Guest Author - Deborah L. Kompare
Since my son is now older, I don’t get much of a chance to do things that are typically considered “boy” type crafts. Dinosaurs seem to be a favorite, and can actually be something that is fun for all kids. I hope the ideas shared here will help stir some creativity and interest in our prehistoric animals.
Many times when I think of dinosaurs, I think of eggs, since many of the dinosaurs hatched from eggs. There are several approaches to creating dinosaur eggs. One of the ideas I have seen would be to have an egg mold (those plastic eggs you can get at Easter time would be good) that you heavily coat with some type of petroleum jelly or heavy shortening. Pour some plaster of paris into this mold, insert a dinosaur toy (preferably plastic) and then let it harden. This will give your child an egg that s/he could “dig” for the dinosaur. Another idea that is similar would be to wrap the dinosaur toy in paper mache. It might not be as much fun to “excavate”, but this could be an easier idea for younger children.
Speaking of paper mache, why not create your own dinosaur?! Forget about the way that I was taught paper mache, with the balloons and tubes and tape….yuck! Instead, I was shown a new way by a friend, and tried it out on a group of teens. It worked like a charm. Use newspaper, tightly crumbled, to create the basic shape you desire. This gives you a good solid base to work from. With this base, use very good quality masking tape to add whatever features you want. The teens did fish and were able to easily add fins and tails with heavy cardboard. If your children are younger, an adult could use a knife to cut into the shapes to add features to the dinosaur, such as plates on their back, like a stegosaurus. Then cover the shape with strips of newsprint that have been dipped into a mixture of white glue, like school glue. Once you have several layers on your base, you could wait for it to dry and paint it, or use several layers of tissue paper to “color” your creation.
Not into anything that messy? Why not try modeling clay, play dough or even food? If you want to serve a dinosaur lunch, you could use dinosaur cookie cutters to cut out bread coated with butter or peanut butter and then have things available to decorate your dinosaur sandwiches.
Let me know if you get to try any of these ideas by stopping by the forum. I’d love to hear how things you succeeded in creating some unique dinosaurs!