Swinging Girl

Paper Plate Dinosaurs

Travel back to prehistoric times with paper plate dinosaurs! Make science connections with your child as they act like an archaeologist when designing their own paper plate dinosaur! Try this fun experiment at home!

Download this activity!

Watch this video and make your own paper plate dinosaur at home!

Here's what you need 

  • Paper plates
  • Scissors
  • Brass fasteners
  • Markers, crayons or paint
  • Stapler or glue

Here's what to do  

1.  Draw one of the dinosaur templates onto your paper plate.

paper plate dinosaur


2.  Cut out the parts of your dinosaur.

3.  Attach the dinosaur head and tail to the body using brass fasteners to allow them to move. (If you do not have brass fasteners, you can also staple or glue these in place.)

4.  Use a stapler or glue to attach the rest of the dinosaur’s parts to the body.

5.  Color your dinosaurs.

6.  Play! Talk about dinosaurs as you play together.


Questions to ask

Why do you think the Stegosaurus had plates along its back?
What color do you think a Tyrannosaurus Rex would be?
What sounds do you think these dinosaurs made? Do you think they all sounded the same or different?

 paper plate dinosaur

What's going on?

Dinosaurs were reptiles that lived between 230 and 65 million years ago that are now extinct. They ranged greatly in size: from the pigeon sized troodontid to the enormous sauropods that grew up to 50 meters long. Scientists learn about dinosaurs by studying their fossils - the bones, teeth, footprints and other traces preserved in sedimentary rocks all across the world.

Try This

Use science vocabulary: Use related science words such as dinosaur, extinct and fossil as well as dinosaur names such as Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex as you talk and play together. Children learn new vocabulary words when they hear grown-ups use them in context.

Extend the activity: Add an extra challenge for older children. Skip the template and encourage them to create their own dinosaur from scratch. Encourage them to create a story for their dinosaur that includes its name, size, where it lived and other interesting facts about it!

Keep In Mind 

  • Children are natural scientists; let them lead the way in their experimentation! Encourage them to ask questions and make suggestions only when they are stuck/discouraged.   

  • The order suggested is not the only right or perfect way. Adjust the activity based on the age, ability, and interests of the children.

Additional Resources

I Am NOT a Dinosaur by Will Lach
Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton

Khan Academy and American Museum of Natural History

Stay At Home Science

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