Dinosaur-Themed Dramatic Play: Make a Prehistoric Paradise
Most children love playing with dinosaurs, or even engaging in pretend play where they’re the dinosaur—after all, what’s more fun than stomping around and roaring a lot? (It’s a big reason why we include dinosaur fun in our classrooms!)
Add a few simple props to your tot’s ferocious dino antics, and watch them revel in a prehistoric paradise. Make your own Jurassic dress-up costumes from upcycled household goods like shoeboxes and toilet-paper rolls, and some basic art supplies.
A few houseplants and some imagination are all it takes to transform your living room into a land before time.
Possible Props for Dinosaur Imaginative Play
- Crumpled construction-paper “rocks”
- Large cardboard box
- Plastic eggs
- Potted houseplants
- Stuffed or toy dinosaurs
Preparing the Dinosaur-Themed Pretend Play Scene
- Set the scene with a few small potted houseplants and some crumpled construction-paper “rocks.”
- Throw pillows can stand in for large boulders and a big, empty cardboard box turned on its side makes a great cave—you can make the hideaway feel more secretive by draping a blanket over the box. If you’ve got plastic eggs on hand, let your little dino watch over them in a nest near their cave.
- Bring out any stuffed or toy dinosaur buddies and make it a party. Kiddos can pretend they are roaring reptiles, jungle explorers, or anything else their imagination comes up with. No costumes are needed, but they do make things way more fun!
Easy Add-On Dino Play Ideas
Make DIY binoculars for your intrepid explorer
- Simply place two toilet paper rolls side by side and tape them together with masking tape or duct tape.
- Punch or poke holes through the outer side of both toilet paper rolls and then thread a piece of string, yarn, or ribbon through both holes, knotting it at the ends (be sure the loop is big enough for your child to easily pass their head through it).
- Now your kiddo can hunt for Pterodactyls, wooly mammoths, and saber-toothed tigers as they venture through the jungle of your living room!
Let the wild rumpus begin with DIY dino feet
- Have your child decorate two large, empty tissue boxes with crayons, paint, stickers, glitter, etc. If they’re old enough, have them cut six small triangles from colorful construction paper and then glue or tape three triangles along one of the shorter ends of each box to make front claws.
- Once finished, have them slip their feet inside the tissue boxes and try out their new dino kicks!
Make a rockin’ dino hat
- Gather three sheets of construction paper, scissors, a glue stick, and tape, and then check out these fabulous step-by-step directions from the Cutting Tiny Bites blog. We guarantee they’ll dig it!
- Watch your little transform into a dinosaur before your very eyes with this amazingly easy DIY hat.
Why We Love Pretend Play
Did you know that there’s more to dramatic play than just fun and games? It’s also crucial to physical development and wellness. When your kiddo stomps around like a prehistoric reptile, not only do they get the wiggles out, but they’re building strength and coordination, too.
Looking for more ideas? Pretend play is a big part of our day at KinderCare. That’s why we have imaginative play ideas for every season. Check them out here.