Imagine this… you are sitting there quietly in your home and all of a sudden the water in your glass starts to shake a little, and then the whole glass starts to shake… and then the entire room.You look out the window and find yourself face to face with something from 65 million years ago…
With the release of Jurassic World this past June dinosaurs are suddenly taking the world by storm, again! Jurassic Park first came out in 1993 and now 22 years later it’s booming with po
pularity all over again. Dinosaurs are already popular with kids and now they’re sky rocketing into even more popularity.
When you’re looking for something to do with your kids who are running around acting like a pair of Velociraptors, why don’t you try to sit them down with something cold to drink and talk about their new favorite subject? Dinosaurs are not made up or fictionalized – they were once real live walking, breathing, eating, sleeping creatures. They walked this world many, many, years before we did. They are in themselves a learning exercise for our children. Make a day out of it – read books (Danny and the Dinosaur by Sid Hoff, The Berenstain Bears’ Dinosaur Dig by Mike Berenstain, National Geographic’s Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs by Catherine D. Hughes), watch documentaries such as this one on YouTube, cartoons such as The Land Before Time, or television specials; play video and board games. If you are really crafty and want to make something that will last throughout your child’s obsession, try our directions for “dinosaur town”. As a family, you can research on the Internet together about your favorite kind of dinosaurs and, just for fun, make up your own type of dinosaur together! There are many places around the country that have dinosaur exhibits, such as the Dinosaur State Park in Connecticut or the National Dinosaur Monument in Colorado and Utah.
Anything is possible with dinosaurs, and we’re always discovering new and interesting facts about them. Just this year paleontologists discovered a new kind of dinosaur called Pulanesaura Eocollum whose name means “rain lizard”. Pulansaura is an early member of the long-necked sauropod linage of dinosaurs (Apatosaurus being the most famous from this group). This is an incredibly rare find in the dinosaur community as there is only a handful of early Sauropod species known from the Early Jurassic time period when Pulansura would have lived.
There are even certain places in some states you can go and dig up real fossils (New Jersey, Virginia, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, California, West Virginia, Colorado, Florida, and Maryland). There are two located in Pennsylvania: one is a fern fossil site and is located off Hancock Road in St. Clair (this one is hard to find) and the other is called The Montour Fossil Pit which is located in Danville. The sky truly is the limit when it comes to learning and teaching our kids about dinosaurs and if it’s something that they’re passionate about – roll with it.
If you need a little extra push getting your children to do math homework, why not make up math problems that involve dinosaurs. For example: the T-Rex weighed approximately 10,000 pounds while the Raptor weighed 5,000 pounds. Which one weighed more? You could use
word flash cards with dinosaur pictures/words? Have them spell out dinosaurs (any spelling and comprehension problems will surely be helped out then with those names!) Jurassic World is the start of a new era in dinosaur interest and it can also be the start of a new era of teaching made fun. Just make sure to watch out for those sneaky Velociraptors!!
Guest Blog Post by Jessica Card,
educational coach at Reading Escapades & Math Explorers