Category Archives: Dinosaurs

T-rex’s Terrible Tooth by Kathryn England and Ben Redlich

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IMG_0445T-rex’s Terrible Tooth by Kathryn England and illustrated by Ben Redlich, paperback picture book, published by Koala Books in 2010.

Young Tyrone the T-rex has a toothache. A toothache so bad that he is unable to eat his normal meaty diet without horrendous pain. Convinced that he is about to die of starvation, he breaks down wailing. A passing Brontosaurus informs Tyrone that soft fruit and vegetables are plentiful, and by changing his diet he will certainly survive. Tyrone gives his new diet his full attention with unexpected results.

This is a delightfully humourous rhyming story featuring dinosaurs, one of my kids’ favourite topics, so it is a hands down winner in our house and has been read numerous times to both my preschooler and second-grader. We love reading this book out loud to make the most of the rhyming text, and it always makes us laugh. My preschooler likes the meat meals Tyrone dreams of but can’t eat, such as Triceratops lollipops, while I like his melodramatic response to his toothache. The ending is very satisfying and my kids think it is hilarious. A great book for preschoolers and lower primary school children, I highly recommend T-rex’s Terrible Tooth for every little dinosaur fan!

Using Fabric Markers

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L's beach scene singlet.

L’s beach scene singlet.

A's colourful singlet.

A’s colourful singlet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9843The kids love to draw, so using fabric markers gave them the opportunity to create an artwork on a piece of clothing and wear it. Before they started, I placed a thick piece of cardboard inside the shirt to prevent the colour from going through to the other side of the shirt. Then I pegged the shirts to the cardboard to keep them still, making it easier to draw on.

Singlets stretched out on cardboard ready for drawing on.

Singlets stretched out on cardboard ready for drawing on.

 

A drawing on her singlet.

A drawing on her singlet.

L drawing on her singlet.

L drawing on her singlet.

Each of the kids had a singlet to draw on, and I told them to draw anything they would like. L drew a lovely picture of the beach, with people swimming, and some boats. There were also lots of seagulls, and people playing on the beach. A chose not to draw a picture, but rather used all the colours to make lines and squiggles all over her singlet. Both of the kids enjoyed making a drawing to wear.

The colouring page under the shirt.

The colouring page under the shirt.

After completing their own freestyle drawings, we tried another type of drawing. This time I printed off some colouring sheets from the Crayola site, as suggested on the back of the markers pack. L chose a picture of a dinosaur, and A chose a picture of a unicorn. I placed the colouring sheet under the shirt and traced the outline of the picture, and then let the kids colour them in. L did a very nice job colouring in her dinosaur, even adding some red blood to its teeth.

The traced dinosaur.

The traced dinosaur.

L colouring her dinosaur.

L colouring her dinosaur.

The outline of A's unicorn.

The outline of A’s unicorn.

Once the drawings were complete, we left them to dry thoroughly before heat setting them with the iron. This involved running the hot iron over the design from the opposite side for a few minutes. After which I washed and dried the shirts and singlets, and the kids could then wear their creations.

L wearing her dino shirt.

L wearing her dino shirt.

Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School by Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds

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IMG_8109Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School by Ian Whybrow and  illustrated by Adrian Reynolds, paperback picture book, published by Koala Books in 2006.

We have been a fan of Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs for some time now, dinosaurs always attract my kids! This Harry installation is a lovely picture book that tells the story of Harry’s first day at school.

Harry is excited to be starting at school, but Stegosaurus isn’t so keen. He meets his new teacher, but the poor dinosaurs are left out in the hall with the coats. School doesn’t seem so much fun without his dinosaurs, but there is a boy that is much sadder than Harry. With the help of his dinosaurs, Harry befriends the boy and helps to make his first day better.

My kids love this book, and my preschooler often asks for it at bedtime. The story is simple, and the kids can relate to it. I also really like the illustrations. Starting school can be a bit scary, but making new friends makes going to school heaps of fun. This is a great book to help ease some of the nervousness of children who are about to start school for the first time.

