Posted: Jul 01 2014
Does anyone recall Robin Williams in ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’? Do you remember the scene where he is playing with dinosaur toys whilst rapping educational facts? Embarrassed at being caught, he explains that children learn easier if you make it fun, soon after he’s hired as the new main writer for the programme. Here’s the thing, he’s right!
If you lack rapping skills, no worries, you can still make learning fun by doing an activity together. Cooking and baking are great examples; how many times have we heard little voices begging to help bake some biscuits? You’ll need to do some research before hand so you can teach some dinosaur facts whilst baking. It’s probably best to bake at weekend, when you you'll have a little more time. It can be slow and messy, but it’s worth it! Include your children through every stage: picking out the recipe, making a shopping list, ticking off the items on your list, setting up all the ingredients and the preparation work.
Here are two of our favourite dinosaur themed cooking ideas:
Fossil Print Cookies: Choose one of your favorite biscuit recipes. Prepare as directed and once you have cut out the biscuits take a dinosaur toy (washed!) and press the feet into the dough, creating “fossil” foot prints. While imprinting the dough you can sneak in a few dinosaur facts. As well as creating some delicious biscuits, following a recipe is a learning process. Measuring will teach them about measurements and maths, they will be using their fine motor skills, the recipe will teach them the importance of following directions in order and the textures of flour or sugar make a good sensory tool.
Dinosuar cookie cutters have been a huge hit in our house, we made some dinosaur shapes with the same biscuit recipe and covered them with Smarties before baking :)
Dinosaur Eggs: This would be a great after school snack and activity. It doesn’t take much time and you can prepare the boiled eggs before hand. Take four to six hard boiled eggs and crack them gently against the counter top or with the back of a spoon. You want a shattered look but with no dents. Set aside. Fill a bowl with water and add some blue or green food colouring (Lakeland do a great 100% natural range). Place the eggs into the water and leave for about an hour. The longer you let them sit, the stronger the final colour will be.
While you’re waiting for the eggs, you can read books on dinosaurs, you can copy or trace the pictures and talk about what they ate, how big they were, name the different species etc...
When the eggs are ready, you can scoop them out and peel back the shell. You will see where the colour has left lines of colour across the egg. You can eat the egg whole, or better still, cut them in half, set aside the yolk and fill the hole with shredded cucumber or avocado!! Da-dah!!! A plate full of T-Rex dino eggs!!!
We hope you enjoy these recipes and would love to know how you get on.... post any pictures on our Facebook page.