DIY Dino Models Activity

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Updated on May 23, 2014

Dinosaur models are a whimsical way to shrink these gigantic creatures down to a more manageable size. If your kid is passionate about dinosaurs you could buy a model kit, but they can get pretty expensive. And besides, the process of assembling store-bought models leaves much to be desired in the imagination department. Help your kid see dinosaurs in a whole new light by having her build a dinosaur from scratch using only marshmallows and toothpicks! It's a great way to encourage creativity, and once she's finished you'll have a truly one-of-a-kind dinosaur model.

What You Need:

  • Toothpicks
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Large marshmallow
  • Large bowl
  • Scissors
  • Pictures of dinosaurs
  • Food coloring
  • Shoebox
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

What You Do:

  1. Place a handful of toothpicks into a small bowl to make them easier to pick up. Break some of the toothpicks in half so your child can use pieces of different lengths if she wants.
  2. Pour the marshmallows into a large bowl.
  3. Lay the pictures of dinosaurs on the table. Look through the pictures and have your kid decide which type she'd like to build. 
  4. Begin by constructing the spine of the dinosaur. Use the toothpicks to connect the marshmallows together. Place a marshmallow on either end of one of the toothpick. Push a second toothpick into one of the end marshmallows. Continue connecting toothpicks with marshmallows until the spine is complete.  
  5. Continue by adding the tail of the dinosaur to the end of the spine. The tail should help keep the dino balanced as your kid builds her model.
  6. Next, encourage your kid to add the hind legs, and then connect the arms. 
  7. Once the body is complete, it's time to add the head! Have your child use the scissors to cut the large marshmallow so it resembles the head of whatever dinosaur she's chosen to create.
  8. If she wants, your kid can leave her dinosaur as a white form, or you can add food coloring or paint to your sculpture. Remind your child that a painted sculpture will be inedible. 
  9. Have your child decorate the bottom of the shoebox with paint or construction paper to create a backdrop scene for her dinosaur model.
  10. Place her dinosaur inside the scene and challenge her to imagine what life in the time of the dinosaurs would've been like.

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