Last week I introduced my upcoming Pre-K/Kindergarten Dinosaur Unit Study post series with this post on exploring texture. This week I’m excited to continue with this adorable (and very doable) DIY Dino Habitat!
I first found this idea on Pinterest via Little Worlds, Big Adventures. I knew we absolutely had to give this a shot. Bundle loves little things she can manipulate and play with and take EVERYWHERE.
This activity covers the following learning activities (and probably more!):
- creative art
- fine motor skills
- color identification
- science concepts and vocabulary
- sensory play
As if these learning targets aren’t wonderful enough, this activity also makes a great take-along activity for car rides, quiet time, or times when the grown-ups are talking, having a meeting, etc. Bundle uses it a church, waiting in the doctor’s office, and even playing outside.
There are two ways you can make your own habitat — inside of a small tin, or on a small piece of foam board. I’ve split the directions and materials into the two methods, just for simplicity’s sake.
DIY Dinosaur Habitat in a Tin:
small metal tin with a lid
assorted pieces of felt
foam craft sheets
hot glue gun
a few nature items like a rock, piece of bark, or twig
one small green pom-pom
small plastic toy dinosaur(s)
We used mostly greens, browns, and blues for our felt and foam colors. You can use whatever colors you like. Measure and cut out a circle of felt to cover the bottom of the tin, and one for the top of the lid, if desired. I found a cute dinosaur print felt and used just one dino for a decoration on the lid.
Next, ask your child what kind of habitat their dinosaur needs (or just want habitat they want for their dino). Where do they want their dinosaur to live? The desert? The jungle? Does it need trees and rivers, or shrubs and sand? Bundle chose a pond, grass, and some brown land. With the felt and foam, cut out a few other natural looking habitat items chosen by your child. I cut the grass out of felt and hot glued it to the sides of the tin. The water (blue felt) went down next on the bottom of the tin, and was topped by the land (brown felt). You can cut these felt items into any shapes you want!
Next add your nature items and green pom-pom with the hot glue. Our rock, bush and tree stuck out of the water to create more “land masses” for the dinosaurs to climb on, eat off of, etc. We did save one of the felt land pieces for later, so we could overlap it on top of the rock. Here’s what it looks like.
Your DIY Dinosaur Habitat is ready to go! I think my favorite part about this is that all the dinosaurs fit right into the tin, and you can pop the lid on and tote it anywhere without losing the dinosaurs.
Our tin is super tiny, but you could make this activity as big or small as you like. If you’re more interested in the foam habitat, read on!
DIY Paper and Foam Dinosaur Habitat
medium to large piece of card stock
felt pieces or foam craft sheets
nature themed stickers (flowers, trees, etc.)
glue stick or liquid glue
child sized scissors
small plastic toy dinosaur(s)
This version of the activity requires much less adult help. 🙂 Bundle started her habitat this way, and later moved on to the tin can activity.
Ask your child some of the same questions mentioned above. Where would your dinosaur live? What kind of place? Are there trees and rivers, rocks and mountains, sand and a pond? You could even take it a step further and ask what kinds of things they eat and what they like to do for fun.
Let your child color and create the dinosaurs habitat straight on the card stock. I didn’t give Bundle much direction at all, and she ended up making a 2D habitat with a swing set colored with markers, and flower stickers all around, and green marker grass for their food.
Once they’ve created their perfect habitat, just add the dinosaurs and it’s ready for play time!
During play time, each of these dinos took turns swinging on their swing set (gotta love a child’s imagination!!), smelling the flowers, and eating the grass. ❤
I loved this quick, low-prep activity, and would do it again in a heartbeat! It linked perfectly with our dinosaur unit study.
Hope you tune back in later this week for more Dinosaur activities in our Pre-K/Kindergarten Dinosaur Unit Study!