Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Preschool Science: Dinosaurs

For this Preschool Lab, I started off by reading How Big were the Dinosaurs by Lita Judge. I didn't read all the pages, just the ones that seemed most accessible. Then we took a look at Inside-outside Dinosaurs by Roxie Munro and named some of the dinosaurs we saw there.

We finished with Dig Those Dinosaurs by Lori Haskins Houran and we were off to the stations.

1) Dinosaur Footprint
The American Museum of Natural History has a guide for how big a dinosaur footprint would be, so I taped one out on the floor and encouraged the kids to explore how big it was in comparison to their own foot. This station was a bust - I didn't see anyone even glance at it. Which was a bummer because I thought it was fun.

2) Dinosaur Spikes 
I made some sturdy dinosaurs in bright colors and put out dice and clothespins. The children were encouraged to roll the dice and put the matching number of clothespin "spikes" on the dinosaurs.

Of course, the kids had their own take on this, as they often do. 

3) Dinosaur Dig
This was a favorite station. I had some leftover dinosaur eggs (prizes from Dig Into Reading) which I buried in a box of sand. The kids were given a large paintbrush to brush away the sand (like archaeologists!) and find the dinosaur eggs, which they got to keep.

4) Dinosaur Books
Over several weeks of preschool labs, I've tried to be consistent with adding pages to their "book." Each child who comes to the program makes a book of index cards on a shower ring. The great part of these books is that they can constantly be in flux. Is your child into colors? Make all color pages. Does your child miss you while they are in school? Make a book of pictures of the two of your together. So: very flexible construction.

Anyway, this week I had pictures of various dinosaurs for the kids to color and add to their books.

5) Playdough and Pasta Fossils
I put out some balls of playdough and different shapes of pasta for the kids to make their own fossils. They rolled and flattened the playdough and then pressed the noodles in. Some people just made dinosaurs out of playdough and some kids just enjoyed squishing the noodles in, but all in all it was a good station. 

6) Dinosaur Puzzles
I printed out some big pictures of dinosaurs, glued them to construction paper, cut them out, and laminated them to make puzzles. I also used color coordinating smaller pictures as guides so the kids could see what they were building.

All in all, a good lab. Roar!

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