What kid doesn’t love dinosaurs? Here is a fun dinosaur learning game for early elementary kids, who will learn more about the terminology behind naming dinosaurs at the same time as they practice counting and get to use their imaginations to create their own dinosaurs!
Roll a Dinosaur Learning Game
Now that my middle child is entering kindergarten, his interest in these fascinating creatures is going beyond a love of reading fun books and stomping around the house like a T Rex. His questions have become more in-depth and his attention span longer, so I knew it was time to go into greater detail while still keeping it fun.
I created this roll a dinosaur learning game to help him learn why dinosaurs have the names they do and have some creative fun designing his own. In this game kids roll the dice to choose among word roots used in naming dinosaurs then draw the dinosaur they created based on the selected name.
So, for example, if I first roll a two, I would count down two on the first page to get “apato-.” If I roll again and get a four, then on the second page I would pick “-dont,” giving me an “apatodont.” Literally this means “Deceptive Tooth,” so I’d get to have fun drawing what I think a deceptive toothed dinosaur would look like!
To keep things simple for this age group, I tried to use roots that they may recognize from familiar dinosaur names, like “ankylo-” and “brachio-.” This was a bit harder for the name endings, as so many dinosaur names simply end in “-saurus”!
How to Play
What You’ll Need: The free Roll a Dinosaur game sheets, two dice, paper, and pencil.
- Roll the dice once then count that number down (then across) to pick a word root from the first page. This will be the first part of your dinosaur’s name.
- Roll the dice again to repeat the process with the second page. This will be the second part of your dinosaur’s name.
- Put the two roots together to make the name for your dinosaur.
- Use your imagination to draw what you think the dinosaur would look like!
Depending on the age and interest of your child, you could also ask them to draw (or write) where their dinosaur would live, what it would eat, how it would behave, or ask them make up a story about it.
What is your child’s favorite dinosaur? (What is yours??)