, as well.