Kids often develop a strong interest in dinosaurs as early as their preschool years, thanks to fictional pop-culture characters such as Barney, a purple dinosaur with his own TV show, Dino from old-time television's "The Flintstones" and Rex from the "Toy Story" series of movies. Engage preschoolers in games that not only offer them prehistoric fun, but also enhance their dinosaur appreciation and knowledge.
Caillou the Paleontologist
Preschoolers dig up dinosaur bones in "Caillou the Paleontologist," a game that is accessible online. Have kids click and drag the broom to spots where they see bones, and move the mouse back and forth to brush dirt away from the bones. Once they have uncovered all the bones, have kids put the broom down and click the bones to put them in their proper crates. Kids then click the bones and put the dinosaur skeleton together. As a variation, hide plastic dinosaurs or plastic eggs in a sand area and have kids embark on an actual dinosaur dig.
Students practice counting and identifying amounts in "Dinosaur Count," an online game accessible at various websites. Using the mouse, have kids click and drag the numbered eggs to the dinosaurs that possess that number of eggs.
Test preschoolers' ability to identify dinosaurs in "Dinosaur Identification," another online game. Read the dinosaur name to kids and have them use the mouse to click that dinosaur type. The game tracks the number of misses and the percentage of correct answers.
Kids help a prehistoric painter draw a dinosaur in the online game "Dino Paint." Have students use the mouse to click different paint colours and click on the dinosaur, dragging the marker back and forth to colour it. Upon their finishing the colour job, the dinosaur comes to life. Have kids save the painting by pressing the arrow keys and going to the exit.
How Big Are You?
Preschoolers measure a dinosaur's length against the length of other creatures in "How Big Are You?" Have students look at the dinosaur and determine how many alligators, cows or porcupines would equal the length of that one dinosaur. Help the child click the answer on the left side of the screen.
Help preschoolers group together dinosaurs of the same likeness in "Hunga Hatch." Using the mouse, have kids click blocks of three or more of the same dinosaur as rows of dinosaur eggs continually hatch. If kids have a tough time keeping up with the hatched eggs, have them point to where they see three or more of the same dinosaur and do the clicking yourself. If dinosaurs pile up to the top of the screen, the game ends.
Hungry Hungry Herbivore
Students help a small triceratops eat leafy plants in "Hungry Hungry Herbivore." Have kids click the triceratops and use the mouse to move him, avoiding larger triceratops along the food trail. On hearing the tiny triceratops' parents call, have kids use their mouse to help him escape a carnivorous dinosaur and reach his family. If the triceratops reaches his family, kids return to the plant trail. The game ends when the triceratops eats 12 plants, or if the carnivorous dinosaur catches the triceratops.
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