Dinosaur Science Play

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dinosaur Science Play

Hands on Science Fun for kids with Dinosaur Science Play! This is a fun kids activity perfect for kids of all ages: toddler to preschool to kindergarten to elementary age kids. Kids will have fun playing with the dinosaurs and experimenting with the chemical reaction necessary for an erupting volcano! Perfect for large homeschooling families to play and learn together.
Dinosaur Science Play - Sensory Fun toddler, preschool, elementary #science #preschool
As part of our 6 week Dinosaur Unit we dived into some sensory science fun! It was such a huge hit with all my kiddos – ages 2, 5, and 7. It combined play, fun, sensory, science, and our exploration of dinosaurs . . .

Dinosaur Sensory Bin  

Dinosaur Sensory BinThe bin itself was a large plastic storage tote (about 3 feet wide, 1.5 feet deep, and 1 foot tall). I filled the surface with baking soda. You can get it very inexpensively at Wal-Mart for about $0.50 a box! I used 2-3 boxes. This was the sand for the dinosaurs. I also added dinosaurs, an erupting volcano, and an interactive pond.

Erupting Volcano for Kids

The volcano was a small water bottle that I filled with warm water and a couple drops of red food coloring until only 2” were empty. Then I added 4-5 drops dish detergent. I put the lid on and placed it in the baking soda and surrounded it with a batch of homemade playdough (here is my recipe).
Erupting Volcano for Tots Preschool KindergartenNote: If I had planned ahead more we might have covered it with paper mache or clay so it would have been a harder surface and we would have painted it darker as a contrast, but this worked. I actually sprinkled it with some spices to add some green and a nice smell.

When the kids were ready to make the volcano erupt I removed the lid and added 2-3 tab baking powder and 2 TAB vinegar.  The kids were able to make the volcano erupt about 7 times – they loved this part!

Interactive Dinosaur Pond for Sensory Play

Interactive Dinosaur Pond for Sensory Play

I added a small plastic container filled with vinegar, blue food coloring, and peppermint extract (to mask the vinegar smell) to make the pond. The reason this was so interactive was that when the kids had the dinosaurs go in the pond they got vinegar on their feet which would cause a bubbling scientific reaction when the dinosaurs stood back on the baking soda!

Fizzy Dinosaur Footprints The footprints were pretty cool too!
Science Fun with Dinosaur Sensory Bin with Erupting Volcano My kids were thoroughly enthralled with the chemical reactions first – wanting to see the volcano erupt over and over and giving each dinosaur extensive baths!
my daughter loved the pink eruptions  my toddler wanted to make a mess =)
Then they actually began had more involved play with dinosaurs having families and running from the volcano. It was over 60 minutes of interactive FUN!
By the end of their playtime they had created some beautiful rivers and some lovely purple from the mixing of the blue pond and red volcano. I guess we got a lesson in color mixing too!
look how pretty with the color mixing  now we have a river
I recommend playing in play clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. My kiddos hands were slightly blue after their hour+ of play time, but they were back to normal by the next day. Their clothes also came clean, but again, I recommend play clothes or playing with the bin in the bath time in swimsuits.
slightly blue hands after play
This was just one of the fun things we did for our Dinosaur Unit. See all our dinosaur fun by clicking on the bone below:
Additional Science FUN:


  1. What an unforgettable experience! what an awesome way to spend your birthday,i am fan for you.

  2. We love baking soda and vinegar here too, so this would be a big hit! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing. I am going to recreate this at home- my kids will be thrilled.

  4. So fun. We love dinosaurs and erupting volcano's, we do it at least once a week. We are getting ready to have a dinosaur week next week and have a lot of fun things planned. Pinned!! (Momma's Fun World)

  5. 6 weeks on Dinosaurs? I cannot wait to see it all! I am planning on doing only 1 week with my preschooler and so far, I am loving what I am seeing here. So many great ideas. I'll be borrowing quite a few for sure! Thanks for sharing!

  6. We are going to do a full week and I think we will start and finish with this as they just love this kind of sensory experience. What would homeschoolers do without bicarb and vinegar? ;)