Cardboard Dinosaur Cave

More Dinosaur FUN! We have had a few deliveries from online vitamin shops and Amazon lately which usually come with a good size box and tons of brown construction paper. I knew it’d be a waste to just recycle them and/or use the box as my recycling bin…. Light bulb moment: A dinosaur cave for the kids to pretend play with! So after looking on Pinterest a bit and using whatever creative juices I had left with this mummy brain of mine….I came up with this!

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My biggest challenge was finding the time to do this fun project. I had so many ideas but I lacked the patience and wanted to get this done. I figure I can always add to it later on or just build another one and call this the ‘test pilot’. I’ve had this material for two weeks already and I just want to get this to a playable state!

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What I used:

  • A good sized box – spacious enough for your dinosaurs to play in
  • Brown butcher paper or construction paper – you get a lot of these from deliveries or buy them at Lowes, Home Depot, Bunnnings, or any art supply stores
  • Tape
  • Stapler – up to you. You might worry about little fingers getting pricked by a loose staple
  • Hot glue gun & glue stick
  • Egg carton – brown preferred but you can paint them
  • Rocks, leaves, bones (homemade), dinosaurs, etc

I would have loved getting craft felt to line the floor of the cave. You can even use some craft moss or fake grass depending on budget. I was thinking of gluing dried used coffee grinds as an idea. But if you read my Homemade Sand blog entry, you’d know I have trouble accumulating enough coffee grinds in a reasonable amount of time!

I’d love to make a little plateau or hill with the egg carton lid as well. Cover it with mache to blend into the backdrop. Another idea was to create an anchialine pool (aka cave pond).

Later on, I’d like to make an erupting volcano to accompany this cave on a dinosaur playing sort of day!

I didn’t have a chance to document this project with too many photos.

I simply crumpled the construction paper up to a shape I liked and started adhering it to the box to make it look like a cave. My little man helped supervise telling if it looked good or not haha. I used stapler, tape and glue gun to complete the project. I would have loved to make use of paper mache to harden the lining and the cover of the box but I lacked time and patience 😉

In this photo, I’m making stalactites out of the pointy bit inside an egg carton. Use hot glue so it sticks more easily.

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I left the remainder of an egg carton inside the cave for the kids to play with. N was pretending her little dinosaur was eating one of the egg cups 🙂

J said they were dino eggs!

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Then I put my premade dinosaur bones inside the cave along with the more lively dinosaurs.

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The kids loved it!

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I’ve been wanting to do a Dinosaur themed day for the kids and I will definitely incorporate this awesome cave into it. Hopefully I’ll find some time to incorporate some of those upgrades I had mentioned!!

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Homemade Dinosaur Bones – fun activity for little paleontologists

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I wanted to do more dinosaur related activities with the kids and I was inspired by this page out of J’s book to make some dinosaur bones

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I decided to make the bones out of modeling clay.

You can make these bones out of salt dough which is:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water

You will have to bake it for 3 hours at 325 degrees F.

Since I’d rather save on gas / electricity, I opted for air dry modeling clay instead 🙂

I let the bones dry for at least 48 hours so they are rock hard. As you can guess, the skull took a bit longer as it was pretty thick (thick skull ha ha ha) 🙂

I made some rib bones, spine  segments, a hip bone, and humerus or femur bones…

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Once they dry, I decided to add this to my homemade sand to do a little excavation and sensory play!

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I also added some colorful beans to add to the texture. The kids loved seeing the extra colors in the sand.

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Every discovered bone was met with excitement and wonder.

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Then we asked our miniature dinosaur friends to join the fun!

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Mr giraffe decided to join in as well

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Then we buried some gold coins like pirates…

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