All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
//Early Years Foundation Reception

Articles that focus on teaching ideas and activities aimed at Nursery and Reception classes.

6 12, 2023

A Dinosaur Themed Teaching Activity

By | December 6th, 2023|Early Years Foundation Reception, Educational Activities, General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2, Main Page, Photos/Schools|0 Comments

Whilst sorting our image archive, we came across a super example of a dinosaur themed teaching activity. In December 2019 Everything Dinosaur visited Greenhill Primary in Bury (Greater Manchester). The teaching team had invited us in to help with the Year 1 term topic. The children had been learning all about dinosaurs and prehistoric animals. One of the areas of learning the teachers wanted to focus upon was improving literacy.

Dinosaur themed teaching activity.
A super example of a dinosaur themed activity helping to support Year 1 literacy. This example was spotted on a visit to Greenhill Primary in Bury. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur Themed Teaching Activity

The dedicated and enthusiastic teaching team had prepared a comprehensive term topic. A topic that would appeal to a variety of learning styles. The children were excited and keen to demonstrate their knowledge.

Dinosaurs appeal to children. Many are fascinated by them, and a clever term topic can really engage young minds. If the children are motivated and enthused, they will quickly develop new skills and gain confidence with writing and reading.

The colourful drawings of prehistoric animals posted around the classroom helped to encourage the pupils in their own creative writing.

The award-winning Everything Dinosaur website: Everything Dinosaur.

15 11, 2023

Counting with Dinosaurs Helping Children to Gain Confidence

By | November 15th, 2023|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Early Years Foundation Reception, Educational Activities, Main Page, Press Releases, Teaching|0 Comments

Whilst searching for an image in the Everything Dinosaur database, we came across a photograph of a counting with dinosaurs exercise. The picture had been taken on a visit to Whirley Primary in Cheshire back in 2019. The teaching team had launched an imaginative dinosaur-themed term topic. Everything Dinosaur team members were invited into the school to explain all about dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs and fossils help children with maths by counting with dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs and fossils help young children with numbers. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Counting with Dinosaurs

The reception class had been struggling with addition and subtraction. The teaching team developed some simple prehistoric-animal themed counting exercises to help the children to become more confident. After our visit, we supplied the school with some additional, free teaching resources.

Visit the Everything Dinosaur website: Everything Dinosaur.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We supplied the school with some additional teaching materials. Lesson plans and supporting materials to assist with the scheme of work were emailed. It is always a pleasure to help schools. We do our best to assist the teaching teams.”

To contact an Everything Dinosaur team member: Email Everything Dinosaur.

8 09, 2023

Colourful and Charming Dinosaur Eggs

By | September 8th, 2023|Adobe CS5, Early Years Foundation Reception, Educational Activities, Key Stage 1/2, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

Team members at Everything Dinosaur spotted some colourful dinosaur eggs in a carefully constructed nest on a visit to a Cheshire primary school. Whilst reviewing some teaching work from early 2018, we found a picture of the beautiful dinosaur eggs.

Dinosaur eggs in a dinosaur nest.
Some beautiful and very colour dinosaur eggs spotted at Little Leigh primary school (Cheshire). Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur Eggs

The photograph of the dinosaur nest was taken on a visit to Little Leigh primary in Cheshire. Everything Dinosaur had been invited into the school to deliver a workshop to Year 1 children who were learning about dinosaurs. The dedicated teaching team created the eggs, and the children were asked about what materials could go into the nest to keep the eggs safe. This exercise was a great way for the pupils to explore the properties of materials. In addition, to learning about dinosaur eggs, the pupils had the opportunity to examine different nesting materials.

To contact Everything Dinosaur to learn more about our outreach work: Email Everything Dinosaur.

A Dinosaur Workshop

A spokesperson from the UK-based mail order company commented that they remembered the school visit. The spacious Year 1 classrooms were filled with lots of examples of the children’s work. One of the teachers had constructed a small dinosaur museum in a corner of the room.

A dinosaur museum at a primary school (Little Leigh, Cheshire).
A dinosaur museum spotted at a school. Picture credit: Little Leigh Primary/Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Little Leigh Primary/Everything Dinosaur

The spokesperson added:

“The children were very enthusiastic, and they wanted to give us a tour of their classroom. We enjoyed visiting the dinosaur museum. However, we had to cut our visit short, we had a dinosaur and fossil workshop to deliver.”

Afterwards we chatted to the teaching team. They thanked us for the visit, and we congratulated them on their excellent scheme of work.

