Dinotastic! Dinoramas

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DinoramasMy little ones are learning to share with each other, and now my little man is on the move I am on the look out for activities we can all do together, rather than focusing on one child’s interests or abilities, and the other causing havoc by “touching my things!” Currently my two share an obsession with dinosaurs, which I think has more to do with roaring noises than the actual creature, but I’m going with it.

We spent a full morning on a great dino activity this week, inspired by a recent visit to the Melbourne Museum. Channeling my primary school days, I thought we might have a go at a diorama, or as I have named this, a Dinorama. As my kids are still fairly young (1 & 2 1/2) I have minimised a lot of the messy/ tricky parts of buy hydrocodone craigslist this, but I am certain all of this can be extended dependent on your kids abilities and skill levels. I try to do most of the basic stuff while my little ones are asleep to keep the fun, easy stuff for them to do.

I find if I overload the area we are using with lots of choices, my daughter just sticks everything on for the sake of it! Keeping the area tidy (within reason) really helps things move smoothly.

Dinorama Materials List

Shoe box
Coloured cardboard
Toilet rolls/ egg cartons
Paint
Craft glue
Scissors (safety ones if the kids are cutting)
Any scrap paper/ magazines that can be used fro decorating
Glitter/ sequins ( my daughters must have for all crafts!)
Straws to spin day/night dial on
String for hanging from roof
Goggley eyes

Using an old shoe box, I set up a landscape for the kids to decorate and fill with dinosaurs.

Making Dinoramas

Dinorama-GalleryThe dinos were made from old egg cartons and toilet rolls, which I stuck together in very vague reptile shapes, leaving the decoration for the kids. I pre painted all the bases of the cardboard we used, and sorted out only a few shapes for them to chose from. I also cut the circular disc for our sun/moon for them to decorate, and pre drew some grass and rocks for the kids to colour in. You can adapt this to suit your child/ren’s abilities. My in laws have recently got some landscaping, so we had some garden magazines I had pinched, which worked perfectly for some vegetation backgrounds (you might notice the dinosaurs are walking on some paving- probably not present in the Jurassic period!)

Dinorama BeautyMy daughter is at the age of getting frustrated easily, and asking mum to do stuff for her. Trying to encourage her independence and confidence, I usually make examples so she can visualise the finished product, and how her persistence will pay off, even if she is finding it tricky. Another way to encourage her is to say that yes I will help, but that I need her to show me how. I find that no matter what activity we are doing at home, if I am not sitting down participating, interest will not last long!
For those of you with older kids you will probably find this more of a child directed activity as they will want to create something of their own.

Painting-DinoramaThe great thing about this activity is the scope for continuing play. Not only do the kids get to be creative and design the dinosaurs and the landscape, they then have a new play thing, which at our house has currently been invaded by the dolls from the doll house! If your little ones are not into dinos, there are so many other landscapes you could create in your shoebox; grab some shells and sand for an ocean theme; some leaves from the garden for a jungle theme, or even paint some stars and do an outer space/ alien theme.

My favourite part of dioramas is the 3D possibilities- I love the idea of hanging things from the top of the box, or having a changeable dial like our sun/moon. I think this aspect is probably better for older kids, as the one thing I tried to hang was promptly ripped off by my son- it was as though he was waiting until I had it perfectly balanced then, bang! I might have to go out and buy a new pair of shoes so I can make a mums-only Dinorama!

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