Kids simply can’t contain their excitement when it comes to dinosaurs. Who can blame them? Those almost-magical creatures that roamed the Earth millions of years ago are the giant heroes (or villains) of little explorers’ imaginations.
We’re so lucky to be surrounded by dinosaur spots to get up close and personal with life-size replicas, actual skeletons and people who share the love and want to keep dino passions stoked. This summer is filled with some events that will help make this a dino-mite one. Have a roarin’ good time!
1. Do this
Help cultivate your kid’s passion for these prehistoric creatures with a fun dinosaur activity where they can be the one digging for dinosaurs in their very own DIY dino dig. No need for pricey excavation kits. Plus, you may have most of the materials already on hand. The best part? I guarantee you these will keep the kids busy.
- Container (foil or plastic)
- Cookie sheets (optional)
- Safety glasses
- Small dinosaurs and small rocks
- 4 pounds of Plaster of Paris
- Excavation tools like a brush, hammer, chisel, smaller hammer, toothpicks (or whatever’s lying around Dad’s toolbox)
- Magnifying glass (optional)
- Gather all the fun items the kids will want to dig up. Small dinosaurs and pebbles work best.
- Have the kids set up the items in the container. Note: The larger the container, the more mix you’ll need.
- Combine equal parts Plaster of Paris sand and water in a bowl (preferably a bowl you don’t mind throwing away) and mix. Pour mixture into the container with the treasures.
- Wait for the mixture to set overnight.
- Set up a dino dig area. (Outside is best because it WILL get messy.)
- Flip over the hardened mixture on the cookie sheet.
- Now for the fun part: Get digging! Make sure to have the kids wear safety glasses. They can chip away with small brushes, small hammers and toothpicks. To spice things up, the kids can switch containers and try excavating someone else’s dino dig.
- Uncover all the goodies!
2. Do that
Take dino passion a step bigger and explore fun dinosaur spots where you and the kids can get up close and personal with the prehistoric giants.
Dino Stroll at Canterbury Village
May 20-23 and 28-30, 2021
Address: 2359 Joslyn Court, Lake Orion
Canterbury Village transforms into a dino paradise with nearly 100 life-like creatures, reptiles and giant, life-sized animatronic dinosaurs.
Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru at DTE Energy Music Theatre
Opens June 18, 2021
Address: 7774 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston
This event features a prehistoric forest with more than 70 moving, life-like dinos. Not to miss: a one-of-a-kind baby dino and a safari-style digital souvenir.
Mastodon Dig Site at the Stage Nature Center
Address: 6685 Coolidge Highway, Troy
At press time, this location is closed due to COVID, but kids love digging in the rubber mulch to find mastodon bones once it re-opens.
Life Changes Over Time at the Cranbrook Institute of Science
Address: 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills
Come face-to-face with a full-size T. rex skeleton cast. Of course, there is also Steggy, a life-size stegosaurus right at the entrance.
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