Summer Reading Kickoff Party: Dinosaur Dance and Fossil Fest

By Anne Neidinger

Books to Share

Bones and the Dinosaur Mystery by David A. Adler

Buster Hunts for Dinosaurs by Marc Tolon Brown

Dinosaurs Galore by Giles Andreae

Dinosaurumpus by Tony Mitton

The Extinct Files: My Science Project by Wallace Edwards

The Lost Dinosaur Bone by Mercer Mayer

Books to Show or Booktalk

Archaeology for Kids: Uncovering the Mysteries of Our Past by Richard Panchyk

Archaeologists: Life Digging Up Artifacts by Holly Cefrey

Crafts for Kids Who are Learning about Dinosaurs by Kathy Ross

Fantastic Fossils by Rob Shone

Archaeology by Trevor Barnes

The Cave Painter of Lascaux by Roberta Angeletti

Bulletin Board

Join the Big Dig: What Will You Dig Up at Your Library This Summer?

Cover the bulletin board with paper in colors related to the art you use to decorate. For example, use brown for an archaeology dig and blue for pirates. Alternately, cover sections of the board in appropriate colors and match the art to the color. Include clip art of archaeologists, animals digging, pirates and dinosaurs in a scene showcasing people and animals digging with related treasures. Add miniature printouts of book jackets and screen shots of websites to the bulletin board. Find clip art through Microsoft Office software or through clip art websites like Open Clip Art at, or School Clip Art at



Cut out a dinosaur from a die cut or use the dinosaur pattern from the Preschool Express Pattern Station at


Archaeology All Around You: Find It!

Display nonfiction and fiction books about archaeology. Include a map highlighting famous discoveries, including the Caddo Mounds in East Texas and the Gila Cliff Dwellings in New Mexico. Locate sites through the Archaeological Parks website from the Arkansas Archaeological Survey, Other famous finds may be visited through Carus Publishing's Dig Magazine website at, Hillman Wonders of the World at, and Famous Sites at The Dig: Adventures in Archaeology at


Affix giant dinosaur footprints to the floor of the program room using the dinosaur pattern footprint from Enchanted Learning at

Fill a small plastic pool with dirt or sand to create a dig site. Place dinosaur bones in the pool. Enchanted Learning,, has a recipe and instructions to make a paper maché dinosaur bone craft. Add dinosaur toys from US Toys,, or Oriental Trading Company, Provide small plastic shovels and containers and allow the children to dig up the dinosaur bones and take them home.

Hang black bulletin board paper on a wall. Give the children white chalk or crayons so they can contribute to the theme and decorations by drawing cave paintings like those from Lascaux.


Dinosaur Punch

Mix lemon-lime soda with lime sherbet for a green, fizzy dinosaur punch.

Dinosaur Dig Site Cake

Create a dinosaur-shaped cake and add sprinkles of chocolate or crumbs of chocolate wafer cookies to make it look like dirt surrounding a dig.

Follow the instructions for a stegosaurus cake from Enchanted Learning at, gather ideas from at, or bake the "Dinosaur Dig Site Cake" from Disney's Family at


Dinosaur Toys

Provide plastic toys such as "Glow in the Dark Dinosaur Skeletons" from US Toy at


Dino's Fossils

(Adapted by Anne Neidinger from "Grandma's Glasses")

These are Dino's fossils. (Make glasses on eyes and look at the ground)

These are Dino's tracks. (Bend to ground and look at hand on floor with three fingers out)

These are footprints in the river, (Use both hands on floor as if walking)

Where dinosaurs walked the Earth. (Stand up and walk slowly like a large dinosaur)

These are Dino's fossils. (Make glasses on eyes and look at the ground)

These are Dino's tracks. (Bend to ground and look at both hands with three fingers out)

These show where he once stomped and roared, (Stand up tall and roar)

On our planet Earth. (Make a circle like the planet Earth)

"Five Enormous Dinosaurs" from at


"Dino Ditty" from Hummingbird Educational Resources at

"Dinosaur Round" on Rhinocerous Tap from Sandra Boynton

"Going on A Dino Hunt" from Most Amazing Dinosaur Songs by Music For Little People

"Hokey Pokeysaurus" from Most Amazing Dinosaur Songs by Music for Little People

"I Know an Old Dino" from Most Amazing Dinosaur Songs by Music For Little People

"Ten Little Dinos" from Most Amazing Dinosaur Songs by Music for Little People

Action Rhymes

"Dinosaurs of Long Ago" from at

Puppet Play

Tale of T-Bone

(By Anne Neidinger)

  • Boy puppet
  • Girl puppet
  • Cat puppet
  • Watch on girl puppet's wrist
  • A large paper bag with Mom's Diner printed on it
  • A large T-shaped bone sticking out of the bag
  • A magnifying glass
  • A garden shovel
  • Several stacked books
  • Potting soil or coffee grounds to use as dirt

(Franny walks in on Dug, who is searching the ground with a large magnifying glass)

Franny: Hey Dug, what are you doing?

