If the youngsters in your care dream of digging for ancient fossils or tracking a Tyrannosaurus, provide them with a space where they can do just that. Set up a dinosaur role-play area. Prehistoric-minded children try on costumes, pretending to be paleontologists. Kids get a chance to dress up as giant reptiles who roamed early planet Earth. Add decorations and props to complete a dramatic, dinosaur-inspired role-play experience.
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Set up a dinosaur role-play area in a corner of the classroom. Ideally, choose a corner with no windows. Make sure the space you choose is located away from areas in the room where other children work on quiet projects. Define the corner space by placing a rug on the floor so the children have a physical boundary. If no rug is available, outline the perimeters of the area by applying masking tape to the floor.
The size of the dinosaur role-play area is dependent on your classroom's available space. Provide room for four or five children to move around as they role-play. Limiting the number of children in the area at a time helps insure everyone has a good experience in the available space. If your classroom is small, inquire about using another part of the school for the dinosaur role-play area. When children go to the out-of-the-classroom area, send an adult assistant to supervise.
Cover the walls in your dinosaur role-play area with brown paper. Paint trees, rocks and dinosaurs on the paper for a dramatic background. If you are not artistically inclined, buy or borrow posters with pictures of dinosaurs and plaster them on the walls of the area. Hang green crepe-paper streamers from the ceiling above your dinosaur role-play area. Lat some of the streamers dangle down the walls to give a three-dimensional effect to the background. Place brown or grey cloth over one or two chairs or benches, set against the walls, to look like rocks or logs. If there is room, place a plastic, lidded sandbox in the area. Fill it with several inches of sand and bury stones and plastic bones in the sand.
Several weeks before you set up the role-play area, put out the word to parents and other teachers that you are in need of dinosaur costumes. Place all the donated costumes in a box. Add dinosaur masks to the box, along with brown or green sweatshirts and pants. In another box, place items for children to dress as explorers or paleontologists. Add brown button-up shirts, hats and belts. Place plastic binoculars and working flashlights in the box. Add shovels and paint brushes so youngsters can pretend to dig for fossils.
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