Stomp Dinosaur Stomp

We have stomped dinosaur stomped our way through week four of our Summer of Fun!

Here’s a quick reminder of what we’ve been up to this week:
reminder of what we’ve been up to this week:

Making Mondays Trip out Tuesdays Wacky Wednesdays Thinking Thursdays Foodie

Fridays

Make your own dinosaur bones out of salt dough. Take a trip to a natural history museum Do you remember the bones you made on Monday?  Dig for them today in your own dinosaur excavation! Make some frozen dinosaur eggs.  How do we get the dinosaurs out? Make dinosaur footprint biscuits.

This week required a little bit of planning, as some of our activities were done over a couple of days.

 Making Monday,

We began the week making a basic salt dough recipe (equal volumes of plain flour and salt, mixed with approximately half the volume of cold water until they form a soft, but not sticky dough). Miss N was tasked with using her salt dough to make dinosaur bones. I then baked these at 100C (fan oven) for 3 hours.

I used up the leftover salt dough in the evening to make some footprint tiles. After baking and cooling, I painted the footprints and left them out with the matching dinosaurs for the children to explore.

Trip Out Tuesday

We are becoming dinosaur experts after our trip to the National History Museum in London – an amazing trip out Tuesday! Meemoo Pook and I took the opportunity on Tuesday to visit to refurbished Natural History Museum in Luxembourg. While small in comparison to London we still had a great time.

 Wacky Wednesday

I buried Miss N’s salt dough skeleton in the sandpit, and set out scraping tools and brushes for the children to excavate the skeleton. Add an explorer’s hat, and Miss N looked every bit the expert archaeologist!

Gemma had less space, but still was able to do this brilliantly on a smaller scale too.

Throw in a little dinosaur movement (flap like a pterodactyl, stomp like a stegosaurus or run like a velociraptor) and you have a truly Wacky Wednesday!

Thinking Thursday 

We had so much fun playing and exploring with our Dinosaur Swamp with frozen eggs.

 Foodie Friday

We put Mr Z’s excellent mark-making skills to good use by making a basic shortbread biscuit, and pressing the toy dinosaurs into the dough before baking. We added a little icing to the imprints when the biscuits were cool, to make them pop! Yummy! I think Foodie Friday is a perfect end to the week!

 

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Next week we are exploring fairy tales and imaginary worlds – where will you travel to? Come and join us for our summer of fun, just sign up in the pop box on the right to receive your exclusive and free play ideas for next week straight to your email inbox.

Dinosaur swamp with frozen eggs

Dinosaur swamp with frozen eggs

 

It’s time that Thinking Thursday’s fun got a proper airing. This is one to get thoroughly stuck into!  It’s a couple of ideas merged into one great play experience. It can easily be adapted to suit a wide age range.

 

To make the frozen dinosaur eggs, you need:

Small round balloons

Small plastic dinosaurs

 

Squeeze a dinosaur into an un-inflated balloon.  (Whilst it’s fiddlier, I found using the smaller balloons gave a more rounded egg-like shape).  Fill the balloon with water, tie. Then place in the freezer until hard.  If you can, make sure the eggs are flat in the freezer and have space, so they keep their shape.  If you can turn them over after a couple of hours, the air bubble is less noticeable and the dinosaur is more likely to be in the middle of the egg!

 

Once frozen solid, cut the neck of the balloon and tear off the rubber.  Your eggs are ready to go!  I tend to spray the surface with a little bit of water and sprinkle on some glitter for extra sparkle!

 

 

Dinosaur Swamp play ideas for older children (4+)

So, you could just play with the eggs.  In fact, Miss N did an experiment to find out whether hot water, salt or using a hammer would release the dinosaurs from their eggs the quickest.

We had lots of discussion around how to make it as fair as we could, and how to measure our results.  This was good practise for organising her ideas, recognising and comparing outcomes. it was perfect as preparation for her undertaking independent investigations in future.

If you have a go at this experiment, then let us know your results in the comments on this post.  I’ll put ours up later next week.

Dinosaur Swamp play ideas for younger children (18 months +)

For Mr Z, I decided to make this into a small world play set up, with the dinosaur eggs in a swamp!

 

To make the swamp, you will need:

A large tray or container

Sand

Water

Natural materials to create habitats – we used logs, leaves, grass, flowers and stones

Washing up liquid (optional, but it added some bubbles and gave an extra dimension to the watery parts of the scene)

Large plastic dinosaurs

I used wet sand to create mounds on the tray, including a large nest for the dinosaur eggs, which I lined with leaves (we wanted the baby dinosaurs to be comfy when they hatched!).  I filled the rest of the tray with water, added the natural materials to create different areas of habitat, then put the large dinosaurs around the play set up and the frozen eggs into the nest. 

Mr Z was then let loose to explore and play as he wanted.  He loved getting the dinosaurs to walk along the logs and jump into the water, and getting them to stomp and sink in the sand mountains.  It’s an excellent introduction to imaginative play and storytelling, and increases his vocabulary when we talk about how we’re making the dinosaurs play.

We only stopped playing when it started raining heavily, and Mr Z was so upset at leaving his dinosaurs that we had to bring them in, and he kept playing with them in the sink!