Do you have a little paleontologist in your classroom? Then these dinosaur activities for preschool lesson plans are just what you need for your dinosaur theme in preschool.
You’ll find everything from literacy and math activities to art and sensory activities, all bundled up in a tidy, free preschool lesson plans download at the end of this post.
Free Dinosaur Lesson Plans for Preschool
Dinosaurs are fascinating at any age. I mean, tell me that as an adult you haven’t tried to imagine these gigantic animals stomping around on the Earth.
Little dinosaur enthusiasts love to learn about different dinosaur species, their living and eating habits, dinosaur eggs, and even fossils! With lots of fun and hands on dinosaur learning in mind, here are some fabulous resources for planning your preschool dinosaur theme.
And don’t forget, these can be dinosaur activities for toddlers, too, with the right supervision!
FAQ About a Dinosaur Theme in Preschool
So much fun learning can happen within a dinosaur theme! Here are some frequently asked questions about how to teach your preschoolers about dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs are fascinating, and preschoolers love pretending to be paleontologists–so let them! It makes a great dramatic play center.
When teaching a dinosaur preschool theme, it’s even more important to provide hands-on activities. Offer plenty of dinosaur toys. Create dinosaur small worlds for pretend play or use a “dinosaur skeleton” in a sensory bin. Make fossils in play dough. Do artwork and sing dinosaur songs. And of course, read lots and lots of picture books!
Nearly all preschoolers love learning about dinosaurs, so you can do a dinosaur unit study between ages 3-5 years. But toddlers and elementary-aged children can love dinosaurs too!
Here are some major learning concepts that can be included in your dinosaur preschool lesson plans:
~ herbivores vs. carnivores
~ ways different dinosaurs move
~ ways dinosaurs defend themselves from predators
~ compare and contrast dinosaurs and other animals
~ which dinosaurs were predators
~ volcanoes and lava
~ tropical vegetation
Dinosaur Theme Preschool Activities
Learning about dinosaurs will always be best received when using hands-on activities, especially when planning activities for toddlers and preschoolers. After all, preschoolers learn best through play and activity.
Here are some popular fun dinosaur activities to keep with your dinosaur lesson plans.
Literacy Activities for a Dinosaur Preschool Theme
Dino Egg Hunt and Hatch – Grab some Easter eggs (I like using the pastel ones for this) and repurpose them as dinosaur eggs. Hide letters of the alphabet in the eggs (paper or magnetic letters work well) and bury the eggs in sand or flour to make a literacy-based sensory bin.
Start with the letters in your child’s name and write their name in large letters on a piece of paper. Then place plastic dinosaur toys around the eggs. Offer your preschooler an old paint brush and invite them to brush aside the sand to find the dinosaurs and eggs, just like a real paleontologist would do. After finding an egg, have them match the letter to their name.
Dinosaur Book – Using 5 sheets of paper, fold them in half and staple along the seam. Watch this video on YouTube that reviews types of dinosaurs and encourage your preschooler to decide which dinosaurs they would like to draw in the booklet you made. Pause the video so your preschooler can get a good look at them.
Talk about what they notice about each dinosaur.
Does it have spikes? Plates? Does it walk on all fours? etc. Have your preschooler make their dinosaur match what they see in the video. Model the drawing if necessary. Finally, invite them to write the first letter in the dinosaur’s name.
Best Fictional Dinosaur Picture Books
Since your preschooler will never see a real, live dinosaur, it’s important to read a lot of well-written picture books. Here is a dinosaur book list of just some of the dinosaur picture books I have in my own preschool library.
Best Non-Fiction Dinosaur Picture Books
Ok, there are too many fantastic picture books for a dinosaur theme. The above are just my favorite fictional picture books. Below you can find a book list for non-fiction dinosaur books that are also great for preschoolers.
Math and Science Activities for a Dinosaur Preschool Theme
10 Little Dinosaurs Counting Song – Print out the cute little dinosaurs and staple or glue them to large craft sticks and get to moving! This counting song encourages gross motor movement, so it’s perfect for getting the wiggles out AND counting to 10.
Dinosaur Sort – Using any dinosaur toys you have, invite your preschooler to sort them according to a specific rule. Perhaps they want to sort them by carnivore vs. herbivore, or flying dinosaur vs land dinosaur. Assist your preschooler if they need it.
You can also challenge your preschooler to come up with their own way of sorting. Anything goes with this, as long as your preschooler can explain their choices to you.
