We get a lot of packages at our house. A lot. So we always have plenty of boxes and packaging paper. We received some just yesterday and I wanted to do a project with it, but what?
Before beginning our lesson on prehistoric people. We started out by watching Encino Man. I know, odd choice. But it is a movie I am familiar with, so I fast forwarded through a few parts of mature content and pointed out moments of educational value throughout the film. M actually really enjoyed it. She kept laughing and saying,"That cave man is so silly!" Funny enough, the movie also taught her the value of a bath and brushing our teeth. ;) You could also watch Ice Age or The Croods, to relate to the lesson.
After the movie, I went over what a paleontologist does and how we can't learn about prehistoric people without fossils and other evidence in the ground. I showed her a chart of common cave symbols and we started making our own cave drawings. I taped the paper up on the wall and we each had a paintbrush and some paints.
After we finished painting, I explained that cave drawings usually tell a story. So I helped her create a story from the drawings we made. Here is her story:
Once upon a time there was a girl who had a pet duck and she was playing. Then a water monster came out of the water and scared her. It started to rain. Then a boy wanted to be the girl's friend, so he saved her. The boy killed the water monster and the sun came out. The boy and girl went back in the cave and played with toys. The end.
We then made some Salt Dough together to make fossils. It is a fun and easy sensory activity that allows preschoolers to be heavily involved. We used mini toy dinosaurs and leaves to make our fossils. (You can also use large plastic animals and do footprint fossils.)
I wish I had mixed more food coloring into my water before mixing, but other than that, the fossils turned out great. M learned about prehistoric evidence and prehistoric people while enjoying these super fun activities. I love hearing her try to say "paleontologist." And yes, sometimes our activities are so fun that we forget to change out of penguin pajamas. ;)