Friday, August 2, 2013

Diggin' for Dinos

Once again, I have neglected my poor, little blog. Since I’m a Youth Services librarian, summer is always the busiest season for me, as we get a huge influx of patrons for our Summer Reading Program. On top of that, I moved (again), went to ALA (which was awesome!), life was generally crazy, and my blog fell by the wayside. I’ve still been reading a ton, though, so I’m hoping to have some reviews posted soon. 

We just wrapped up our Summer Reading Program a few days ago, and while I’m exhausted, I’m happy to report that it was a huge success. To celebrate, I thought I’d share my favorite program of the summer. 

Since this year’s theme was “Dig Into Reading,” one of the first things that popped into my head was a dinosaur dig (to the surprise of nobody who knows me; dinosaurs are my favorite.) Who doesn’t want to get a little bit messy and play in the dirt? I found a tutorial on how to make dinosaur eggs, but because I’m me, I guesstimated the amounts for each ingredient, made them into muddy rocks, put them on the driveway to dry on a hot, summer day, and the result is pictured below.

I gave the kids a variety of “tools” to try to break open their "eggs," which included plastic forks, spoons, and Popsicle sticks. I also suggested that they just use their hands, and a couple were strong enough to do just that! One used a Popsicle stick as a pick, which I thought was absolutely awesome. Once they broke open their eggs, they were so excited to see the dinosaurs inside! 

After we found our dinosaurs, I pulled out some clay and allowed the kids to make fossils. Here’s the one I did, of just the footprints. The kids got really creative with this, and some even made the clay act as a rock and put their dinosaurs on top. 

This clay color is not flattering at all.

Our final step was to “dig” for cardstock bones. This is the template I used. We have trays that we use for various art projects, so I grabbed some of those, put the bones in, covered them with sand, and the kids reassembled the bones on a piece of paper. We got out the crayons and markers for this part, and they loved creating their own dinosaur habitats /coloring in the dinosaur bones. 
The trays with cardstock bones and sand.

What we found in the sand.

While this program was definitely messy, the kids had a riot and they all left with smiles on their faces.