Standing the test of time, children’s love and fascination for the dinosaur has never gone out of style. Although vehicles take the top spot, studies show that a huge amount of young children will become dinosaur-obsessed at some stage of childhood. The three-year-old might start brontosaurus-stomping down the passage, or the six-year-old may begin to devour books filled with dinosaur facts.
There are times when the subject of dinosaurs never loses its appeal, and the 10-year-old digging for dinosaur bones under the swing-set might become the adult paleontologist sharing his long-long passion with the younger generation.
To keep a child’s love of dinosaurs alive for as long as possible, we hunted on the internet for 20 popular dinosaur crafts. Read on to discover how to develop your little dinosaur fan’s creative side. Be sure to also check out our article on the best dinosaur apps.
1. Hefty Handprints
Washable paint, paper/cardboard, pen/marker, paintbrush
This simple craft is ideal for the very young. Paint your child’s hand with the chosen paint. Press the hand firmly onto the paper. Ensure that the print is upside down towards the bottom edge of the page. The tail of the dinosaur is the thumbprint. Add the head and neck with a paintbrush. Use the pen or marker to add the toenails and details of the face.
2. Dinosaur Faces
Two paper plates, Tempera paint, scissors, PVA glue
Cut a paper plate into a shape resembling the head of a friendly dinosaur. The second paper plate is used for the mouth of the dinosaur. Cut off its perforated edge and fold it in half. Don’t throw away the perforated edge! This will be used later. Paste the mouth onto the head and use the paints to decorate accordingly.
The cut-off edge can be used to make the dinosaur’s eyes, teeth, and horns. The finished product can also be used as a face mask. Just attach string to the left and right sides and let your child become their dream dinosaur!
Thick cardboard, scissors, pen/markers, glue, colored tissue paper
An excellent activity to develop a child’s fine-motor control and dexterity, trace a dinosaur outline onto the cardboard and cut out the shape. Smear the glue onto one side of the dinosaur shape. Tear off pieces of the tissue paper, scrunch up the pieces and paste them onto the dinosaur. Repeat this until the entire dinosaur is covered with tissue paper. Various colors of tissue paper can be used to create different patterns and designs. Allow to dry.
4. Funky Feet
Two empty tissue boxes, duct tape, paint, sponge/cardboard, glue
This fun craft is quick and easy. Find two empty tissue boxes, and tape the openings a bit with duct tape to make the opening slightly smaller. It might be a good idea to test the size of the opening with your child’s foot. Paint the boxes in a chosen color and allow them to dry. Glue triangles of sponge/cardboard onto the box. These are the dinosaur’s toenails! It’s now time for some dino-stomping!
5. Dino Cap
Hat with a peaked, white and black felt, scissors, marker, glue gun
Using the white felt, draw two eyes and a few triangles. Draw two pupils on the black felt. Cut out all the shapes. Use the peak of the cap to trace a line on the white felt. When you cut out this shape, ensure that an extra inch of felt is included. Then cut in a zigzag pattern along the edge of the white felt. These will be the dinosaur’s teeth.
Paste the eyes on the front of the cap. Glue the triangular spikes along the seam of the cape. To attach the teeth, turn the cap over. Carefully glue the flat edge of the ‘dinosaur teeth’ along the inside edge of the cap’s peak. Allow all the glue to dry. Enjoy having a little dinosaur running around!
6. Fossil Fun
Two cups flour, 1 cup salt, ½ cup warm water, small plastic dinosaurs
Make a salt dough by mixing together the flour, salt, and warm water. Once combined properly, take a small amount of the dough and roll it into a ball. Squash it flat so it makes a disc-like shape. Carefully place a plastic dinosaur onto the disc and press gently. Once lifted, a dinosaur impression will be seen in the dough.
Repeat the process with the remaining dough. Set your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and line the ‘dinosaur fossils’ on a baking sheet. Bake for up to two hours. Allow them to cool once the fossils feel hard. Hide them in the soil for your child to find. Unearthen ‘fossils’ will be a highlight for any dinosaur fan.
7. Excavating Eggs
2 ½ cups baking soda, ¾ cup water, small plastic dinosaurs, ¾ drops food coloring, vinegar, baking paper
Mix the water and food coloring together. Add the mixture slowly to the baking soda until it forms a paste. Take some of the pasty dough and add it into the shape of an egg. Press a small plastic dinosaur into the egg shape, add more dough and roll it into a complete egg. Repeat the process until all the mixture has been used. Place on baking paper and allow to dry for up to 36 hours. Once dried, these cool dinosaur eggs can be buried in the garden. Kids will enjoy unearthing these treasures!
8. Dino Lanterns
glass jar, paint (preferably glass paint), foam brush, black vinyl (permanent), silhouettes, tea-light (battery-operated)
Paint the inside of the glass jar with a foam brush and allow it to dry. Trace dinosaur outlines onto the black vinyl and cut out the shape. Adhere the dinosaur silhouettes onto the outside of the glass jar. Place the tea-lights inside the glass jar. Wait until your child’s bedtime and enjoy the magical dinosaur lantern in action.
9. Dinosaur Footprints
Green paint, black marker, googly eye, white paper
Paint the sole of your child’s foot with green paint, and then use the white paper to make footprints in a diagonal direction. Paint the bottom of the other foot and make sure the child stamps down in the opposite direction to the previous footprints. The footprints should resemble a ‘V’ lying on its side. Before the paint is dry, add a googly eye to each set of footprints. Draw dinosaur teeth with the black marker. Ta-da!