Stegosaurus Cake

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The kids have been interested (possibly obsessed) with dinosaurs for a long time. Yet again this year, L asked for a dinosaur cake for her birthday, and a dinosaur themed party. I think this is the fourth year running I have made a dinosaur cake for her. The first couple were epic dinosaur scenes, with waterfall, stream, beach, trees and lots of little figures. It took hours and hours to create, so this time I offered a simpler dinosaur cake. L asked for a stegosaurus, so a stegosaurus it was.

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Initially, Big L made two round butter cakes for me to use. I created the body, head and tail from these cakes, and then I used two halved double choc muffins for the legs. I cut one of the cakes just past the half-way point, to create the centre piece of the body, which I flanked with semi circular pieces of cake from the other cake. I shaped these pieces of cake to create a curved body. I used the left over cake to build the body into a nice dome shape, with a tail at one end and a head at the other. I know it looks a little choppy using the little pieces to get the shape I wanted, but once it is covered in butter cream, it looks very different. The cake is built up on our cake board, which is just a sheet of plywood covered in aluminium foil.

Stacked up in position.

Stacked up in position.

Stuck together with icing.

Stuck together with icing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L and A helped Big L make the butter cream icing. L now likes to use the mixer, despite years of her running from the room whenever we turned it on. A doesn’t much like the noise, but it has never stopped her from seeking out a beater to lick when the mixing is done.

L chose to make the stegosaurus purple and pink. The initial batch of blue butter cream was used to stick the loose pieces of cake together before starting the main icing of the body, and wasn’t seen on the outside of the finished cake.

I carefully spread the purple butter cream over the body, making sure not to miss any sections. I used a spatula to pat the icing all over the body to give the icing a rough texture. After I’d spread pink butter cream over the head, tail and legs, I also roughened this icing with the spatula.

The roughened texture of the butter cream on the body of the stegosaurus.

The roughened texture of the butter cream on the body of the stegosaurus.

The completed icing layer.

The completed icing layer.

Then it was time to decorate! I used square wafer biscuits as the back and tail plates. The spikes on the end of the tail were chocolate bullets. I cut some chocolate bullets in half and stuck them on the front of the legs to make toenails.

For the face, I had some fudge writing icing in the fridge, which I used to make a smile on the stegosaurus, and then we added two choc chips for eyes and two mini choc chips for nostrils. L called the finished cake Stegi, though naming it didn’t prevent her from eating any of it!

This was a really simple stegosaurus cake that the kids loved. And it tasted good too!

Stegi the Stegosaurus cake.

Stegi the Stegosaurus cake.

Dinosaur Dig

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Sporting some stylish eye protection.

Sporting some stylish eye protection.

Another of our purchases from Lincraft was a Dinosaur Dig Kit, including a sand block containing a dinosaur skeleton, some goggles, and some tools for excavating the bones. L loves dinosaurs, and she was super excited to get into a dig. Big L set her up at the table after A was in bed. He placed the block on a wooden board to minimise the mess. L donned the goggles, and got to work. She worked patiently and carefully, concentrating hard on her excavation. Using the mallet and peg, she dislodged some of the block to reveal a small section of bone. She was able to use the paintbrush to remove some of the dust from the protruding bones carefully.

 

Using the mallet.

Using the mallet.

The dig site shut when it was time for L to go to bed, and re-opened the following night. It took four or five nights for her to completely uncover the skeleton, which was in pieces.

Using the paintbrush to clean off the bones.

Using the paintbrush to clean off the bones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She soaked the pieces in some water to loosen any sand that was left. She utilised a toothpick to clean out some of the grooves and holes on the skeleton. Once all the pieces were clean and dry, she assembled the skeleton to make her dinosaur.

Soaking the bones.

Soaking the bones.

Using a toothpick to scrape out some sand.

Using a toothpick to scrape out some sand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L really enjoyed the whole process of the dinosaur dig, and she definitely wants to try another one.

A girl happy with her dino.

A girl happy with her dino.