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Dinosaur Camp at Home

In order to keep my 2 kids and my niece and nephew busy for a full week this past summer, I decided to put together a "Dinosaur Camp".  All four kids were under the age of 4 and I knew that I had to be pretty creative in order to keep their interest and my sanity. 

Every day I had about 6 different dinosaur activities that kept them busy and at the same time taught them much about dinosaurs. I started the week by giving them a little "safari" bag that had items such as toothbrushes, magnifying glasses, safari hats, little cheap binoculars, paint brushes, pencil case, shovels,etc. and then I read them a couple dinosaur stories, such as the Jane Yolen and Mark Teague classic books like, "How do dinosaurs play with their friends".

Then we all put on our safari gear and went on a dinosaur hunt outside. I had put a bunch of plastic and stuffed dinosaurs all over the back yard and the kids had to go find them. Then we talked about the different kinds of dinosarus like the meat-eaters, veggie eaters, flyers, land dwellers, and water dwellers. Later on that day, we went for a dinosaur dig in the sandbox.  Earlier during the week, I had boiled down some chicken bones and the morning of camp I buried them in the sandbox and the kids used their brushes, shovels and magnifying glasses to "excavate" the bones. They had such a good time and then afterwards the kids glued the bones onto a piece of cardboard to form their own dinosaurs and they decided what kind of dinosaur it was and made up their own names for them.   

Some other activities I did were: 

Making dinosaur eggs, by putting plastic dinosaurs into a balloon, blowing it up and then covering it with paper (as if it were a pinata), then once the pinata was dried, the kids painted them and once that was dried, I popped the balloons and the kids  broke them open and discovered their dinosaurs.

Dinosaur egg hunt.  I used plastic easter eggs and filled them with little plastic dinosaurs and hid them all over the yard and the kids searched for them.

Making handprint and dinosaur fossils.  I mixed up some plaster of paris and water and had the kids press plastic dinosaurs into the mixture and we let them dry and they looked just like fossils..we also had the kids press their own hands into the mixture and each one of them ended up with a print of their hands.

Dinosaur costumes:  I gave each kid a white t-shirt and they got to decorate it however they wanted, with feathers, fabric paint, beads, etc...and once it dried we put them on and played dinosaur tag..The kids also decorated their own faces with face paint.

Dinosaur teeth necklaces:  The kids strung their own necklaces with beads and I baked little "teeth" by mixing flour, salt and water together.

Dinosaur land:  By using the little plastic dinosaurs that the kids had found earlier, we took out the playdough and built a dinosaur scene. I also added little plastic trees and plants and then we built a playdough volcano and actually had it erupt by mixing vinegar and baking soda.

Fruitasaurus: I cut a watermelon in half and I scooped out the flesh, then I cut other kinds of fruit, such as strawberries, cantelope, grapes, etc.. I put a bunch of toothpicks on the green half-circle rind and the kids decorated the watermelon by putting all the different fruit on top of the toothpicks. 

Dinosaur cookies: I found a bunch of dinosaur cookie cutters, made cookies and the kids frosted them and decorated them with different kinds of candy.

Dinosaur stamps, stickers, visit to the Museum of Science, watched the movie "Land before time",  

Julie S.
I am a Kindergarten teacher and love your ideas! I plan to adapt them to the school setting. I wish there were more moms like you who spend time with and educate their young children in a fun way rather than just buy them video games and DVDs to keep them entertained. Kudos to you!
Heather D.
My son is only 2 but I am holding onto this for his 3rd or 4th birthday! The previous mom is right! You have a phenomenal talent and this would be a great business!
Sounds like you need to start a business selling your ideas to other moms. For moms who can afford it, you can sell all the accessories at a profit. For moms who can't you can give them the secret of where you buy your stuff cheap. You have a talent!
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