10. Dino Bones
2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 cup water
Mix the ingredients together to make salt dough. Flour a hard surface and knead the mixture until it’s smooth in appearance. Use the dough to create dinosaur bones, claws, horns, and teeth. Refer to non-fiction dinosaur books for assistance. Lay your dinosaur skeleton onto a baking sheet and place it in a 250-degree Fahrenheit oven for up to three hours. The skeleton will need to cool before imaginative dino play can begin!
11. Marbled Dinosaurs
empty beer box, tape, white paper, marker, three paint colors, three marbles, plastic spoon
Draw a dinosaur outline onto the paper and use the tape to fasten the paper to the inside of the beer box. Cover a marble with one of the makeup colors. Place the wet marble onto the plastic spoon and transfer it to the beer box.
Move the box from left to right and let the marble roll around. Colorful lines of paint will appear across the paper. Repeat this process with the other marbles, using the other paint colors. Once the paper has dried, you can cut out your marbled dinosaur.
12. Iced Dinos
Small dinosaur toys, round balloons, water, baking tray, freezer
Turn the balloon inside out, position a small dinosaur on the bottom half of the balloon, and turn it inside out again. Now fill the balloon with water, and make a knot at the top of the balloon. Repeat this process with the remainder of the balloons. Place the balloons in the freezer overnight to set. Kids will enjoy smashing the dino eggs or pouring warm water over them. Alternatively, sprinkle table salt on the eggs to show how the ice dissolves!
13. Dinosaur Necklaces
Small, plastic dinosaurs, screw eye-hooks, wooden beads, cord
Fasten the hooks onto the tops of the plastic dinosaurs. The cord will be to be cut to about 12 inches in length. Thread the cord through the screw eyes, add the wooden beads, and fasten a knot to the end of the string. Repeat the process with all the plastic dinosaurs.
Kids can enjoy making dinosaur jewelry for all their fellow dino fans.
14. Dinosaur Flip Flops
Child’s flip-flops, paint, cardboard, marker, tape
Trace the outline of your child’s flip-flops onto the cardboard. Use a marker to change the outline into a dinosaur foot’s outline. Cut out the footprints and cut an outing inside each footprint. The opening needs to be wide enough for your child’s foot to fit through. Tape the dinosaur footprints onto the top of the flip-flops. Your child just needs to fit their feet through the openings, and they’ll be stomping around in no time!
15. DIY Dinosaur Volcano
1 cup salt, 1 cup water, 1 cup flour, 1 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp cacao powder, Bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, red food coloring, liquid detergent, empty bottle, shallow container, soil, grass, stones, plastic dinosaurs
Mix the salt, water, flour, cream of Tartar, and cacao powder. Heat the mixture in a pan to form a dough. Sculpt a volcano around the bottle with the playdough. Add bicarb and food coloring to the bottle. Place the volcano in a shallow container. Use grass, soil, stones, small plastic dinosaurs, etc., to create a dinosaur habitat. When you’re ready to see a volcanic eruption, pour vinegar into the empty bottle!
16. Shadow Art
Large sheet of white paper, wax crayons, plastic dinosaur toys.
When the sun casts a shadow outside, place the white paper on a hard surface. Line up all the dinosaur toys along the edge of the paper. You might need to re-position the dinosaurs until the sun casts enough of a shadow on the paper. Use your crayons to trace the silhouette of the dinosaurs. It’s fun to try this at different times of the day as the sun changes its position.
Paint (yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, black), black pastel, scissors, white paper, black paper, coarse sea salt
Paint horizontal layers of each color across the page. Begin with yellow at the bottom and work your way through the colors, ending with black at the top of the page. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle on a bit of sea salt in the purple, black and blue sections. This clever trick will give the appearance of stars in the sky. Trace dinosaur outlines on the black paper and cut them out carefully. Glue these silhouettes onto your colorful page. The contrasting effect is beautiful!
2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 ½ cup water, 1 ½ cups Plaster of Paris, toy dinosaur, plastic container with a lid
Mix the flour, salt and 1 cup of water to make the play dough. Choose a dinosaur toy, press it into the playdough, and then remove it. Mix 1 ½ cups of Plaster of Paris with ½ cup of water. Pour the mixture into the empty mold and tap to ensure any air bubbles are removed. After about one hour, turn the mold over and gently remove it from the playdough. Ta-da! You now have a dinosaur mold, ready to be painted and decorated!
19. Dino Jar
Small plastic dinosaurs, empty jars, small pebbles, leaves, twigs, tissue paper, glue, marker
Assembly the dinosaurs, pebbles, leaves, and twigs into the jar. Place a small piece of tissue paper over the top, and screw on the lid. This can be a very special keepsake for a little dinosaur-lover.
20. The Coprolite Craft
1 cup flour, 1 cup salt, 2/3 cup cornstarch, 2/3 cup warm water, dried rice, twigs, nuts, grass, uncooked noodles, brown acrylic paint
Since most kids enjoy a bit of toilet humor, this dino craft is guaranteed to result in lots of laughs! Coprolites are the fossilized feces of animals that lived millions of years ago, including dinosaurs. Mix the flour, salt, and cornstarch together. Then add the water and continue to mix well. Knead to the dough to form a coprolite shape. The rice, twigs, nuts, grass, and noodles are then added to give it a natural texture! Bake in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes. When it’s cooled, paint the coprolite a brown color to make it look authentic!