Guest Blogger

Dinovember at the Library!

Picture of “Don’t Feed the T-Rex” bean bag toss. An image of a green dinosaur with a hole where his mouth would be, with bean bags sitting to the side

November is Dinovember! Each November, the dinosaurs come out to play, make messes, and have a good time, inspired by Refe and Susan Tuma’s What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night. It is a great opportunity to engage patrons via social media. My library participated in Dinovember for the first time this year with both social media and programming opportunities.

Social Media

My library posted a photo of dinosaurs getting into messes and shenanigans every Wednesday of November.

A sampling of some of the (plastic) dinosaur shenanigans during Dinovember
Picture of toy dinosaurs making a mess with crayons, coloring sheets, and a puzzle. Photo by Amanda Baldowski.

To make Dinovember more interactive, we also offered a giveaway. Patrons could enter by commenting on one of the posts with the name of their favorite dinosaur. The winner received a dinosaur tote bag, a dinosaur button, and a toy dinosaur.

Dinovember Programming

Dinosaurs took over the children’s department for the month of November! We offered a dinosaur-themed week of storytime, an all-ages Dinovember special event, and a Dinosaur Play Cafe for ages 2-5.

Dinovember was an all-out dinosaur party. We offered activities for a wide range of ages. We hosted the Dinosaur Play Cafe after Dinovember, so we were able to reuse many of the activities that appealed to younger kids.

Some activities required more prep than others, but don’t feel like you have to do it all! I couldn’t have done this event without help from my fabulous coworkers. Pick and choose activities based on your own schedule, staffing, and budget.

Low prep activities:

  • Dinosaur Dig – a dinosaur-themed sensory tub experience
  • Wash the Dinosaurs
  • Ice Age Excavation – a big hit! – inspired by this post
  • Build a Dinosaur – we had duplos at one building station, marshmallows and toothpicks at the other
  • Scavenger Hunt – very similar to this one from Hafuboti
  • Dinosaur crafts – craft a dinosaur out of assorted shapes, pasta skeletons
  • Make a Life-Size Dinosaur – we used paper towel and toilet paper rolls to build these skeletons
  • Make a Fossil/Dinosaur Tracks – set out some playdoh and toy dinosaurs, and you’re done!
  • Pin the Horn on the Triceratops
  • Dinosaur Feet Measuring

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More prep required:

  • Dino Tail Knock Down – similar to this post from Angie Manfredi – I had leftover purple fleece from making sensory blankets, so I sewed my tail instead of using trash bags.
  • Hatch a Dinosaur – paper mache eggs with toy dinosaurs inside, inspired by this post. It was a great activity for the younger kids but very time consuming to make!
  • Fizzy Excavation – kids were given pipettes filled with vinegar to hatch dino eggs made out of baking soda. It was super fun and a great way to incorporate STEAM, but they take a couple days to dry and are a little messy.
  • Don’t Feed the T-Rex bean bag toss – I constructed this myself, and it took a little while to cut out the teeth.
  • Triceratoss – I attached a cone to a poster of a triceratops for a makeshift ring toss. It’s relatively simple, but it did take some finagling to get it right since it was homemade.
  • Volcanic Explosion! – I did this purely for fun, but it also incorporated STEAM since our eruption was a red elephant’s toothpaste reaction.

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Amanda Baldowski is a children’s library specialist and LIS student based in Georgia.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

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