To visit the Everything Dinosaur award-winning website: Visit Everything Dinosaur.

22 07, 2023

Counting Rare Fossil Ichthyosaur Coprolites

By | July 22nd, 2023|Adobe CS5, Early Years Foundation Reception, Educational Activities, General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils, Teaching|0 Comments

On a visit to the Manchester Museum a team member overheard a grandmother challenging her grandchildren. Her young charges were tasked with counting the fossils in a display cabinet. The cabinet contained various ichthyosaur fossil specimens. Part of the exhibit included marine reptile fossil dung (coprolite). The grandmother asked the children to have a go at counting ichthyosaur coprolites.

Counting ichthyosaur coprolites
Counting ichthyosaur coprolites. A grandmother visiting the Manchester Museum played a counting came with her grandchildren. It involved counting ichthyosaur coprolites. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Gaining Numeracy Confidence Counting Ichthyosaur Coprolites

The children were enjoying their visit to the Manchester Museum. After the photographs in front of the Tyrannosaurus rex cast (Stan), the grandmother set the counting challenge. We are not sure whether she knew that the display cases contained fossils of marine reptile poo, but the children were undeterred. They eagerly accepted the counting challenge.

Counting games can help young children become more confident. Counting games can help them to develop confidence with numeracy.

Tyrannosaurus rex cast skeleton on display
The Tyrannosaurus rex cast on display at the Manchester Museum. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“There is lots to see and lots to do at the Manchester Museum. Staff hand out worksheets and encourage children to take part in various activities themed around the exhibits. We have not come across an activity that involved counting ichthyosaur coprolites before. We congratulate the family for their innovation.”

An Ichthyosaurus model
A model of an ichthyosaur. The Ichthyosaurus model (Wild Safari Prehistoric World) ready to take its turn on the Everything Dinosaur turntable. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The image (above) shows a typical replica of an ichthyosaur. This is the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Ichthyosaurus model.

To view this range: Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models and Figures.

The spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur added:

“There is an extensive display of ichthyosaur and other marine reptile fossil material on display. Several of the fossils of ichthyosaurs come from the Dorset coast. We have found some ichthyosaur fossils on the Dorset coast too. We do have ichthyosaur coprolite fossils in our collection. However, we have never played a counting coprolite game unlike the grandchildren.”

Visit the Everything Dinosaur website: Visit Everything Dinosaur.

22 05, 2023

A Trio of Colourful Prehistoric Animal Drawings

By | May 22nd, 2023|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Early Years Foundation Reception, Educational Activities, Main Page, Photos, Teaching|0 Comments

Our thanks to young dinosaur fan Jenson who provided Everything Dinosaur with a trio of colourful prehistoric animal drawings. A team member had visited Jenson’s school. The term topic had been dinosaurs and Jenson wanted to show his drawing of three colourful prehistoric animals.

Colourful prehistoric animal drawings.
Jenson provided Everything Dinosaur team members with a very colourful trio of prehistoric animal drawings. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Colourful Prehistoric Animal Drawings

Several schoolchildren had produced dinosaur illustrations. The Everything Dinosaur team member praised the children’s efforts and commented:

“Such wonderful, colourful drawings of pterosaurs and dinosaurs. These illustrations make a fantastic classroom display. The boxes on the drawings allow the children to include some adjectives that describe their artwork. This helps them practice their writing skills as well as their hand-eye co-ordination.”

The spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur thanked the teaching team for inviting them to the school. He added that the term topic had been carefully planned. It contained lots of amazing lesson plans to help children with their reading, writing and general development.

For inspirational ideas concerning dinosaur themed toys and gifts: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Themed Toys and Gifts.

Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur is based in the UK, and it supplies dinosaur and prehistoric animal related figures, gifts, soft toys, clothing and merchandise. Run by teachers and knowledgeable dinosaur enthusiasts helping collectors of prehistoric animal models and promoting education and an appreciation of the Earth sciences.

To visit the company’s award-winning and user-friendly website: Everything Dinosaur.

15 04, 2023

Fantastic Dinosaur Footprints Created by Reception Class

By | April 15th, 2023|Adobe CS5, Early Years Foundation Reception, Educational Activities, Main Page, Photos, Teaching|0 Comments

A few years ago, Everything Dinosaur visited Sandbrook Community Primary. Team members had been contracted to deliver some dinosaur themed workshops with the Reception classes as a provocation for the start of the term topic. As part of the teaching team’s scheme of work, a large strip of white paper had been laid out on the floor and children had been challenged to create some dinosaur footprints on it.

