REAL FAMILIES, REAL FUN
These little dinosaurs are easy to make and lots of fun to play with, especially when you plant them a grassy, green environment of their very own. At the Bockler house, Mom Tracy says she "will probably have herds of dinosaurs very soon" based on the level of enthusiasm shown by her son, Christian (7 1/2). The LaClair family reported planting grass on a Saturday and having it sprout by Wednesday. All three children agreed the "the dinosaurs look really cool in the grass."
To make each dinosaur, here's what you need:
* Pipe cleaners
* Tiny wiggle eyes
* White glue
Here's what you do:
* Make a basic dinosaur body from a pipe cleaner by cutting a 5-inch piece for the body and two 3-inch pieces for the legs. Bend one end of the 5-inch pipe cleaner into a head and neck, and bend the other end into a tail. How you shape and bend them will depend on the type of dinosaur you are making.
* Wrap one leg piece around the body at the base of the neck so that the two ends bend down on each side to form the legs. Wrap the second leg piece around the body at the top of the tail and bend the two ends down to form the back legs.
* Wrap the dinosaur with yarn, wrapping more yarn layers where you wish the dinosaur to be wider. You can choose to wrap part of the dinosaur or all of it.
* Tie off the end of the yarn when you are done wrapping.
* Dab some white glue wherever the yarn is near the end of the pipe cleaner to keep it from slipping off.
* Glue two tiny wiggle eyes to the head of the dinosaur.
I made two of my dinosaurs in my favorite color, green. Nobody knows what color the dinosaurs really were so please choose one of your favorite colors for your dinosaur. At the Mayfield household, Kyle (5) made a dinosaur that started out green "but also had some black and blue mixed in" while sister Addison (7) "stayed in the yellow, pink tones".
To make the dish garden, you'll need:
* Pie tin or other shallow container
* Potting soil
* Grass seed
* White glue
Here's what you do:
* Make an environment for the dinosaurs by planting some grass seed in a pie tin. Add a few stones first for drainage before filling the pan with potting soil. Sprinkle the dirt with grass seed and then water.
* Make a cave on the edge of the dirt by gluing some small stones together.
* Stand the dinosaurs in the dirt and place the pan in a sunny place.
Web sources: For more dinosaur fun go to www.kathyross.com and go into books, then the "Wild about" series. Click your mouse on the cover of Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild About Dinosaurs to find a fossils craft. www.ZoomDinosaurs.com has lots of printouts, crafts, activities and links, all relating to dinosaurs.
TAKE IT FROM ME
The Krabacher family did not have any pipe cleaners so they tried this idea using floral wire. "Abby (6) loved making the dinosaurs and understood the directions well. Matt (4) had trouble wrapping the dinosaur but happily let Abby do the hard parts." While the florist wire resulted in neat dinosaurs they found that wire made it too easy for the yarn to slip off the ends and unravel, even after it had been glued. "Abby is so afraid they will fall apart she just lets them sit on the shelf. We will probably be making more of these, knowing Abby."