Dinosaurs are not extinct. Way back in ‘95, a dinosaur was born. He was lovingly painted, stuffed with paper, and tied with string. Don’t you love the big, toothy smile?
That year was a happy year for this dinosaur, hanging by the string and being in the classroom. The children loved their dinosaurs. This one went home with Michelle. She kept her dinosaur in her bedroom for years. Many years. The family is now packing up and moving away, and this dinosaur was the last thing to come down. It was given to me! Now, the rebirth begins, as I will introduce him, or her, to a new generation of children who will get to make their very own dinosaur.
You see, dinosaurs are always present in school. They’re not extinct. Just ask the children who carefully fed them dinner and arranged a dinosaur parade.
Children’s play is very real. That’s where the mind blossoms and explodes with learning. Critical, divergent thinking can only take place when adults are not involved and children have to problem solve on their own or with their friends. Dinosaurs often set the stage for this. Play is rich and involved and often complex when dinosaurs are present.
Let me give you an example of critical, divergent thinking. When the astronauts landed on the moon, minutes and seconds beforehand things did not go well. They had to think fast and make decisions. Guess what they attributed much of this skill to? Independent play as children, building with rocks and sticks (not easy) and making it work. I wonder if they played with dinosaurs.
The best series of dinosaur books is by Jane Yolen. I highly recommend these “How Do Dinosaurs” books. “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight” is my favorite.
I will always champion for dinosaurs. They help children play, which is #1. They inspire curiosity, which triggers a plethora of math, science, and geography. Everyone loves dinosaurs. Thank goodness they’re not extinct.