Learning about dinosaurs with your family can be as fun as it is educational. Tampa Bay Parenting contributor Grayson Kamm is here from MOSI to talk about dinosaurs! We have some fun prehistoric projects that anybody can do around the house.
And, since we’re MOSI, the idea is that we’re learning along with the fun.
The first thing I’m gonna show you is how to make your own dinosaur tooth fossil! You need a cup, some sand, and some plaster of Paris – which you can get at a craft store or Walmart.
Now, I have a model of a *real* dinosaur tooth that we made with a 3-D printer at MOSI. We actually demonstrate 3-D printing every day if you come visit us.
But if you don’t have a 3-D printed tooth? No problem at all! A carrot will do nicely! You can use a peeler to shape it to just the shape you want. Get together with your kids and look up pictures of dinosaur teeth online – you’ll see that plant eaters and meat eaters had different-shaped teeth.
Decide which one you want to make out of your carrot, press it in the sand – the pour the plaster into the impression. It’ll harden to create your own cool grey dinosaur tooth. You could even put a paperclip in there as it dries to make a pendant.
Next up, you have a prehistoric pizza
You can get whole buckets of plastic dinosaurs for just a few dollars. But here’s what you do with them – you take a pizza box and you make it into a piece of the prehistoric world!
Use Play Doh or clay, then sticks you find in the yard, sand, and some blue markers or paint for water – and you can create an entire ancient landscape! Then encourage your kids to tell you the story of why their dinosaurs are doing what they’re doing – are they eating over by the trees because they’re plant eaters? Are they chasing other dinosaurs because they’re meat eaters?
Now, if your kids are big dinosaur fans – you have got to get them to MOSI by the end of the day Sunday. That’s the end of our amazing exhibit called Dinosaurs in Motion — where you can take control of life-sized metal skeletons of dinosaurs. We have a 44 foot long T Rex – and you can snap its jaws. It’s pretty incredible. And MOSI is offering free admission to mothers with a paid child admission on both Saturday and Sunday.
Last up, you’ve been laying out footprints all over the place.
This is a great one for a rainy day. With your child, look for images of dinosaur footprints online. Each dinosaur had it’s own unique footprint. Along with your kids, pick out your favorites – and draw them and cut them out using construction paper. Stack two or four sheets of paper, and you cut two or four at one time.
And this is key — then you lay them across the floor in a way that tells a story! Paleontologists have found tracks where you can tell a plant eater was peeing secretly followed by a meat eater! They’ve also found tracks that are spaced far apart, where you can see a dinosaur was running – and others that are heading to get water or food.
Lay them out and mix them around and have your child tell the story that they’re seeing in their prehistoric world.