During a dinosaur unit, i filled five green plastic Easter eggs with five different items ranging in weight. Ask the children visiting the science center to order the eggs from lightest to heaviest. (I chose items like a penny, a small magnet, a marble, etc, but made sure each item had a substantial weight difference for the kids to notice). After they order the eggs, i allowed them to open the eggs to discuss the objects found inside.
After discussing how dinosaurs hatch out of eggs, we placed colored plastic eggs out with small rubber colored dinosaurs (the ones for counting and sorting exercises). The children loved matching the dinosaurs with the eggs, hiding them inside the eggs, then pretending that they hatched.
We also did the “dig up the chicken bones” idea, but we took it a little further. I found three different drawings of chicken skeletons on the internet. I printed these, and once the children dug up their bones, they tried to figure out which part of the “chickasaurus” they had excavated. They felt like real scientists!
Meat or plant eater? After discussing characteristics of each, children can trace & cut out a dino head with moveable jaw. Then affix either flat or sharp teeth to show if they ate meat or plants.
Use a clean small trash can, two or three boxes of plaster of Paris, some sand (three cups) and water. Mix and add small plastic dinosaurs, shells and rocks. Let dry for two days, remove from can and it put on a large messy tray. Provide goggles, tools (screwdriver and hammer) and fat paint brushes to remove the items.
How big were dinosaurs? Make a people graph to find out. Have children measure out a dinosaur’s length using yard sticks (Brachiosaurus-25 yards;Tyrannosaurus-15 yards;Stegosaurus-7 yards;Compsognathus-1/2 yard) Mark length with a string. Children can lie head-to-toe along the measured area. Record results and discuss.