Dinosaurs, Reptiles and Evolution

Back in the early 2000s, before YouTube, I saw a travel program on TV that showcased a fossil dig in Utah. I was immediately intrigued but didn’t catch the name of the business or their exact location. I searched as best I could but alas it was no use. Then some time later, I happened upon that same travel show! This time I ran and got a pencil and paper and jotted down everything I needed to find U-Dig in Utah. Next…plan the trip. Actually, it was the dear husband who planned a fabulous road trip for our then family of 4 to visit Zion, Bryce and finally U-Dig. We split shale in search of trilobite fossils with our 3 1/2 year old and 7 year old. we even brought slabs of shale home so we could use a hammer and wedge to find some (we didn’t).

Dinosaurs & Fossils

What child isn’t captivated by dinosaurs?! I’ve known children who can tell me more about dinosaurs, or sharks, or trains than adults can or even some books. Capture that curiosity with a unit dedicated to this aspect of science. I’ve included some fossils for this unit, though it is also included in our mineralogy and geology units as well. This unit is part of a larger collection of units that all complement one another. Our mineralogy and geology unit works well with fossils, which ties in to dinosaurs and evolution which is a nice segue to a unit on reptiles. You can see how engaging a unit like this is based on the collection of books and projects.

Discovering Dinosaur Fossils

The Dinosaur Excavation kit from Excavating Adventures is one of the most creative kits we used. Each month (if you are doing the monthly subscription kit), you get a different kit to excavate and explore. What’s unique is that each excavation kit is in a different material. The kits we’ve used and loved in the past (primarily from Dig, Discover and Display among others) have been set in plaster. While plaster may seem more appropriate of a material to excavate through to give a more authentic feel to being a paleontologist, having each kit in a unique material adds to the excitement and experience of the kit. The dinosaur kit comes in a gooey slimy material which is interesting tactile. While I did like the kinetic sand of the seashell kit (super creative!), I didn’t like the texture of the slime. My 14-year-old excavated this kit and he didn’t mind the slime and used the tools (as well as our own) provided.

Excavating Dinosaur Bones | Earth Science

Join us as we excavate real dinosaur bone, an aquatic lizard tooth and coprolite (dinosaur dung). This Dinosaur Dig Kit by Discover with Dr. Cool was fantastic! I highly recommend it. You get three high quality fossil specimens, two activity guides, a display case and excavation tools.

Hand-Stitched Dinosaur

The second I saw this kit by ThreadFollower at A Child’s Dream, I knew my kids would love it. I purchased the Brontosaurus Kit (featured here today) and the Bunny Kit (featured on A Child’s Dream channel). The kit is fantastic! It comes with everything you need to make a super adorable stuffed animal.

You can squeeze two projects out of the kit with just one spare piece of green felt which I had on hand. I made one dinosaur for my daughter and as a sample for my 10-year-old son. I also made a lot of mistakes! But now I know, and hopefully this video tutorial will help you avoid the mistakes I made. The kit comes with a pattern you cut out, high quality embroidery thread, a needle, three pieces of wool felt and wool batting. It’s all packaged in a beautiful box with color print of final project as well as detailed directions. The brontosaurus kit is a Level 2 kit intended for ages 10 and up and up and up 😉

This project took me almost 2 hours whereas my son’s took about an hour. Though his is less precise, it turned out just as nice and most importantly, he loves it! As I write this, my 6-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son are playing with their stuffed dinosaurs. I made a number of mistakes with this projects, and some of them I caught in time to explain what to do in the video and others I didn’t! For instance, when sewing the legs together, knot the thread on the outside of the felt, not the inside as I showed in the video because you will be turning that piece out and the knot will end up showing on the outside.


I am sharing some resources for a Reptiles unit study. While some of these resources were previously used for a unit on sea turtles, I’m sharing them here even though I wouldn’t necessarily use them as deeply as we used them before. Some books are still readily available while others are dated and hard to find. In those cases, use books that are current and easily accessible as it’s the types of books, not the individual titles, that help round out a unit. This unit is for early to middle elementary, so there are several picture books and the resource materials are also informational picture book format. I’m including my favorite trivia game: Professor Noggin’s Reptiles and a couple of hands on project. This mini unit is quite a bit smaller and less involved than some of my other units, and yet it is just as meaningful and impactful.

Sea Turtle Resources

Welcome to our mini unit on Sea Turtles. This was truly a mini unit lasting less than a week and specifically only 2 days. We used four picture books specifically on Sea Turtles and a few other resources that mentioned this topic on 1-2 pages of the book. We used the Professor Noggin’s Ocean Trivia Card Game as well as intend to make our own version of this game with a Sea Turtle theme. We only have 1-2 other projects planned for this unit as it is so short, there isn’t enough time to do more.

Sea Turtle Nature Cards | Charlotte Mason Homeschool

Learn how to make nature journaling or nature study cards for any unit! As we continue our nature unit study on Sea Turtles, we decided that the quickest and most beautiful way to show learning for this unit is in the form of these nature trivia cards. Each card has been photographed and is on the blog post for this video. For this project, we used our Fabriano 140lb. watercolor paper and Distress Inks.

Sea Turtles Mini Unit Review

This was the fastest unit we ever did and for that, there are a few things that worked vastly different from our other units. In this review, I talk about the various books and resources we used and how our projects and activities progressed. Being so quick, we didn’t have the opportunity to dive deep into this unit. Granted, we are only studying sea turtles rather than a general unit which would have plenty of opportunity to explore other areas of study. Nonetheless, if you chose to extend this unit, I think there are plenty of areas of study that could tie in: Endangered animals, evolution, ocean currents, reptiles, lunar cycle, life cycle, pollution, and food chain are a few. Being that our unit literally lasted a week and was scheduled for only 2 days, I think we covered a lot of information and did quite a bit, but what we couldn’t do much of was natural review. That usually comes from us reading books with similar info in which the children begin to hear content that’s familiar, and that’s an opportunity for me to ask questions while we are reading. One other thing that didn’t work well was having a novel as assigned reading or as a read aloud. There just wasn’t enough time. We also didn’t do any field trips for this unit, but we were able to recall seeing sea turtles in their natural environment while on vacation in Maui recently (which incidentally was the reason why we did this unit). For our game, we used the Professor Noggin’s Ocean Trivia Card Game which came in handy for this unit as well as our Whale Unit Study and Ocean Main Lesson Block. We love the Professor Noggin’s games so much we are making our own trivia based cards for each unit. For this unit, I made a set using Distress Inks while my son used our square chalk pastels by Sargent Art. Our project for this unit was a water cycle enclosed system project which we continue to observe the growth the progress of that project.



The mini unit study on evolution comprises of just three books at the moment. I’ve included this mini unit as part of a greater Dinosaurs, Reptiles and Evolution unit, but it could be added to a number of science units. I’ve chosen to include this controversial topic (controversial for religious families), because while we believe in the creation of humankind, we also believe that our planet and all that is contained within has a history and a purpose. The concept of evolution explains the history of plants and animals, and geology explains the history of this planet. Some discovers may change over time causing the theories to be refined. At the moment, we will use these books as part of our homeschool units. We currently don’t have any additional resources for this unit whereas we usually include games, hands-on projects and more.

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