Storytime at Home: Dinosaurs

Posted about 4 weeks ago by Sarah Fenninger
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Welcome to the Storytime at Home series! Every other week, we share a list of book options tied to a kid-approved theme, a craft you can set up to go along with the theme, songs/rhymes you can do during storytime, and additional enrichment activities. All books are available at Richmond Public Library, and crafts will involve items you likely have at home already! Our hope is that we can make it easy for you to share stories with your little ones and create a little bit of library magic at home. 

P.S. Love library storytimes? Take a look at all in-library storytime options here. There is a storytime for your child every morning at our various branches!

Okay, now to the fun stuff…

 

Dinosaurs are a universally loved topic among children. It sometimes feels as though children learn about dinosaurs without us ever teaching them; they’re just in the childhood ether! This is such a fun topic to explore with young children, as it provides so many opportunities for gross and fine motor development. You can stomp, show off your claws, chomp your teeth, run fast, sneak slowly, and ROAR! Reading about dinosaurs can also help teach little ones about colors, sizes, counting, and more. Lastly, dinosaurs are often chosen as the character to help teach children life lessons and new information, so reading about dinosaurs can be a great way to expose your children to new ideas and ways of thinking. The library has many wonderful books about dinosaurs, and we’ve included some of our favorites below. When you visit, you can also search ‘dinosaur’ in our catalog or ask a librarian to help you find the perfect one for you and your child.

Reading to your kiddos turns them into confident thinkers. Making books a regular part of your daily routine is a great way to build children’s love of reading and learning. Storytimes also help build excitement around reading to support their literacy development. 

Here are a few book options you can choose from for your dinosaur-themed storytime.

There are many ways to make reading fun and engaging for your little one! Click the arrow below to see some of our favorite tips for bringing stories to life at home.

Click here to see some of our favorite reading tips
  • Point at the pictures and ask your child what they see. Help build their vocabulary by pointing to pictures and saying the word aloud. 
  • Ask your child questions about the story: What do you think will happen next? How do you think this character is feeling? This character is wearing a bathing suit; do you remember when we wore ours? 
  • Read with expression and enthusiasm, and use different voices for different characters. 
  • Act out what’s happening in the story.
  • As your child gets older, count objects in a book, discuss the different colors they see, point out shapes in the story, etc. 
  • Snuggle up and be patient. Reading is great bonding time for you and your child. Take your time walking them through the story. If your child wants to turn the page or be finished with reading, that’s OK too. You don’t have to read every word or even every page for reading with your little one to be beneficial for their development. 

We love adding songs and rhymes to our storytimes. This is a great way to practice language with your child and support their physical (motor) development through movement. 

Here are two songs and rhymes you can use for this themed storytime.

Sing: Dino Pokey
Tune: Hokey Pokey

You put your feet in
You put your feet out
You put your feet in
And you stomp them all about
You do the Dino-Pokey and you turn yourself about.
That’s what it’s all about.

Repeat with:
Claws in/claws out/scratch them all about
Teeth in/teeth out/chomp them all about
Tail in/tail out/wag it all about

Counting and Movement Rhyme: Oh, Dinosaur!
One dinosaur went out to play
In a giant field one day
She had such enormous fun
That she called for another dinosaur to come:

(Raise hands to cup mouth, and call loudly)
Oh, Diiiiiiiiiinosaur!

(Slap hands on thighs to make “running” sounds)

Repeat with 2,3,4

Five dinosaurs went out to play
On a giant fern one day
They had such enormous fun
That they played until the day was done!

Adding a craft along with a book is a great way to continue allowing your child to learn, explore, and grow. Crafts are a nice supplement as they encourage motor development, creativity, self-confidence, and more. 

In fact, art and craft activities:

  • Build fine motor skills. Actions such as painting, coloring, gluing, and cutting develop small muscles in small hands and improve coordination skills as children learn to use both hands at the same time. 
  • Support early literacy. When children make art, they learn vocabulary and how to follow directions when getting verbal instructions from parents and caregivers. They also boost their communication skills via talking about their work!
  • Teach early math concepts. Math skills are used frequently in arts and crafts. Kids learn about and recognize different shapes, count and sort art supplies, and even measure out materials. 
  • Encourage creativity. Art helps develop creativity, self-expression, problem-solving, and curiosity. 
  • Boost self-esteem. Doing arts and crafts can give children a sense of achievement and allow them to take pride in their work, which builds confidence. 
  • Offer bonding time. Kids love spending quality time with parents and caregivers, and arts and crafts are a great opportunity for this.

Here is a craft activity you can do along with the dinosaur theme. 

Materials Needed

  • Dinosaur template – this free dinosaur template will help you cut out the perfect shape to use as the dino’s neck and head!
  • Colored cardstock
  • Black market
  • Mini Pom Poms
  • Googly eyes
  • Glue

Source: Made To Be A Momma

Directions

  •  Start out by using the dinosaur template to cut out the dinosaur’s bodies.
  • Next, trace your child’s hand on a piece of cardstock.
  • Help your child cut the handprint shapes out of the cardstock.
  • Have your child glue the handprints behind each dinosaur’s body.
  • Add a couple googly eyes to the dino’s head and draw on a cute smile.
  • If desired, add pom poms to the top of the dinosaur’s body.

The fun doesn’t have to end at books, songs, and a craft. There are many ways to enrich a storytime with additional activities and lessons. Here are a few ideas for you and your child: 

  • Create dinosaur fossils using your dinosaur toys and homemade salt dough, or create dinosaur skeletons using pasta!
  • Create a dinosaur-themed sensory bin – like this or this – for your child to explore.
  • Hatch dinosaur eggs with baking soda and vinegar.
  • Take a walk in The Fan to visit Alan the Raptor at  2227 Floyd Ave.
  • Visit the Children’s Museum of Richmond to enjoy the Dino Zone. This exhibit has prehistoric dinosaurs and artifacts for adventurous little ones to climb and explore! Sit in a giant dinosaur egg, perch on the back of a Brachiosaurus, and build your own dinosaur with foam blocks!
  • Take older kiddos to go see Dinosaur Alive at the Science Museum of Virginia’s Dome Theater
  • Up for a road trip? Head to Dinosaur Land for some silly, kitschy, nostalgic Dinosaur fun.
  • Do other dino-themed arts and crafts activities. There are so many options!
  • Create a dinosaur-themed snack with your child. Even something simple like dino nuggets will do!

We share these Storytime at Home posts twice a month, so be sure to check back soon for more. You can also search “#storytimeathome” to see all past posts.

Have a suggestion for the next theme we cover? Email Sarah at sarah.fenninger@rva.gov and let us know!

Sarah Fenninger

Sarah Fenninger is a lifelong book worm and library lover, and an enthusiastic appreciator of puns, creative outlets, silliness, and FUN. She considers herself lucky to be able to combine all of these things into a role as a Library Associate in Youth Services and Outreach with Richmond Public Library. Sarah loves interactive children's books and singing songs that promote motor development and movement. When she's not at work preparing crafts or reading silly books about dinosaurs in underwear, Sarah can be found at one of Richmond's many local parks/trails and spending time with family, including her husband, daughter, cat, and two chickens.

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