Prehistoric Play!

Dinosaurs are a source of great fascination for many children. Here’s a few of our favourite activities to use with our dinosaur-themed resources to achieve early learning goals in playful and interactive ways.

Let’s Roll Dinosaurs:

  • Explore: Try using the rollers with different substrates, such as clay, kinetic sand, sand dough or cloud dough. This will encourage children to adapt their rolling technique, pressing harder when necessary and developing their motor skills.
  • Create: Children will enjoy creating scenes and telling the story of what is happening. Encourage them to make longer stories by joining their rolled play dough scene with one created by another child. How many can they join together to make a story?

Dinosaur Wooden Characters

  • Sort the wooden dinosaurs by length, height, what they eat.
  • Compare the dinosaur skeletons to those of other animals. What are the similarities and differences? What might explain them?
  • Create small world play habitats for the dinosaurs using natural resources such as bark, dry leaves, stones, log slices.
  • Develop a set of top trump dinosaur cards with a range of information: height, length, weight, speed, ferocity.
Double-sided wooden dinosaur characters

Let’s Investigate – Prehistoric Teeth

  • Match: Make imprints of the teeth in play dough and present the children with a range of play dough impressions and ask them to place the stone in the correct impression.
  • Lucky Dip: Bury the teeth and a range of other items in a large container of sand. Invite a child to reach in and feel for a tooth.
  • Explore: Use as an opportunity to explore oral hygiene and how to care for our teeth.

Dinosaur Bones Discovery Set

  • Discuss: Which are longer or shorter? Sort the bones into groups and order them by size.
  • Create a dinosaur swamp – use the water tray and place the bones with plants, rocks and dinosaur figures under some slime to create a swamp.
  • Make rocks that children can break open to find a Bone inside! Mix together equal parts of flour, salt, sand, coffee grounds and water to create a dough. Once dried, the children will have a cracking time breaking the ‘rocks’ open to discover a what’s hidden inside!

Let’s Investigate – Dinosaur Footprints

  • Create a mysterious dinosaur footprint trail….Roll out some play dough over the floor of a tray and make a trail – perhaps with some leaves or other natural materials loosely covering the trail, for the children to look under.
  • Draw the footprints with chalk on a hard surface at the right scale – children will love jumping from one footprint to another or pretending they’re tracking a huge dinosaur!

And if that’s not enough, here are some more ideas to use with a collection of resources:

Dig In!

  • Budding palaeontologists will love digging for the stones in sand or soil – which is great for imaginative role play and developing investigative and fine motor skills.
  • Provide everything a palaeontologist needs to get into role: sun hat, spades, sieves, buckets, magnifying glasses, different-sized brushes, soapy water, clipboards, and even a tent.
  • Encourage children to brush any loose sand or soil off the stones and examine the fine details.
  • After children have uncovered their finds, encourage them to wash carefully in a tray of warm soapy water, using soft brushes. When the stones are cleaned up, children could place them in a tray for further examination or sort them into several bowls.

Investigation Table

  • Create a dinosaur investigation table, including dinosaur roller, dinosaur figures or wooden characters, plus other artefacts, such as dinosaur bones, fossils, dinosaur teeth or dinosaur footprint stones.
  • To encourage children to examine these closely and record what they see, provide magnifying glasses, clipboards and sorting trays, as well as a selection of books about dinosaurs.

The Big Freeze

  • Freeze the stones in small tubs half-full of water.
  • Once frozen, put the ice blocks in a tray and children can explore different ways to melt the ice.
  • They could experiment by pouring warm water over it, holding it in their hands or putting it in a sunny spot.

 Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

  • Use the stones as part of an outdoor dinosaur scavenger hunt, along with dinosaur figures.
  • Encourage children to use a clipboard and paper to make each dinosaur artefact they find, then count them up at the end.


  • Take the opportunity to visit a museum with prehistoric exhibits, discussing what the children would like to find out before the visit, encouraging them to frame the questions that they would like to ask.
  • Create your own exhibition space with exhibits, labels and pictures, and invite parents/carers to visit. The children can be the prehistoric experts, sharing what they have learned.

If you liked these ideas, we’d love you to share your prehistoric play with us on our social channels.


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