Friday, March 30, 2012

How Big Were the Dinosaurs?

Some books are instant favorites. Dinosaur Roar! by Paul Stickland is one of those books for my boys. While my oldest son has since moved on to enjoy more elaborate storylines, the tattered pages of the book he’s now passed down to his little brother are evidence that it was well-loved.

So when I stumbled on Dinosaur More! by Henrietta Stickland, I was thrilled. It contains tons of great dinosaur facts, like the meaning of their names, defenses, diet, and a small scale drawing showing how big each dinosaur is compared to a grown-up.

This little drawing and a recent post on All Things Beautiful provided the inspiration for this math and science activity.

Not to be discouraged when the rain kept us indoors, I put away the sidewalk chalk and grabbed a roll of toilet paper to use to “graph” dinosaur heights.

Step 1:

Step 2: Use a measuring tape to figure out the height of each dinosaur using the “See How Big I Am” chart in Stickland’s book.

Step 3: Roll the toilet paper out to that length and tear off.

Step 4: Write the dinosaur’s name on a post-it note and attach to the strip of toilet paper.

It was so much fun to compare how big the dinosaurs were! My son was SUPER excited to discover that he is taller than Velociraptors!

When we ran out of toilet paper (I’m too cheap to waste more than one roll), I gave my son some cards I’d printed with the names of all the dinosaurs in the book.

He looked at the chart on each spread, wrote the height on the back of the card, and then put them in order from smallest to biggest. Then he flipped over the cards. The T-Rex was the biggest prehistoric lizard we learned about!

Have a child that loves dinosaurs? Check out a few of these other dinosaur-related deceptively educational activities!

Hunt for dinosaurs
Make and hatch a dinosaur egg
Dinosaur counting and measuring 


  1. We did the measure with chalk on the sidewalk too, and it was a lot of fun. I can see how doing it inside could be really fun as well. But, I'm with you I'd have a hard time using more than 1 roll.

  2. I love your measurement activity! What a great way to see how big they were.

    Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn. I pinned this post.

  3. What a great measurement activity. I love that you used toilet paper. I would have never even thought of that. Thanks for sharing on fun frugal friday.

  4. What a great activity. I bet he had a blast. Jodi @

  5. Looks like a great way to learn about dinosaurs!

  6. This is a neat idea to use toilet paper - it has additional entertainment value :) Thanks for sharing with Afterschool!

  7. What an awesome idea to help kids visualize concepts of measurement!! I am going to pin this to my Math Play Pinterest board.

  8. Oh, I wanted to pin this but I couldn't because none of your images were uploading to Pinterest. =( I will have to remember this for future math play for us.

  9. Super fun!! Love the measuring activity :) Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Sharing Saturday.

  10. I love that big smile of his face when he was comparing himself to the dinosaurs....cute!

    Thanks for sharing on Hey Mom, Look What I Did at Adventures In Mommy Land..hope to see you again soon!

  11. This. Is. Awesome. I love, love, love how you used the toilet paper!! I'm definitely using this one!! Thanks for sharing at Teach Me Tuesday--I'm pinning this too!

  12. Brilliant idea. We made a ruler ready to do something similar but haven't got around to it yet.

    Thanks for linking to Fun sparks. xx

  13. I normally measure just a dinosaur foot cutout that I make from poster board. Which I love doing, but this activity was so much more fun because you use actual measurements. My pk 4 class didn't even realize that they missed center time.

  14. Try using painters tape from the dollar store and put it on the floor.I recently did this when learning about sharks