Dinosaurs are some of the most interesting creatures that ever roamed the Earth. Many simple crafts can help kids better understand these "terrible lizards" and how they lived millions of years ago. These easy crafts can be altered to be more appealing to children of all ages, and are good activities to pair with simple lessons about fossils and dinosaurs.
Paper Bag Dinosaur Puppet
Children can make a simple puppet by decorating a brown paper bag to look like their favourite dinosaur. Texas Parks and Wildlife offers free instructions for making a T-Rex puppet out of a brown paper bag. With a little imagination and a few alterations, children can make a hand puppet of any dinosaur they wish. The paper bag's bottom serves as the head. Kids can add details such as spikes, teeth and a tongue made out of construction paper or plastic eyes to their dinosaur puppet.
Children can make artificial dinosaur tracks in products like plaster of Paris, clay and modelling putty that they can keep forever, just like a real fossil. Crayola.com offers free, easy instructions for children to make dinosaur tracks in its putty product; children can make their footprints as large, detailed and deep as they wish. This simple craft is a great way to introduce children to the many different sources of evidence we have for the existence of dinosaurs, which existed millions of years ago.
One of the greatest mysteries about dinosaurs is what they looked like when they were alive; colouring pictures of dinosaurs is a great way to let kids imagine how these giant carnivores and herbivores of the past appeared. Fossils, footprints and bones only tell us information about a dinosaur's size, movements and diet. This simple craft allows children to decorate their dinosaurs with whatever colours, patterns and designs they desire. The Dinosaur Time Machine is an online resource that offers free pictures of dinosaurs for children to print out and colour, as well as a wealth of information about these extinct creatures.
Children can make a diorama of a prehistoric scene filled with their favourite dinosaurs and other items related to paleontological study. Have children cut out and decorate their favourite dinosaurs; they can also use small toys and place them in the diorama. Then children can surround the dinosaurs with items such as layered rocks, small fossils and exotic-looking plants made out of construction paper. The diorama can constructed out of a shoebox or another shallow box of any size to create a simple prehistoric scene filled with dinosaurs.