Using a foam cut which had been dipped in paint, the children were able to walk along a strip of paper and produce some super dinosaur tracks.

dinosaur footprints
Dinosaur footprints created by Reception children. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur Footprints

During the lunch break one of our dinosaur and fossil experts was allowed to return to the classroom to take some pictures of the children’s work whilst the children were either on lunch or playing outside. We praised the teaching team for their innovative scheme of work. We also praised the teachers for managing to keep the classroom floor so clean!

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s website: Everything Dinosaur.

Young Palaeontologists

Team members were soon back to work delivering the afternoon workshops. The young palaeontologists in the Reception class had a wonderful time, some of the Nursery school staff came in to take a look at the activities. The Nursery school staff were due to have an inspection that week and they wanted to pick up some ideas on lesson plans.

As part of our follow-up work, we set the children a few challenges. Could they produce a dinosaur drawing? Could they count all the green dinosaur feet on the floor? How would they get on with the dinosaur hokey-cokey song we supplied?

A teacher enquired about soft toy dinosaurs helping to reinforce learning. We were happy to supply further information and advice.

For dinosaur soft toys: Soft Toy Dinosaurs.

It was a most enjoyable day. Team members were also able to email over additional information to assist the teaching team.

24 10, 2022

Dinosaur Toys Encourage Play

By | October 24th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Early Years Foundation Reception, Educational Activities, Main Page, Press Releases, Teaching|0 Comments

Academics have defined different types of play activity that children indulge in and concluded that dinosaur toys encourage play. Creative, imaginative play is very important for a child’s development and there are lots of dinosaur and prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur to keep even the most discerning young dinosaur fan happy.

Dinosaur toys encourage play.
Children playing with dinosaur and prehistoric animal models. Picture credit: Schleich.

Picture credit: Schleich

Defining Different Types of Play

Scientists such as psychologists and paediatricians have defined six types of basic play activity namely:

  • Independent Play – playing on their own, using imagination.
  • Co-operative Play – playing with others, learning to share and to play together.
  • Motor skills – hand and eye co-ordination.
  • Visual Development – learning to focus, to develop observational skills such as being able to track moving objects.
  • Linguistic skills – learning language skills and developing a vocabulary.
  • Mathematical skills – learning with numbers, developing confidence with mathematics.

Children engaging in play whether on their own or with others helps them to develop important life skills.

Dinosaur Toys Encourage Play

A spokesperson from the UK-based Everything Dinosaur commented that they were aware that many Reception classes start their autumn term with a topic focused on dinosaurs. This term topic helps to encourage the children to take part in more cognitive based learning activities as they move away from free play.

A Reception class dinosaur themed creative play area.
A creative play area with a dinosaur theme in the Reception class. Children playing with dinosaurs helps them develop important life skills. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

We wish all the teaching teams every success with this autumn’s term topics.

Everything Dinosaur stocks a massive range of dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed toys and games, all of which have been tested and approved by team members.

To view the range of dinosaur toys, models and creative play craft items: Prehistoric Animal Toys and Gifts.

11 04, 2021

“The Plesiosaur’s Neck” – A New Book

By | April 11th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Early Years Foundation Reception, Key Stage 1/2, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

“The Plesiosaur’s Neck” by Dr Adam S. Smith and Jonathan Emmett with illustrations by Adam Larkum.

Expert on the Plesiosauria, Dr Adam S. Smith (Curator of Natural Sciences at the Nottingham Natural History Museum at Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire), has teamed up with award-winning children’s author Jonathan Emmett to create a delightful tale explaining how some prehistoric marine reptiles developed long necks.

"The Plesiosaur's Neck"
“The Plesiosaur’s Neck” by Dr Adam S. Smith and Jonathan Emmett with illustrations by Adam Larkum.

Poppy is an Albertonectes, a plesiosaur named after the Canadian province of Alberta, where fossils of this giant with a seven-metre-long neck have been found, but what was that extremely long neck used for?

Poppy the Plesiosaur

Did Poppy use her enormous neck to help keep herself free of parasites? Or was she the equivalent of an electric eel generating electricity to shock any unsuspecting fish that happened to swim too close? In “The Plesiosaur’s Neck”, budding young palaeontologists get the opportunity to explore these entertaining hypotheses in a plesiosaur-themed prehistoric puzzle.

At more than eleven metres long, Albertonectes was a giant. The huge neck made up almost two-thirds of the animal’s entire body length and this delightful book examines some of the ideas that palaeontologists have proposed to explain this peculiar, plesiosaur body plan.

