Six Dinosaur Activities Featuring Music & The Arts in Montessori

DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO LOVES PLAYING WITH DINOSAUR TOYS? Like...maybe your entire Montessori group or whole neighborhood of kids! 
Photo from Adobe Stock
"Dinosaurs" as a topic in the Montessori Curriculum have always been one of the all-time favorites with my groups, including my current Montessori music classrooms today! Every dinosaur song and movement activity is always a big hit.

This song comes from one of my first introductions to dinosaurs (in the 1970's) when my own children played this album everyday! 
~ "My Name Is Stegosaurus" from Juice Music (original song is from the Album, "Our Dinosaur Friends".1974)

So when I recently discovered that my little 3-yr old grandchild has become enamored with dinosaurs, I stepped right up to the plate and began gathering "Dinosaur Activities" to enhance his cognitive development and have lots of fun, too.

In the Montessori curriculum, dinosaurs are important components of the Lower Elementary "Timeline of Life." In the Montessori Preschool classroom, I have always brought dinosaurs in with the study of Reptiles. (However, nowadays, there are debates about whether dinosaurs should be considered Reptiles or Birds. Actually, dinosaurs have their own "branch" called "Dinosauria.")

Photo from Adobe Stock

Maria Montessori discovered that children learn through "hands-on experiences." In the Montessori pedagogy, we offer children concrete experiences before we go into more abstract activities. Here is one quote I found at the AMS site, in which Montessori describes to educators what our task is:

"And so we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment. The teacher’s task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child."  
From The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori 

If it is possible to begin your dinosaur studies with a field trip to a local museum or a "dinosaur park", this will give your young dinosaur enthusiast a somewhat concrete experience with dinosaurs. Most museums have models or actual reconstructions of dinosaur skeletons that can give a child an idea of how large these creatures were. 

"Dinosaur Park" photo from Adobe Stock
In "dinosaur parks" children can view authentic models of dinosaurs. There are even dinosaur "playgrounds" where children can climb, swing, and crawl through play structures that are kid-friendly replicas of dinosaurs.

Children's Museums often have "hands-on activities" related to dinosaurs. My grandchild and I recently went to a local children's museum where there were outdoor "sandpits" for children to dig for "dinosaur bones."

Here are some fun songs to go along with digging for "dinosaur bones: ~ "Them Bones" (Caspar Babypants) ~"Shake Them Bones" (Kidboomers) ~"Fossils" (Carnival of Animals by Camille Saint-Saens

Photo from Adobe Stock

I first learned the names of many of the most famous dinosaurs when my own children became enamored with dinosaurs way back in the 1970's! 

One of the ways my own children and I learned about the dinosaurs was by collecting authentic child-friendly plastic models of dinosaurs. Along with identification books from the library, we discovered the names of the dinosaurs that the models represented. 

Carnegie Collection of Dinosaur Toys

So, when my youngest grandchild became enamored with dinosaurs, I ordered some authentic models of his favorites: T-Rex, Plesiosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Parasaurolophus, and my favorite, Pteranodon. 

Some of the best dinosaur models are at Safari Ltd. Here is a wonderful video showing the quality of their toy line.

Next, I went to the TpT site and I purchased some wonderful resources for creating a "unit of study" for my 3-yr old dinosaur enthusiast. We played lots of games with these materials and I even saved some activities to introduce to him as he gets older.

TpT Pack from Welcome to Mommyhood
TpT Pack from Trillium Montessori

MY "Exploring Dinosaurs" COLLECTION
(Featuring Music & The Arts in Montessori)


1. Parts of the Dinosaur Puzzle 
Montessori-style 3-Part Cards

Dinosaur Puzzle from Artemex Etsy Shop & 

When I began my search for some classic Montessori "Parts of the Dinosaur" Activities, I ran into some snags. I wanted a puzzle and then 3-Part Cards to go along. 

I was able to find only one puzzle that features the actual parts of the T-Rex. My grandchild likes this puzzle, but it is a bit of a challenge as the parts are not so easy to connect.

