Dandelions and Dinosaurs: Activities review from our week in home preschool

May 15, 2016

We’ve been enjoying beautiful spring weather since getting home from our holidays, so our activities lately have included lots of seed planting and outside play. This week’s roundup includes dandelion clock painting and rescuing dinosaurs from ice blocks.

In the home preschool roundup I share a summary the activities my two-year-old and three-year-old have enjoyed with me this week. I’m trying it out as a way for me to share lots of simple ideas in one post, and also keep track of what works well for us right now. 


Simple toddler pouring station

Simple toddler pouring station

One hot afternoon I set up the old baby bath full of water in the balcony, and the boys were happy pouring water between a cup, a bottle and a jug for about an hour! Simple activities can be the most captivating! Pouring also teaches maths skills. We talked about when containers were full, empty or half full, which containers took the most water, when they would float or sink, how many cupfuls of water it took to fill the bottle and so on.

We also used our balcony for planting seeds, and for a new activity: Dinosaur Ice Break!

dinosaur iceblock rescueWe put mini dinosaur figures into muffin tins, filled the container with water, then froze them overnight. The next day we had dinosaurs stuck in iceblocks. The boys hammered away at the ice to rescue the dinosaurs. I saw this activity on Let Kids Be Kids, but wasn’t sure if it would be too advanced for my sons. In fact, the three-year-old loved it and was very efficient at breaking up the ice. It was a bit too tricky for the two-year-old though!


This week we enjoyed language-building pretend play with Mr. Potato Head and a felt sandwich making set. I did a couple of specific language activities too: one was using sequence cards to support simple storytelling, and another was playing with dinosaurs to practice prepositions. This game involved putting our mini dinosaurs in different places: in / on / under / beside a box, between boxes. It’s the kind of thing that wouldn’t have interested my older son at all a year ago, but for some reason his little brother enjoys it! (There should be posts on all of these coming when I get time!)


dandelion collageI loved the dandelion clock cotton bud paintings I saw on Crafty Morning, though I simplified it a little as we set it up extra fast with limited materials. My sons love playing with the dandelion clocks in our garden right now, so quickly got the idea of painting with white paint and cotton buds to make their own dandelion clock cards. I painted the green stalk, and the let them explore the white paint and cotton buds.

I had wanted them to try using their fingertips as well, like this, but on the day we did it neither wanted to get dirty!

Our other art activities this week included the usual daily scribbling time with crayons, markers or oil pastels, plus mixing up the play dough with our mini dinosaurs. We pushed the poor old dinosaurs into a green play dough ‘marsh’, then the boys rescued them (again). Good for developing finger strength! 

More activities: Gross Motor, Fine Motor and Cognitive

Our gross motor activities this week were the usual: music and dance, several playground visits, toddler gym and lots of garden races! Fine motor activities (on top of the arts) included threading and puzzles.

We usually play at least one game every day. This week we enjoyed Memory, Snakes and Ladders, Doodlebugs and the Game of Ladybirds. R also enjoyed playing with his shape pattern board to create the designs copying the picture cards (sometimes with a little verbal help).

Free play:

This is what the boys do most of the day! At the moment they are happy doing lots of imaginative games together, especially building fire trucks with their blocks and Duplo, or making airports and planes. I mostly leave them to these games independently of me, though I sometimes help out by building a castle or a fire station!

Their daily outside playtime is also largely free time for running, climbing and digging.


Outings this week included spending a day at the zoo with friends, and going to toddler gym. Zoo and gym themed language-building posts are also on my (huge) to-do list!

That’s our highlights from this week! I’m experimenting just now with how to blog about our activities and keep track of what worked well for us, so the format’s a work-in-progress. I get so much inspiration from the wonderful blogs I follow, so hopefully this will be a way of sharing that inspiration around. Thanks to the Tot School Gathering Place for giving me the idea!

Related posts:

why we homeschool preschool







This post is shared at The Tot School Gathering Place and Practical Mondays.

1 Comment

  1. Tot School Gathering Place Week 176 - 1+1+1=1
    May 22, 2016

    […] ideas to help keep your Tot busy and learning? Check out the activities that Mama Kathleen from Word Boosting put together for her two Tots! One or more may appeal to your […]


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