Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Themed Play-Dates: Dinosaur Mania!

Themed play-dates are a great way to add a little structured {and hey, maybe even educational} fun to your summer days! With a few simple items you have right around the house, you can turn your kitchen, dining room, and back yard into a prehistoric wonderland.

Dinosaur Eggs:
This fun and simple project gives you a reason to dye eggs that have nothing to do with a fuzzy white bunny.Trust us, your kids will love this one!
1. Hard boil some eggs.
2. Bang them up and make them crackle-y all over, but DON'T peel them.
3. Mix up egg dye using food coloring and vinegar {Follow the instructions on the back of the food coloring box.}
4. Put the crackled eggs into the dye and let sit for a few minutes.
5. Take them out, peel, and enjoy! They are perfect for your dinosaur theme, and are a healthy snack to boot!

To make your fossils, you're gonna need some Play-dough. It's totally fine to use store bought "Play-Doh" but if you wanna get your cheap on, feel free to mix some up with a few simple ingredients.
We have a fantastic home made play-dough recipe here. 

Once you've got your play-dough situation figured out, make little balls, smash them down into pancake-y patties, and then let the kiddos mush dollar store dinosaurs into them.

They can also smash larger-sized dino feet into them.
 Put the "fossils" on a baking sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Take them out and let 'em cool. They will look something like this:


Now that you've had fun MAKING the dinosaurs, the kids can enjoy playing with them too! Take all of your fossils and bury them in your sand box and let the kids excavate with paintbrushes/toothbrushes/whatever you have handy and see how many fossils they can dig up.

If you don't have a sand box, one variation is to hide the fossils and/or the dollar store dinos all over your house/yard and let the kids go find them. Let everyone take a bag-ful of dino-goodies home with them.

Other Activities:
1. Learn all about dinosaurs, or read fun and funny dinosaur themed books together.
2. Have smaller children act like dinosaurs. What do the meat-eaters act like? What about herbivores?
3. Watch a dinosaur movie.
4. Make and decorate a volcano cake together.

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