Next, I decided to create our own Montessori-style 3-Part Cards and this Activity is part of my "Exploring Dinosaurs" TpT Activity Pack. (seen in the picture above)

2. Montessori-style Command Cards
Movement Activities
(Large Motor & Language)

Book available from Amazon
The book, "Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp" has been a big favorite for us.  So, after reading it day after day,  I decided to  create a fun Montessori-style Activity based on the dinosaur "actions" from the rhymes in the book. ( I created 3 levels of reading for these "command cards.")
One Activity from "Dinosaurs with The Arts" from Magical Movement Company TpT Shop

This Book and my Command Cards are very fun for acting out the motions. We also made the rhyme in the book into a musical story by adding rhythm instruments for the motions and using the stick puppets (see activity below) to tell the story. (Ex: drum for "stomp", tambourine for "swoop. etc.)
3. Exploring "Dinosaur Skeletons" 
Matching Dinosaur Models to their Skeletons
(Practical Life, Sensorial, & 
My grandchild loves exploring kinetic sand in his sensory bin. We found some purple (his favorite color) kinetic sand and some plastic miniature dinosaur skeletons on Amazon, and voila! we had a fun "dinosaur dig" right in our own back yard.

We added a few "digging tools" and enhanced the authenticity of this archeological activity. Lots of skills development! 

Kinetic Sand and miniature "Dinosaur Skeletons"

Later, our little one enjoyed matching the skeletons to dinosaur miniatures. 
Matching Dinosaur miniatures with their "Skeletons"

This inspired me to create a Montessori-style matching cards activity for my "Exploring Dinosaurs" TpT Activity Packet.

One Activity from "Dinosaur Activities with The Arts" at Magical Movement Company TpT Shop

4. Creating Dinosaur Stick Puppets 
Hanging Ornaments
(Arts & Crafts, Fine Motor Practice)
Dinosaur "Puppets & Ornaments" from Dinosaurs with The Arts at Magical Movement Company TpT Shop

Next, I decided to make some stick puppets out of the adorable dinosaur graphics that I purchased at Creative Market.

I pre-cut the dinosaurs and then Jules taped them to craft sticks. Later, he wanted to paint some of the outlined templates and then hang them on the tree! 

5. Performing Musical Stories about Dinosaurs
(Music & Drama)
During my days as a Montessori classroom teacher, we always enjoyed singing various dinosaur songs (see suggestions below) and then acting out the motions in the songs. 

We even created impromptu "shows" that we developed into full-fledged productions that we performed for families and other classrooms.

Photo from Adobe Stock

In my "Exploring Dinosaurs" Activity Pack,  I have included a Dinosaur Story that you can develop with your group of dinosaur-loving musicians. My grandchild, Jules, loved "performing" this story over and over. He played the Glockenspiel for the rain drops and the fun part for him was when I put the dinosaur models in their "cave" when the rain storm came!
I discovered some really interesting music suitable for background music for impromptu performances: ~ "Ancient Dinosaur/ Prehistoric Times" from Amazon. And, this recording from Laurie Berkner "We Are The Dinosaurs" is always a great choice for a dinosaur "parade."

6. Exploring Fine Art Historical Pictures of Dinosaurs 
(Fine Arts)

I've included in my "Exploring Dinosaurs" TpT Activity Pack, a set of twenty "Dinosaur Art" Pictures from traditional oil paintings created by National Geographic artists to ancient renditions in prehistoric caves & temples, to fun pop art and even beautiful street art and beach sand art!
Art by Charles Knight from Public Domain

My little one, Jules, was fascinated with these Art pieces and we had lots of fun exploring them. We even chose one to display in a frame.
Thank you again for visiting my blog today. I hope you have gotten lots of ideas for your dinosaur-loving kids! If you would like to provide even more dinosaur activities for your group, I invite you to check out my Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) "Exploring Dinosaurs" Activity Pack.


