Dinosaurs seem to be one of the most fascinating creatures that have existed. Why? Probably because we’ve never actually seen one. While scientists have learned a ton of information about these prehistoric creatures (nope, not from dinosaur movies) thanks to fossils and other scientific discoveries, there’s still quite a bit of speculation involved when discussing dinosaurs. It’s not just a matter of saying, “No one alive has ever seen a dinosaur.” It’s much bigger. No human has ever seen a dinosaur. The only “reports” we have are the artifacts from billions of years ago, literally dug up from the ground… and a few close cousins that still roam the Earth today. Because there’s so much mystery behind dinosaurs, there’s also tons of excitement. Especially among kids. Enter, dinosaur crafts for preschoolers.
After all, kids naturally gravitate toward all things dinosaur. It doesn’t hurt that most dinosaur toys are made in unrealistic colors and tend to make a ton of noise. Bold colors and loud noises are every child’s favorite things, right? So, often without much effort from parents, kids easily become obsessed with dinos. It might feel annoying sometimes, but it’s actually a major benefit. Recent studies have found that kids who are/were obsessed with dinosaurs tend to be smarter. It makes sense. There are just so many species of dinosaurs and so many cool facts to learn. At a very young age, your dinosaur-obsessed kid‘s hobby actually helps them learn to “study” and memorize.
But, now that they love dinosaurs, how can you encourage them to keep going? We found some pretty cool and fun dinosaur crafts perfect for preschoolers, especially. Enjoy!
Dinosaur Crafts for Preschoolers
1. Dinosaur Finger Painting
Make dino tracks by dipping toy dinosaurs’ feet into finger paint and marching them across paper. Consider making a “key” on another sheet of paper and helping your child practice identifying which prints belong to which dinosaur.
2. Egg Carton Dinos
For this project, you’ll need to store an egg carton or two (the cardboard kind is infinitely better) and the contents of your arts and crafts tub. Help your child paint the cups of the carton in bold colors, then use clay, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and anything else you find to make little dinosaurs. Make a few “realistic” species of dinos, then let their imagination go wild. (Note: You can use these cartons and some cupcake papers to make some super cute triceratops heads, too.)
3. Footprint Fossils
You can use any store-bought or homemade playdough recipe for this activity. However, there are also instructions for making “dough” that’s a little more dirt-like. Once you have your dough, you can have your kiddo roll it out and then “walk” their dinos through it, pushing down gently to leave footprints. You could also smoosh down your dino on his side to show how his skin, scales, or face leave their own unique marks in the dough.
4. Paper Plate Dinos
Have you discovered how truly versatile paper plates are for crafting? Folded in half, it’s very easy to turn a paper plate into the body of a Brontosaurus. Can you figure out how to turn one into a triceratops, too?
5. DIY Dino Feet
Wanna play pretend? Turn a couple of rectangular tissue boxes into dinosaur feet for your child. Let them stomp around and make dinosaur noises as they go.
6. Footprint Dinos
Speaking of feet. Another fun thing to do is show your kids how to turn their own footprints into a dinosaur.
7. Dinosaur Eggs
This is a tad bit messy, but your kiddos will love this multi-day project. Use blown-up balloons, strips of newspaper, and paper mache mix to create giant dinosaur eggs. Once they’re dry, your kiddo can paint them however they think dinosaur eggs might have looked. This is a good chance, too, to discuss how animals are categorized by how they’re born or hatched.
8. Balloon Dinos
Since you already bought a pack of balloons, here’s another idea. Use construction paper to draw and cut out dinosaur limbs and heads. Your kiddo can tape them into the balloons for another fun adventure. Consider using the same color for each set of head/limbs and letting them match that color to a same-colored balloon. This will help with color recognition and help them learn the identifying part of each dino species.
9. Dino Tracing
Have your child lay one of their toy dinosaurs down on a piece of paper and trace its silhouette. From there, they can now decorate wild and crazy new dino species. Or…
10. Cardboard Dinosaurs
You could also use that silhouette to trace onto cardboard. Cut it out, add legs and let them decorate a 3D homemade dinosaur friend.
11. Tissue Paper Dino
Another use for that silhouette? Have your kiddo tear up tiny bits of tissue paper and glue them to the dinosaur’s body for another 3D, sensory-friendly dinosaur craft for preschoolers.
12. Dinosaur Paper Bag Puppets
Remember that stack of brown paper bags you bought for another project? Why not use them, again? This time, use them to create dinosaur puppets with your kiddos and then have them put on a show for you.
13. DIY Dinosaur Costume
It’s like a universal fact that preschoolers always (always) want to play with cardboard boxes. So, this craft is perfect for your dino-obsessed little one. You’ll need paint, a hot glue gun or other strong crafting glue, scissors, a knife to cut through the cardboard, foamboard (white card stock will do in a pinch), and three boxes: a large rectangular box for the body and two small ones for the head. Obviously, you’re going to want to be in charge of cutting the cardboard for safety reasons. But you let your child paint their boxes and even pick out the placement for their dino costume’s eyes and teeth.
14. Dinosaur Printables
If your preschooler loves art, give them a plethora of dino-themed coloring pages to fill in. A quick Google search will yield countless free options, from dinosaur coloring pages to dinosaur mazes and more.
15. Frozen Dinosaur Break-Out
Freeze tiny plastic dinosaurs in ice cubes. Once fully frozen, give your kids warm water and small tools to help them “chisel” the dino “fossils” out.
16. Dino Necklace
You know how you can buy prepackaged pasta in the shape of dinosaurs these days? Well, you can also use that pasta to create DIY noodle jewelry for your little dino lover. Poor the dino-shaped pasta in a big bowl, break out some string, and let your budding paleontologist get to work.
How to Draw a Dinosaur
What if your little paleontologist wants to draw their own T-Rex or pterodactyl? Your skills as a parent might be lacking in the extinct animal department but luckily the internet always delivers. There are tons of step-by-step guides kids can turn to for an art lesson — some often taught by professional artists themselves. Here’s just one example, below:
Dinosaurs are ferocious and incredibly interesting, but did you know they could funny? We compiled some of the best prehistoric jokes from the internet that your Carnotaurus obsessed kid is sure to love!
What do you call any dinosaur that doesn’t take a bath? Stink-o-Saurus.
What makes more noise than a dinosaur? Two dinosaurs!
What sauce do dinosaurs put on their chicken nuggets? Dinosauce
What do you call a sleeping dinosaur? Dino-snore!
What happens to you when a dinosaur sneezes? You get out of the way!
How would you know if there’s a dinosaur under your bed? Your nose hits the ceiling!
Why couldn’t the dinosaur play games on the computer? Because he ate the mouse.
What do you call it when a dinosaur crashes his car? A Tyrannosaurus WRECK!
Why do you never ask a dinosaur to read you a story? Because their tales are so long.
What does a triceratops sit on? It’s tricera-bottom.
What kind of explosions do dinosaurs like? DINO–mite!