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Dinosaurs and Asteroids

Permalink 05/03/10 08:57, by Tikal, Categories: Toddlers, Learning Play, Preschool Children, Days out, Kids Activities , Tags: asteroid, dinosaurs, monsters, museum, space, stars, sun, world

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New research brings consensus to the idea that the dinosaurs were wiped out after a phenomenal asteroid collision sited at what is now the Yucatan Peninsular in Mexico - this is the stuff of boys' imagination, combining two fascinating boundaries of knowledge: dinosaurs and space.

Although your little ones are probably too young to comprehend the reality of either space or dinosaurs, why not at least introduce these ideas?  No matter where you live you probably aren't that far from a museum that has exhibits on at least one, if not both, of these topical areas.  Plan a visit and activities around one of these two areas!

Space

To foster an interest in space, take your little ones outside after dark to observe the moon and stars; explain that every star is like our sun but so far away that they appear to be tiny.  Talk about concepts of near and far based on things you can see nearby, explain how further objects appear to be smaller than nearby ones.

Introduce the idea that we live on a planet called Earth and that there are lots of other planets in space but so far away that we can't see them.  Look at a map of the world and describe how we have lots of countries and lots of sea, and perhaps name some of the countries that your little ones might have heard of.

Create a spaceship out of old bottles, boxes or cartons and encourage your kids to go off exploring the universe!

Dinosaurs

Time is a very confusing and abstract concept.  Children struggle to distinguish 'today', 'tomorrow' and 'yesterday', so having them conceptiualise dinosoars roaming the land hundreds of millions of years ago is going to be a challenge!  But you can explain that dinosaurs were like giant monsters and that there were lots of them a long, long time ago!

Find pictures of dinosaurs in a book, online, or best of all, in a sticker book, and look at the different creatures.  Point out their different characteristics such the styles of their legs, tails, horns; maybe some of them have funny necks and small heads, others might have huge teeth; lots walk, some fly, others swim.  Study the pictures and tell your children their names.  See if they can pronounce the really tricky ones - to them the sounds may be no more alien than many of the other words and phrases they hear every day.

Why not make a dinosaur park?  Draw and cut out your own dinosaurs, make more out of card or old bottles, and see if you can create a dinosaur menagerie.

 



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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

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