Dug: I'm looking for a bone.

Franny: Did Scruffy lose her bone?

Dug: Scruffy's a cat. She doesn't bury bones.

Franny: You never know. Cats are talented.

(Dug stands up in surprise and speaks quietly.)

Dug: Shhhh. I'm looking for the T-bone.

Franny: What's a T-bone?

Dug: Well, right before summer started, I heard Mom tell Mr. Brontie, our new teacher, that there was a huge T-bone next to our town library.

Franny: Well, there are lots of bones inside our library.

Dug: I'm not talking about bony Mrs. Crackleberry.

Franny: I'm not talking about our sweet librarian. I'm talking about bones in our library.

Dug: Listen Franny, I'm serious here. I'm trying to dig up the T-bone.

Franny: T-bone? Why not the A-bone, or the B-bone or the C-bone or the Z-bone? That's the bone that makes you sleepy.

(Franny laughs really loud)

Dug: Franny, if you weren't so loud you'd have time to think that the T-bone is a bone from a T-Rex. I just know it's here somewhere.

(Dug takes his garden shovel out and exits bottom of the stage. Dirt flies up into Franny's face.)

Franny: (Spitting out dirt) Well, I'm no mummy. I figure it's no ordinary bone. But, I'd have to go to the library to find out more.

Dug: We can't dig inside the library.

Franny: We can dig inside books and on the computer. There are a ton of books about dinosaurs, and we can look on the computer for interesting archaeological sites.

Dug: Archi whatchi callit sites?

Franny: Archaeological! Come on, maybe we'll look that up in a dictionary too.

Dug: I don't know, Franny, you're pretty loud. Will they let us in?

Franny: Come on.

Dug: OK, but I'm not talking to Mrs. Crackleberry.

(Several hours later, Dug and Franny come out, with Dug carrying a large stack of books and a library card and Franny looking at her watch.)

Franny: (looking at watch) Wow! We were having so much fun at the library, we almost forgot to eat lunch. Good thing they have recipe books there, too.

Dug: Me, too. You know Franny, I didn't know I could get my own library card. And, Mrs. Cracklberry's bones didn't crack once when she was helping me check out these books. Now that I've looked up information about dinosaur bones, I'm sure I'll find the T-bone any day.

Franny: Yup. You'll really know what you're trying to dig up now and you can read those other books when you're taking a break from your dig.

Dug: Yeah, there are books about aliens, cowboys, shipwrecks…

(Dug's voice fades as they both exit)

Franny: (Hollering loudly from off stage) Come on Scruffy!

(Scruffy pops up, holding a large paper bag with the words "Mom's Diner" on it in her mouth, with a very large bone in the shape of a T sticking out of it.)

Stories to Tell

The Cave Painter of Lascaux

Share the story of the first paintings in the caves at Lascaux by telling the story The Cave Painter of Lascaux by Roberta Angeletti and by visiting the virtual tour of the cave through the Lascaux website at


T-Rex Finger Puppet

Precut the T-Rex Finger Puppet pattern from Enchanted Learning at and have the children color their own puppet.

Coffee Ground Fossils

Make fossils from coffee grounds following the instructions from Kaboose at Most Starbucks coffee shops have grounds to give away if there are not enough coffee drinkers on staff.

Dinosaur Paper Hat

Have children make their own "Dinosaur Party Hat" from The Best Birthday Parties Ever: A Kid's Do-It-Yourself Guide by Kathy Ross.

Games and Activities

Pin the Tail on the Anklyosaurus

Enlarge the Anklyousaurus pattern from Enchanted Learning at Cut out the tail club and hang the Ankylosaurus body on a wall. Have the children pin the "tail" on the dinosaur.

Dinosaur Bean Bag Toss

Print out flash cards of different types of dinosaurs from First School at and place them on the floor like a large game board. Divide the children into teams. Create a smaller set of flashcards and have the children pick one out of a sand pail to see at which dinosaur they should toss their bag.

Dinosaur Feet and Race

Create two sets of dinosaur feet by following the instructions from Danielle's Place at have children race against each other while wearing these big dinosaur feet.

Web-Based Activities

National Parks Service—Archaeology for Kids

This government site includes project ideas such as "Reading the Landscape" and an online game, "Stories from the Past," where children can create a story with pictographs.

DIG: The Archaeology Magazine for Kids

The site for this popular magazine offers interesting facts about archaeology, as well as links to specific sites, such as online artifact galleries and archaeological sites, along with interactive games such as "Ancient Egypt Webquest."

Guest Speakers

Invite staff from local museums or historical organizations and parks departments to talk about local archaeological history.


"Digging Up Dinosaurs" from Reading Rainbow by GPN Educational Video (30 minutes)

Professional Resources

Texas Archaeology Society

This organization is dedicated to the study and preservation of archaeology resources in Texas.


Texas Reading Club 2011 Programming Manual / Dig Up a Good Book!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011