Curriculum idea-for the Dinosaur lovers!

I'm sure you've had them before, and you will probably have them again: the dinosaur lovers! This interest will lead to talking about archaeologists and I have a great activity for you!
Get some plaster of paris and dinosaur molds or rubbing plates. I've used these in the past. But anything will work. You can also do a negative space by using play dinosaurs.
So, you mix together a batch of plaster of paris and pour a thin layer on the rubbing places or molds. If you are making negative space (read fossils) get a shallow bowl or plate and pour a thin layer of plaster of paris on that and gently lay the dinosaurs on top (make sure it doesn't fall all the way through to the plate). You can also use leaves, sticks, and anything else. Get creative!
Once the plaster of paris dries the fun begins! Fill your sensory table with sand. I like to moisten the sand a little bit, but dry sand works just as well. Bury the plaster of paris molds you just made in the sand. If you have separate "bones" place them strategically down in the sand and then cover with more sand. This will make it like the real archaeologists find: bones laid out to show a perfect skeleton.
I have the children use plastic spoons and paint brushes for this activity. When I introduce it, we talk about how fragile the bones are and they can break. That's why archaeologists use paintbrushes, to be very gentle. Depending on the child, we talk about documenting what we find through drawings and pictures; I will provide them with the tools they will need close by. My dinosaur lovers will spend hours and days at the sensory table. It's great!
What's also nice about this is that the plaster of paris can be very fragile, just like the bones, giving the activity a realistic approach.
Have fun!

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