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Dinosaur Day

This week I had intended for us to do lots of dinosaur activities, to link in with Dino week on CBeebies. It didn’t quite go to plan. We’ve had a really busy and fun week going out and about so never got round to doing some of the activities I had planned. We read lots of dinosaur books though and watched a great programme on Netflix called ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ which Harrison loved!

We have done a few bits though, so I’ve put them all together to snow you!

Our first dinosaur activity started off on Sunday night where I found myself putting dinosaurs in my freezer! I found a few different shaped containers, half filled them with water and popped in a toy dinosaur, and managed to squeeze them in the freezer.
Obviously, when we took them out on Monday afternoon, the dinosaurs had frozen into the water.

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I then popped them into our big plastic tray that we use for messy/water play, and gave the kids a few tools – plastic knives, toy hammers and screwdrivers and sticks. Immediately Harrison told me that the dinosaurs were ‘stuck’ and started using the hammer to try and get it out. It was lovely watching them trying to get the dinosaurs out using the tools.

However, it was a LOT harder than I had anticipated. The ice started melting and we talked about it melting (Harrison immediately compared it to ice cream!) and becoming water, which they thought was magical. Harrison realised by dropping the ice from a height he could break some of the ice but I had to discourage this as shards of ice started flying everywhere – unless we were all wearing goggles (which they probably would have loved and it would have added an extra role play element to the activity!) It wasn’t very safe. It was a good discussion point as we talked about being sharp and Harrison straight away recalled an incident before Christmas where he saw me cut my finger with scissors. I was starting to think we would never get the dinosaurs out without leaving them to melt, when I thought about how we try to melt ice….I filled up a spray bottle with warm salt water. The kids loved squirting the ice with the water and watching it melt really quickly. This was also great for fine motor control as they had to squeeze the trigger on the bottle. This was a brilliant activity for introducing some scientific concepts.

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Then we did my favourite…handprints!! I’d found a lovely little dinosaur poem on Pinterest (there was no link so can’t credit it) which I thought would look really nice with the kids handprints.
On the corner of a4 sheets of paper (the kids chose their colours) we did a handprint, which I then added a head to the thumb bit and a tail to the other side, and popped on legs using felt tips. I then copied out the poem.

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We’ve used the poem a couple of times this week to get them moving about when we haven’t been able to get outside.

Our last activity was by far the messiest and ended up with the kids in the bath. Graham drew some dinosaurs on coloured paper (he’s much better at drawing than me!) and I let them loose with a tray of yellow, brown and green paint. They enjoyed mixing the colours up to make ‘mud’, and then using their fingers and paint dabbers to blob paint onto the dinosaurs.

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Once they had dried, we stuck them onto paper, and I used their dinosaur names and characteristics from their dino money jars.

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Obviously if you are more creative with words than I am you could write your own dinosaur characteristics!

**the winner of the ‘Let’s Potty’ competition was Kim Campbell**

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Pirate handprints and paper plates

We managed to get outside and play today as no rain and hurricane force gales – yay!!!!

This afternoon after a good run round in the garden we made pirate handprints. If you read my blog regularly you will know I love handprints – anything can be made out of handprint with a bit of imagination and they are fantastic to keep and look back on.

This was a slightly trickier one as it involved painting the kids hands three different colours – if you have ever painted your hand you will know that it really tickles and you automatically want to close your hand, so this took the two of us, one holding kids hands and the other doing the painting!

We painted 3/4 of the palms a peachy skin colour (orange mixed with lots of white paint!), the 1/4 of the palm by the wrist red and the thumb red, and the rest of the fingers black.

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Once the handprints had dried, I added black stripes to the red bit to make a pirate bandanna, and an eye patch, eye and mouth.

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We used the left over peachy coloured paint to paint a paper plate. Again the top part was painted red and black as a bandana, and red and mouth added afterwards.

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What do you think mi hearties?

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Chinese New Year: dragons, fans and lanterns

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We did a couple of things today for our Chinese new year wall today, mostly involving lots of red, yellow and orange paint!

First of all we did some lovely Chinese dragons using our handprints. We painted our hands red and did some sidewards handprints on white paper and did the same over the top with orange and yellow paint. Once they had dried we cut it out and stuck it to red paper, adding legs and head made out of paper.

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To save on washing up paint trays, (yes I’m lazy!) we used paper plates for the paint. The paint had all swirled together and looked really pretty – far too pretty to throw away – so we turned the plates into fans! We spread the paint over the entire plate and then pressed the plate to a sheet of paper. This left a lovely print on the paper (which we used in our next activity!) and left a marbly type effect on the plate. We left the plates to dry and cut them in half and then the kids decorated them with black felt tips.

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Using the print off the plate, we made a lantern. Once the print had dried we cut it out and stuck it to red paper, adding detail to the top and bottom with black felt tip.

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Our Chinese wall is looking great!

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Mini Creations