11 Dinosaur Tot Trays & Activities

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This week we went with what I would call a more “traditional” tot school theme: Dinosaurs! Pinterest is absolutely packed with tons of dino ideas. We even took an impromptu Father’s Day trip to a museum featuring dinosaurs. It was a fun way to celebrate the day! This inspired us to do an extra bin at the end — simple dino “excavation” with salt and brushes!

Enjoy our 11 Dinosaur Tot Trays and Activities, or jump ahead about 15 months to our 14 Dinosaur Preschool Trays!

  1. Dinosaur Dough Set
  2. Dinosaur Footprint Worksheets
  3. Mini Sensory Environment
  4. Dinosaur Reusable Stickers
  5. Dino Silhouette Watercolors
  6. Simple Salt Dinosaur Excavation
  7. Dinosaur Magnets
  8. Dino Shape Matching
  9. Dino Sizes
  10. Dino Fossil
  11. Melissa & Doug Dinosaur Puzzle

Dinosaur Dough Set

Dinosaur Footprint Worksheets

  • Both of these awesome worksheets are from Paging Supermom — thanks!
  • I printed in B&W and put in Lakeshore Reusable Write & Wipe Pockets so they can be traced with a dry erase marker
  • We actually ran out of space to display everything on his school shelf, so those were placed on his easel.

Mini Sensory Environment

  • Used a medium-sized Ziploc storage container with two compartments
  • Put rocks (a favorite of his) on one side, and some moss, fake leaves and Birds of Paradise on the other side
  • Included some colorful dollar store dinos

Dinosaur Reusable Stickers

  • This is a sheet out of the Melissa & Doug Habitats Reusable Sticker Pad (this is such a good value!)
  • To make things easier, I decided to put the scene sheet on a large Easy-Clean Craft Tray from Lakeshore Learning and all of the stickers on a second tray
  • I nested the trays for displaying on the shelf but he quickly figured it out.

Dino Silhouette Watercolors

  • I made three cutouts of dinosaur silhouettes using the Silhouette Cameo
  • Included a strip of watercolor paint, brushes and a cup for water
  • I detailed this on this post — Go there for free Silhouette templates and printables!

Simple Salt Dinosaur Excavation

  • Sticking to my plan to not buy anything for this theme*… I used the same colorful dollar store dinos from the sensory tray
  • Put the dinos and a few rocks at the bottom of a small Sterilite container
  • Dumped about 3/4 of a box of salt on top (about 60 cents worth!)
  • Included two paintbrushes for brushing away salt and exploring

Dinosaur Magnets

  • These magnets are from the Imaginetics Dino Age Set
  • Simply stuck these to his magnet “wall” — aka side of a filing cabinet
  • He enjoyed moving them between the cabinet and garage door.

Dino Shape Matching

  • This idea is from Little Family Fun — thank you!
  • I detail this on this post including Silhouette Cameo .studio file, plus a PDF and Publisher file, free for your use
  • To summarize, I cut out the shapes with the Silhouette, made templates of dinos for him to match the shapes to, and gave him a glue stick to attach the shapes to the page.

Dino Sizes

  • Printed cute dinosaurs in black and white in three sizes – small, medium and large
  • Used a coloring page so he could color in the dinos before or after he matches the sizes
  • Also made a simple chart in Word for small, medium and large to match Printed the chart on bright neon paper
  • Included markers and a glue stick
  • (I gave him one set of these at a time)

Dino Fossil

  • *Yeah, I bought something. An already-ready dino “fossil” with little excavation tools. Dollar Store!
  • Inside is — a dino!

Melissa & Doug Dinosaur Puzzle

Also, the last picture is something new, a colored ‘sign’ that I am doing along with my regular print order to help introduce the new school theme. (Detailed here: Weekly Tot School Theme Sign)

Coupled with the trip to the museum, our Dinosaur Tot Trays theme was a lot of fun! He didn’t really know a whole lot about dinosaurs to begin with; I think all he had ever seen about excavations and fossils was from a certain episode of Bob the Builder. So in a way we kept the theme “cute” for the most part. For the shape matching activity, E and D actually ended up using the templates as more of a guide, not gluing the pieces down. But, this let them expand upon the template and make different and larger dinosaurs. Very cool! Next up we will learning with Tools!

I’m proud to be linking this post up to 1+1+1=1’s Tot School Gathering Place with activities that E enjoyed at 35 months old! Also shared at Inspire Me Mondays, Motivation Monday, Tuesday Talk, Good Tips Tuesday, Everything Early Childhood Link Up, Mommy Solutions, Everything Kids Link & Pin Party, Shine Blog Hop, and TGI Saturdays!

Cool Books for Dinosaur Tot Trays!

Fun dinosaur tot trays for a dino tot school theme!

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