Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links which I may earn a small commission from if you purchase through them, at no extra cost to you.
Learn about the benefits of exploring dinosaur footprints in play dough with your toddler.
Exploring dinosaur footprints in play dough can be a fun and educational activity for toddlers.
It is a quick and easy activity to fill in that 20 minutes before school pick up as proven just yesterday.
Here is how making dinosaur footprints in playdough played out for us.
Dinosaur Footprints in Playdough
After three kids, it seems to be that a fondness for prehistoric reptiles is a right of passage into toddlerhood. All three of my children have taken to loving dinosaurs around the same age.
I love encouraging exploring and learning through their interests. Today’s activity took Mr 2s fondness of dinosaurs into a lesson on cause and effect and identifying patterns.
Both of these valuable skills were incidental benefits of play. Learning through play – it’s so much more than just having fun!
What you need to set up dinosaur footprints in playdough
- Toy dinosaurs
- Rolling pin
Playdough is such a versatile play medium. This bath of playdough has been a part of our play for months now. It could even be close to six months.
Learn how to make our homemade playdough here.
We added glitter to this batch because … well life is better with glitter.
How to set up dinosaur footprints in playdough
- Roll playdough out so that it is smooth.
- Press the feet of the dinosaurs into the playdough
- Observe the footprints
Three simple steps to a whole lot of learning!
Mr 2 watched me make the first set of footprints before settling in to make his own.
As he played, he explored applying different levels of pressure, pressing slowly versus stamping the dinosaurs into the playdough quickly with force.
We counted toes and spotted the difference between the tracks of the different dinosaurs.
His play evolved from stamping the dinosaurs, to giving them little voices and then finally his little monster truck ended up zooming across the playdough revealing a different type of track again.
Once the playdough was covered in tracks, it was folded up, kneaded, and then rolled smoothly again.
Benefits of playing with dinosaur footprints in playdough
Here are some benefits of this activity:
- Sensory exploration: Playing with play dough provides a great sensory experience for toddlers. The tactile sensation of the dough helps them develop their sense of touch and improves their hand-eye coordination.
- Imaginative play: Toddlers love to use their imaginations, and this activity provides an opportunity for them to do just that. They can pretend to be paleontologists, exploring and studying the dinosaur footprints in the play dough.
- Language development: As toddlers play with the play dough, they may ask questions about the footprints or make observations about what they see. This can help improve their language skills as they learn new words and concepts.
- Science education: Exploring dinosaur footprints can help toddlers learn about science concepts such as fossils, dinosaurs, and prehistoric times. This can help build a foundation for future science learning.
- Fine motor skills: Manipulating the play dough and pressing the dinosaur figures into it helps improve toddlers’ fine motor skills. This can be especially beneficial for those who are still developing their hand strength and dexterity.
Exploring dinosaur footprints in play dough can be a fun and educational activity for toddlers that provides many benefits for their development.
Dinosaur Toys and Games
Tips for play for dinosaur lovers
Playing with dinosaurs can be fun and educational for toddlers.
Here are some tips on how to play with dinosaurs with your little ones:
- Choose the right toys: There are many different types of dinosaur toys available, from plastic figurines to stuffed animals. Choose toys that are appropriate for your child’s age and interests. For example, if your toddler loves soft toys, you may want to choose a plush dinosaur.
- Use descriptive language: As you play with the dinosaurs, use descriptive language to help your toddler learn new words and concepts. Describe the size, color, and features of the dinosaurs, and talk about what they might have eaten or how they might have lived.
- Create a dinosaur habitat: Use pillows, blankets, and other household items to create a dinosaur habitat for your child’s toys. Encourage your toddler to use their imagination and come up with their own stories and scenarios for the dinosaurs.
- Incorporate other materials: You can add other materials to your dinosaur play to make it more engaging for your toddler. For example, you can use play dough to create a dinosaur landscape or add rocks and plants to create a more realistic environment.
- Make it interactive: Get down on the floor with your toddler and play with the dinosaurs together. You can encourage your toddler to make the dinosaurs move and make sounds, or you can create a story together.
Overall, playing with dinosaurs is a great way to engage your toddler’s imagination and foster their love of learning.
By incorporating descriptive language, creating habitats, and making the play interactive, you can create a fun and educational activity for your little one.