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.


  1. I'm so envious of those of you who managed to land library gigs, but this is awesome. Kudos!

    1. Thanks, Jason! I wish you would've had better luck landing a job, too.

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