Dinosaur Fossils – Using homemade salt dough, grab some toy dinosaurs and make feet and body imprints to resemble fossils. Bake the dough and examine the fossil imprints left behind. Or use playdough and bypass the baking altogether!
These can be saved and painted like a dinosaur craft, or alternately you can sue kinetic sand to make impressions if you don’t want something long-lasting.
Playful Learning Activities for a Dinosaur Preschool Theme
Pipe Cleaner ABC – Give your preschooler a challenge with this fun activity. Grab a handful of pipe cleaners and a pair of scissors. Encourage your preschooler to bend and mold the pipes to make the letters in their favorite dinosaur’s name. Be sure to show them the dinosaur’s name in print.
Dinosaur Prints – Using toy dinosaurs and some washable paint, make dinosaur feet prints! Create a track of dinosaur prints along a sheet of paper and then play a counting game and move your dinosaur along the tracks. Just roll a dice and move your dinosaur forward the corresponding number of spaces.
Dinosaur Small World Play – Using items from the yard, create a dinosaur small world for your toy dinosaurs to live in. Use leaves, twigs, rocks, and more to create a whole world in which to play with your dinosaur toys. Then watch the magic happen as your preschooler plays pretend.
Dinosaur Learning Toys
These are some of our favorite dinosaur toys to use in our activities. They will promote fine motor skills and creativity. Our favorite is the dinosaur egg kit. These dinosaur preschool activities are loads of fun!
Social-Emotional Activities for a Preschool Dinosaur Theme
Sharing Feelings and Affection – Go to YouTube and listen to the story Tiny T Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman. After listening, remind your preschooler of how Tiny T. Rex makes a plan and thinks of a strategy to solve his hugging problem.
We can use strategies in all aspects of life, like trying to pick up a ball that seems too big or trying to share our toys. But T. Rex really shines when he decides to just be himself and use his tiny arms to share a hug. How can your preschooler just be themselves and offer support to a friend in need?
Dinosaurs that Stay Friends – Go to YouTube and listen to the story How do Dinosaurs Stay Friends? by Jane Yolen. After listening, ask your preschooler to think of all the unkind ways that the dinos were treating each other.
Do those ways help you stay friends? Invite your preschooler to draw themselves as a dinosaur. What kinds of things will your dinosaur self do to help others, be a good friend, and be kind? Draw an example.
Just Plain Fun Activities for a Dinosaur Preschool Theme
Stamped Dinosaur Art – Using Duplo’s or Legos, this dino-tastic activity is easy and fun. Simply print the dinosaur template and stamp the Legos in paint to make a textured dinosaur. You can cut out the dinosaur and glue it onto come construction paper for a colorful presentation.
Dinosaur Bones with q-tips – Using cotton swabs or q-tips, invite your preschooler to lay the swabs out on dark paper and make the shape of a dinosaur. They will look like dinosaur bones. You can also trace a dinosaur shape for them to follow. Count how many “bones” are needed to make the dinosaur. Don’t forget to cut some of the q-tips if needed!
Dinosaur Dance – Act like a dinosaur! Invite your preschooler to make up funny dino themed moves. Encourage them to roar and make sounds just like a real dinosaur! Crank up the tunes and have some dance fun!
Online Activities for a Dinosaur Preschool Theme
Online Story – Go to YouTube and listen to the book Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton. After listening, invite your preschooler to share different words from the story that describe the dinosaurs (hungry, sleepy, fierce, small, big, horned, etc.) Encourage your preschooler to draw one or two dinosaurs using those descriptions.
We are the Dinosaurs – Learn a little more about various dinosaur species with this lively song and video.
Dino Stomp Dance – This song will have your preschooler up and dancing, which is perfect for incorporating some gross motor movement into your day!
Get Your FREE Dinosaur Lesson Plans Here
Want to include these dinosaur activities in your lesson plans? No problem. I’ve made a printable for you. Just click the image below.
More Dinosaur Printables?
You’ll love this Dinosaur Activity Pack!
Do you have a budding paleontologist? This dinosaur activity pack is for your little one. Packed full of unique, hands-on, printable dinosaur activities, preschoolers love learning about their favorite prehistoric lizards with these dinosaur activities.
This pack contains six fun and educational dinosaur activities appropriate for preschool through kindergarten. Three activities are math based and three are literacy based. All are fun. Scroll down for the complete product description to see what’s included!
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.