P.S. Have you seen my newest free resources at Magical Movement Company's "Subscribers Freebie Collection"?

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Super Hero "Not-So-Montessori" Subscribers Freebie Activities for Preschoolers


Photo from Adobe Stock

For the past two months I have been caring for my youngest grandchild who is now three years old...and a big super hero fan.
In fact, he has been wearing one of his super hero costumes everyday since September!

As soon as he gets home from Preschool, his costume goes on! 

3-yr old "super hero"!

This 3-year old's intense interest in Super Heroes has inspired me to create some Montessori-style Activities to enhance learning in many of the curriculum areas of the traditional Montessori pedagogy.  Since the authentic Montessori scheme is reality-based, I had not actually developed this type of "curriculum" during my years in the Preschool classroom. 

However, I have found that there are these lovely teachable moments at home when "super hero kids" can enjoy my Montessori-style Activities and my little grandchild has had lots of fun with these while learning, too!

His favorite costumes are "Spiderman" and "Superman." Eventually, he combined the favorite parts of each of these and so he becomes "Super Spiderman!" That way he gets to wear a cape AND a mask.
Getting Dressed
Getting into the costume involves several steps that must be followed in a sequence. For example, the suit must go on before the belt and the cape can be put on. 

Also, the gloves were very frustrating in the beginning! This very independent little one didn't like to have to wait for an adult to help him place his fingers in the correct parts of the gloves. Within three weeks, he had figured out how to put his own "Spider gloves" on! 

This was a "Super Hero accomplishment" that he has been so proud of achieving. And, what a wonderful example of gaining Practical Life skills in dressing himself! 

You can create an inspiring little booklet or set of cards with the following freebie Activity Pack featuring photos of DIY super hero costumes for girls and boys! 

(for your book corner)

This new Activity Pack at my Subscribers Freebie Collection includes photos of people (and an animal!) dressed in a variety of DIY super hero costumes. You can print them on heavy card stock and put them together to create a book for your reading corner. 

Is there a "Sensitive Period" for Super Heroes? 

I am beginning to think so! With my grandson's "Sensitive Period for Super Heroes", I got inspired to create this Montessori-style "Parts of..." set of activities that are now part of my Subscribers Freebie Collection!

Pre-reading, Reading, & Writing

These Activity Packs include templates for you to create:
~ 3-part cards for the costume of both Super Woman and for Super Man
~ Templates for the child to make "Parts of..." Booklets to go along with the 3-Part Cards Sets

You can learn more about how to use Montessori 3-Part Cards at this link: Montessori 3-Part Cards Rationale

This Activity Pack includes templates for you to create an individualized Matching Activity:
~ Templates of 26 "Super Hero" capital letters
~ Templates of 26 line drawing pictures of objects with beginning sounds that correlate with the phonetic sound of each letter of the alphabet ("x" is represented by a picture of a "box", since there are no words in the English language that begin with the phonetic sound of "x")   


This Activity Pack includes templates for you to create a set of Montessori-style Command Cards:
~ Templates of ten pictures of "Spiderman" in various action poses for the child/ren to enact
****There is a fun EXTENSION included for this activity, too!


This Activity Pack includes templates for you and the child/ren to create a Super Man and/or Super Woman stick puppet
~ Templates of Super man and Super woman in both color and also color-in outlined drawings that can be printed off on heavy card stock and made into stick puppets or ornaments to hang

My grandchild and I made these puppets and then we acted out some "rescue stories." Adding music makes it even more fun!(see suggestions below)

We also hung some of these on our Christmas Tree!

My little grandchild likes to pretend he is a super hero when he is wearing his costume.

He creates elaborate and very active scenarios both indoors and outside. 

I've added some music to his drama play and here are a few songs I found on Amazon:

I invite you to download these wonderful new resources at my Subscribers Freebie Collection! 

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Thank you again for visiting my Blog today. I hope you and your child/ren enjoy these activities as much as we do!

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