Checking over an exhibit.
Dr Adam Smith examining a cast of dinosaur vertebrae for an exhibition at Wollaton Hall. The talented Curator of Natural Sciences at the Nottingham Natural History Museum has helped to write a children’s book entitled “The Plesiosaur’s Neck”.

Prehistoric Puns

A mixture of playful, rhyming text and prehistoric puns guides the reader through the story. Members of the Mollusca have a prominent role to play with Alfie the ammonite and Bella the belemnite chiming in with cheeky comments whilst Dr Adam Smith ensures a smorgasbord of facts and information about life in the sea during the time of the dinosaurs. The book will entertain and inform children from 5 years and upwards in equal measure.

Beautifully illustrated by Adam Larkum, a graduate of the Edinburgh College of Art, “The Plesiosaur’s Neck” combines colourful characters with a cornucopia of fun facts. It is an entertaining exploration of a genuine palaeontological puzzle focused on a plesiosaur with an astonishing seventy-six bones in its neck.

Published in May 2021

“The Plesiosaurs Neck” ISBN number 9781912979424 is due to be published on the 6th of May (2021), by Uclan Publishing. Priced at £7.99 it can be purchased here: Purchase “The Plesiosaur’s Neck”.

19 02, 2021

A Happy Dinosaur Model

By | February 19th, 2021|Dinosaur Fans, Early Years Foundation Reception, Everything Dinosaur Products, General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Aaron the little T. rex dinosaur model, which is one of 48 small prehistoric animal figures currently manufactured by PNSO, is proving very popular amongst young dinosaur fans. We received an email from a mother whose daughter had just received her parcel sent by Everything Dinosaur containing some of these PNSO figures. Mum wrote to say how delighted her daughter was with her dinosaurs and she had stated that the little T. rex replica (Aaron) seemed to be a very a happy dinosaur as the model had a smile on its face.

PNSO Aaron the little Tyrannosaurus rex
A smiling T. rex dinosaur model. The PNSO Aaron the little T. rex. Is this dinosaur smiling?

Happy Dinosaurs

Ascribing emotions to a dinosaur is somewhat challenging. After all, such traits are not represented in the fossil record. However, those near relatives of the “tyrant lizard king”, the birds, do demonstrate a range of behaviours that indicate emotions and even empathy towards others.

People who keep birds as pets have stated that they can sense emotional states and energy levels and the birds change their behaviours accordingly. Parrots, pigeons and budgerigars can sulk, show jealously, excitement and affection towards their human owners. Bird intelligence has been studied for many years, Darwin considered avian intelligence and pondered on their emotional states.

PNSO Aaron the little Tyrannosaurus rex
The PNSO Aaron the little T. rex seems to be smiling. It is a very happy looking dinosaur model.

A Contented T. rex?

It is the configuration of the jaw line that perhaps gives Aaron the little T. rex dinosaur model an appearance of smiling. With his big eyes and the indication of feathers on the top of his head, his look might be interpreted as a happy, contented dinosaur.

As scientists learn more about the behaviours and cognitive abilities of extant animals in combination with rare fossils that shine a light on nesting/brooding, herd behaviour and intra-specific interactions, then we are going to see more palaeo-artists producing artwork that develops these themes.

For the young girl and her dinosaur collection, if she thinks that Aaron the little T. rex is a very happy dinosaur then this is fine by us. Aaron and the other PNSO models will help her to develop through play as she uses her imagination and creativity.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of PNSO prehistoric animal models including some “happy” dinosaurs: PNSO Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animals.

13 11, 2019

Foundation Stage 2 Have Fun Learning About Animals

By | November 13th, 2019|Early Years Foundation Reception|Comments Off on Foundation Stage 2 Have Fun Learning About Animals

Foundation Stage 2 – Animal Skeletons

Whilst on a visit to a school to conduct a dinosaur themed workshop with some eager and excited Reception class children, our dinosaur expert spotted some super animal skeletons that the children had created.  Using straws and cotton buds to represent bones, the Foundation Stage 2 children had made skeletons of various animals.  The children had made skeletons of birds, people, dinosaur skeletons, cats, dogs and even a fish.

Dinosaur Skeletons

Anatomy Class – Reception Class Make Animal Skeletons

A straw dinosaur. Dinosaur skeletons made from straws.
A dinosaur made from straws. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The skeletons that the children had created certainly made a colourful display outside in the corridor adjacent to the hall where we were conducting our dinosaur and fossil themed workshop.

Everything Dinosaur’s website: The Everything Dinosaur Website.

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