Use these 5 awesome dinosaur activities to host an amazing dinosaur party for your little paleontologist or as a part of a dinosaur lesson plan. Kids love the variety of activities, which include Melting Ice-Age Dinosaurs, a Dinosaur Dig, Cracking Dinosaur Eggs Open, Erupting a Volcano, and Painting a Dinosaur. All of these are inexpensive and DIY, but will impress and engage children. These activities are great fro preschool through early elementary school.
Ice Age Dinosaur Activity
- Freeze small dinosaur toys in muffin tins. They should come out of the pan effortlessly. If yours stick, just wait a few minutes and they will melt free.
- Explain to the children that many people believe that the dinosaurs became extinct in the Ice Age, and you found some dinosaurs frozen in blocks of ice.
- Give children a big bowl of (not too) hot water and a baster to unfreeze them. You can also give them dull butter knives to chip away at the ice. Obviously very young children need close supervision for this, but they find this activity thrilling.
The kids have a blast unfreezing the dinosaurs, which of course, are theirs to keep.
Dinosaur Dig Activity
- Bury some really cool dinosaur fossils in a sandbox.
- Give children sweeper brushes (paintbrushes from the dollar store) to carefully uncover them just like real paleontologists.
- Set out magnifying glasses and a dinosaur book so they can examine and identify the fossils.
- Ask children to rebury the fossils when they are done, so that their friends can uncover them.
- At the end of the party, allow guests to take a fossil home.
Max and Jack still ask me to hide fossils in our sandbox, so they can play paleontologist.
Cracking Dinosaur Eggs Activity
I made dinosaur eggs for the kids to crack open. I tried two different ways, with a salt dough recipe and with a sand recipe. The sand worked best, so here’s the recipe.
How to Make Sand Dinosaur Eggs
- 2 parts playground sand
- 1 part cornstarch
- enough water to moisten
- Mix the sand and cornstarch together. Add water a little at a time until it just comes together when you form a ball.
- Take a handful of wet sand. Press a small dinosaur toy inside and form an egg shape. (Don’t fret; it won’t be perfect, but it’ll be great!)
- Allow egg to dry outside for 1-3 days, depending on heat and humidity levels. Once one side is dry, turn it over to dry the other.
At the party supervise kids with child-sized hammers, or let them throw the eggs on the ground to smash them open. Kids love the chance to destroy something. The dinos were theirs to keep.
Erupting a Volcano Science Project
My husband and I relived our childhood science fair days and created the classic volcano project. It turned out great, but I was too chintzy with the red food coloring so our lava turned out pale pink. I suggest you devote a half of a bottle of food coloring for the best effect.
How to Make a Volcano
a tall plastic bottle
1. Secure the bottle on a large piece of cardboard (like a pizza box).
2. Use your tape and scraps of cardboard to freehand a loose volcano frame.
3. Mix together 1 part flour to 1 1/2 parts water. Dip strips of newspaper into this gluey mixture. Drape wet paper over the masking tape frame. Bumps and imperfections make it look more realistic.
4. Allow volcano to dry. Paint with brown and green craft paint.
At the Party
1. Place a little foliage around volcano to make it blend in.
2. Fill bottle 3/4 full of water mixed with 3 T baking soda, 1 drop of dish washing soap and A LOT of red food coloring.
3. Explain to the kids that the dinosaurs lived at the time the earth was still forming and there were lots of volcanoes.
4. When you are ready to erupt the volcano, pour vinegar into the hole. If you want it really explosive, add chips of dry ice. The volcano will steam! The dry ice turned ours form ho-hum to spectacular!
I always include an arts and crafts activity at my kid parties. It’s great for the first few arrivals to have something to do before the main event. It’s also fun for quieter kids who might want to bow out of the wilder games.
I found wooden dinosaurs in a package of 10 at the dollar store, and glued them to Popsicle sticks with wood glue. They were displayed with paint, glitter glue, markers and googly eyes. A pan of rocks made them decorative and provided a place for them to dry. They were a hit!
For 4 more dinosaur activities and to see how the party came together, check out The COOLEST Dinosaur Party Ever!