Dinosaur Texture Play

Bundle (4-year-old daughter) loves dinosaurs. We’ve done dinosaur unit studies, activities and field trips at a fairly solid rate for almost two years! I have to admit, I’ve learned way more about them through teaching her than I ever thought I would. 😀

With that said, I’m excited to get the ball rolling on a project I’ve had going for several weeks: a post series on PreK/K Dinosaur Unit Study Resources!

The goal of the post series is to provide lots of activities and links to fun learning activities and resources for a dinosaur unit study geared towards Preschool and Kindergarten aged kids. Right now the series is still in the beginning stages (TONS and tons of post drafts!), but I loved the way the pictures for this activity turned out, so I thought they would make a great first post. If you’re a regular blog reader here, hang tight – freebie worksheets and resources are coming!


This activity is all about texture play! We love our sensory activities here, and this mama loves low-prep even better.

Here’s what you need:

  • play dough or another kid-safe pliable/moldable substance
  • one or two plastic dinosaurs (dollar store bins usually have some!)
  • a small rolling pin
  • a flat surface


Allow your child to play with the play dough however they like for several minutes. Letting kids explore their learning materials prior to instruction helps them form better concepts on their own later. After a while, introduce (if they haven’t done this already) how to roll out the play dough. Then invite them to check out the toy dinosaur. Ask what it feels like – bumpy, soft, smooth, ridged, wrinkly, spiky, etc.

If texture words are new, you could even go a step further and talk about the different textures around you like the smooth table, or the rough rolling pin or the silky play dough.

Let your child make lots of “dino prints” in the play dough to explore the shape and texture of the dinosaur’s footprint. Bundle noted that it was “flat.” I supplemented her idea with the texture word, “smooth.”



Next have your child squish the different parts of the dinosaur into the play dough however they like! The wrinkly tail, the spiny back, the sharp teeth on its mouth – Bundle thought it was hilarious to make her dino “bite” the play dough and see what the teeth marks looked like.


We did this activity for about 30 minutes before she was ready to move on, and every child will have a different attention span. You can make this activity as long or as short as you like.

Here are some extensions to follow up with texture and dinosaurs:

  • If you want the activity to last longer (for an older child perhaps), I’d add a few extra toy dinosaurs, or a few extra texture tools like toothpicks, an orange peel, or a plastic fork.
  • See if they can create a dinosaur habitat on the surface of the play dough! Think in terms like spiky leaves, silky flowers, rippling river, rough tree bark. 
  • Create a word wall or vocabulary list for the names of the toy dinosaurs used, the texture words for the textures they created, or habitat words (jungle, trees, dirt, etc.)
  • Create a DIY fossil by pressing the dinosaur (or any part of it) into the play dough and leaving it out to dry for 24-48 hours. It will be hard in a few days!

For even more resources and extensions to follow this activity, check back here next week for new posts in this series!


Happy texture exploring!




2 thoughts on “Dinosaur Texture Play

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