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Dinosaur Activities:

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A Preschool, Kindergarten, and Early Elementary School Activity

This activity creates papier-mâché dinosaur hats. Each step takes about an hour or less. A few days drying time is required between the papier-mâché part, the application of decorations, and the painting part. It is also messy, involving tearing paper, gluing it, decorating, and painting.

One large balloon for each hat
A lot of old newspaper and/or brown-bag paper
Flour-water glue (instructions follow)
Hole punch (or just use the tip of a scissors to make holes)
Assorted paper, cardboard scraps, styrofoam scraps, egg cartons
String or elastic for chin straps

1. Choose the type of dinosaur hat(s) you want to make. Species with interesting heads include (click on the underlined names to see a picture of that dinosaur): Styracosaurus, Triceratops, Dilophosaurus, Lambeosaurus, and T. rex. For more dinosaur pictures, click here.

2. Make a simple, thin glue from flour and water (boiling gives it a nice consistency). A good recipe is: Mix 1 cup of flour into 1 cup of water until the mixture is thin and runny. Stir into 4 cups of boiling water. Simmer for about 3 minutes, then cool.

3. Have the students tear a lot of strips of newspaper and/or brown bag paper. Strips should be about 1 inch wide; the length doesn't really matter.

4. Blow up a balloon for each child. Each hat is molded over a large balloon.

5. Dip each strips of paper in the flour glue and put on the balloon. Put the balloon sideways because most dinosaurs had long heads. Apply the papier-mâché strips to cover about half of each balloon . About 3 layers of paper are necessary for a hat thick enough to decorate later. You can do all the layers at one time, or wait between layers. Let dry for a few days.

6. Pop the balloon when the hat's dry and remove. Trim the hat, depending on the dinosaur species chosen. Using glue or staples, add horns, frills, crests, beaks, teeth, and more, made of paper, cardboard, styrofoam, egg cartons, etc. Let dry.

7. When the hats are dry, punch holes for chin straps and paint the eyes, nostrils, beaks, skin color, etc. Let paint dry. .

8. Add string or elastic to use as a chin strap. As a costume addition, the students could drape themselves in paper that matches their mask or wear matching clothing.

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