Do-It-Yourself Programming – Dinosaurs


Dinosaurs can be a great focus for a library program, especially if your target audience includes boys, primary graders, or those interested in science.  Some of these ideas were posted on the PUBYAC Listserv by Heather Hart of the Newport Beach Public Library, and some ideas came from my personal experience.

Useful Websites:

Arts and Crafts

Dinosaur eggs: Makes dinosaur eggs (see recipe below), and put a small plastic dinosaur in the soft clay-like substance.  When it dries, the children can use small hammers to break up the eggs and see the dinosaurs inside.  This will give them an idea of what an archaeologist does.


21/2 cups Flour

21/2 cups Used Coffee Grounds

11/2 cups Salt

1 cup Sand

Up to 1 cup Water

** plastic dinosaurs

Mix flour, coffee grounds, salt & sand.  Gradually stir in water until mixture holds together.  Use as little water as possible to speed drying.  Allow up to a week to air dry.  Add the plastic dinosaurs as you are forming the rock, so that when you crack it open, out pops a baby dinosaur.

Dinosaur Fossils (using pasta):

Dinosaur Masks, Hats, or Puppets:  See some of the dinosaur printouts here:


Dino Chow

1/4 cup dirt (cocoa)

1/2 cup swamp water (milk with green food coloring)

2 cups crushed bones (sugar)

1/2 cup fat (softened butter)

2 cups dead grass (uncooked oatmeal)

1/2 cup squashed bugs (peanut butter)

Mix dirt and swamp water.  Add crushed bones and fat.  Boil about 3 minutes.  Add squashed bugs and dead grass and stir until melted.  Remove from heat and stir until mixture begins to thicken.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper.  Cool, (not in fridge), eat and enjoy!

Dinosaur Skeletons: Use mini-marshmallows and toothpicks to make dinosaur skeletons.

Dinosaur Storytelling

Five Dinosaurs (felt story) –


Story  –


Dinosaur Memory Game:  Use dinosaur shaped foam stickers. Divide them into pairs, and put 4 different pairs and 4 small cardstock squares into a baggie. They can decorate one side of the card, stick one dinosaur to each card. Turn them over and you have a memory game. You could do more pairs and have 16 instead of eight (depending on the age of the children).

Pin the Tail on the Dino:  Purchase a large tagboard dinosaur from a party store, or draw a large dino on butcher paper.  You can also use a dinosaur poster. Duplicate the tip of the tail to use for a Pin the Tail on the Dino game (similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey).  If the dino pictured is a triceratops, change it to Pin the Horn on the Dino.

Science Activities

Dinosaur Eggs: Make an egg bounce (using vinegar) in this easy science experiment; add a little food coloring and call them dinosaur eggs!

Try some of the ideas listed here:

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