The dinosaur lovers in your life will love this paint, wash, and play activity that also works fine motor skills. This dinosaur activity for toddlers is perfect for anyone who loves to play with water AND paint! Check it out, and then don’t miss the rest of our dinosaur activities!
Dinosaur Activity for Toddlers
Dinosaurs are a tried and true favorite with toddlers and preschoolers alike. There is something so mesmerizing about these enormous creatures from the past and young children gravitate towards playing, roaring, and mimicking dinosaur behavior along with allowing their imaginations to run wild. There are so many dinosaur art and craft activities for toddlers, too!
Themed learning is one of my favorite ways to teach preschoolers. If you’re currently planning a dinosaur theme, you will love this simple but super engaging fine motor activity! Don’t miss my free dinosaur preschool lesson plans to round out the rest of your dino activities.
Fine motor activities are ideal for toddlers and preschoolers as they play and explore the world around them. The term “fine motor” refers to the movements and motions we make using the muscles in our hands. Strengthening these fine motor skills is critical for children as they grow.
Frequently Asked Questions About Developing Fine Motor Skills
There are a number of excellent activities for developing fine motor skills, such as using tongs to transfer foam blocks or adding beads to a pipe cleaner. Building block towers, peeling stickers, scribbling with a crayon, and even feeding themselves are all ways that children practice strengthening their hand muscles. Remember, always be mindful and aware of choking hazards when using small items with young children.
Invite your toddler to help you turn the pages of a book as you read or place loose cereal on the table for him/her to pick up with their pincer grasp. Utilize playdough to naturally strengthen the arches of the hands and invite toddlers to roll, shape, pinch, and squeeze the playdough as they enjoy
Some fine motor skills a two-year-old should be able to do include:
build block towers consisting of up to 9 blocks, scribble with art materials, use a fork to feed independently, string large beads, draw circles and lines, and put on some clothing items with adult support.
These are just some of the fine motor skills that a two year will be developing. Check out other toddler and preschool milestones for a more comprehensive and detailed list.
More Toddler Fine Motor Activities
Get ready for some cleaning fun with this dinosaur activity for toddlers. Help them build fine motor skills, develop language, and engage in some imaginative play! It’s also one of the easiest dinosaur sensory activities for toddlers.
- plastic toy dinosaurs
- washable tempura paint (we used blue)
- paint tray or plate
- small bin
- construction paper or cardstock (optional)
The Set Up
One of the best parts about this dinosaur fine motor activity for toddlers is that there is very minimal prep work involved. Just prepare the paint on a tray, grab a paintbrush, and set up a washing station for later in the activity.
This activity is play-based, easy to set up, and uses materials that you likely have already. So it’s a win-win-win!
Dinosaur Painting and Washing Activity
Invite the toddlers to paint a plastic toy dinosaur with washable tempura paint. Encourage them to paint all the little nooks and cracks to change the color of the dinosaur. Feel free to offer other painting options as well, including cotton swabs/q-tips, foam brushes, or even paint with fingers!
If your toddler isn’t a dino fan, feel free to use any plastic toys that you have available.
This may seem like an easy task but painting with brushes or fingers builds fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and helps young children focus on the task at hand. Plus, it’s fun to play and interact with paint, especially when they get to wash it off!
Not to mention, using paint, brushes, soap, and bubbles is a great way to explore through your senses. Sensory play, like this dino themed water sensory bin, is SO beneficial for early childhood and such a blast for little ones.
Before sending your dinosaurs off for a wash, feel free to invite your children to stamp the dinosaur feet on paper to make animal tracks. If you have different dinosaurs, it’s fun to see how the different feet are shaped and how the tracks appear different. It makes a great dinosaur craft, too!
Once your dinosaur(s) are painted, work quickly to get them into the tub before the paint dries! It’s time to clean those messy dinos and scrub off all that colorful paint.
Invite your toddler to scrub, roar, and scrub some more! This part of the activity is all about attention to detail and imaginative conversation. Talk with your toddler and use this time to build oral language and vocabulary while having fun.
My son and I love to be silly! So while scrubbing his dinosaur, I began a conversation pretending to be the dinosaur. “Oh this paint is so itchy! Get this blue paint off of me! I don’t like going underwater so can you scrub me above the bubbles? Oh, pleh, why did you put me under? Agh! Not again!”
We were laughing and carrying on while my son started to mimic my dialogue and came up with his own adorable dinosaur antics. Playful learning is the best learning!
We hope that this simple dinosaur activity for toddlers gives them quick and easy fine motor fun, without any prep!
I own more dinosaur picture books than I care to admit – and we love them all! They are especially important to help your kids visualize dinosaurs, since they’ll never see one with their own eyes. Here are some of my favorites!
More Dinosaur Activities for Kids
- plastic toy dinosaurs
- washable tempura paint
- paint tray or plate
- small bin
- construction paper (optional)
1. Set up paint and invite children to paint a plastic toy dinosaur with washable tempura paint.
2. Provide a small wash bin with water, soap, and a toothbrush and invite the children to scrub and wash the dinosaurs. Encourage them to scrub off all the paint and get them all cleaned up!
I am an educator, book enthusiast, and a stay at home momma to two precious and long-awaited littles. My degree is in Early Childhood Education and Curriculum and Instruction and I have spent the last 15 years working with young children. I feel very fortunate to have this time to watch my babies grow and I can’t wait to share my passion for learning and reading with you!