My four year old has loved dinosaurs for as long as I can remember, so dinosaur crafts and shows have always been a theme in our home. When other toy fads come and go, his bin full of dinosaurs remains, often dumped out onto the bedroom floor for an afternoon of adventure. This week I’ve been really excited for the Amazon Prime Video debut of a brand new Amazon Original Kids Series – Dino Dana! We had a chance to check out some of the episodes in advance and I know my son is going to love this series. Dino Dana follows a young girl (Dana) who sees dinosaurs all around her. She finds plenty of adventure and encounters kid-relatable experiences while learning about dinosaurs. The show is packed with prehistoric facts and after the first episode my son was already considering himself an experienced paleontologist.
He had so much fun watching Dino Dana that I decided to bring the show to life at home. We spent a morning crafting salt dough dinosaur fossils in the kitchen, then went outside for a real life fossil excavation in the backyard! Salt dough is really easy to make, and for these fossils you only need four things:
- 1 Cup of Salt
- 2 Cups of Flour
- 3/4 Cup Warm Water
- Plastic dinosaurs to make fossil impressions
First mix the salt and flour together in a large bowl. Slowly add in the water until the mixture reaches a doughy consistency, but isn’t sticky. Knead the dough until it is firm and smooth.
Spread the salt dough onto a baking sheet and, using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut circles into the dough. Remove the excess dough from around the circles and use your plastic dinosaurs to create imprints in each circle. You can do as we did and make imprints of different dino parts, then challenge the kids to match them up later on. Use smaller dinos to make whole body impressions and feet to make tracks.
Place your baking tray into the oven at 200 degrees and bake until they are hard and dry. For thinner pieces it may take only 45 minutes, while thicker pieces sometimes take 2-3 hours. Resist the temptation to turn up the heat as that will cause the dough to brown. You can air dry salt dough, but it may take a day or two to dry out completely.
Once your salt dough fossils are dry hide them in the backyard, or in a box full of sand, and encourage your kids to dig up all the pieces. It was raining today, so we opted for a bucket of sand, but I’m looking forward to a backyard scavenger hunt on the next dry day! You can use acrylic paints to decorate the pieces for even more fun!
I bought these Backyard Safari Field Tools for Easter and the tiny shovels and brushes wound up being perfect for today’s fossil excavations!
Dino Dana is created by J.J. Johnson, who also created Dino Dan, and features a mix of live-action filming and CGI animation that really makes the show excited and realistic. I really love the idea of creating this show around two sisters, breaking the typical “dinosaurs are for boys” stereotype. Right from the start I love Dana’s adventurous spirit and creativity. Combined with her love and knowledge of dinosaurs, Dana is an instantly fun and relatable girl. For those of you that were Dino Dan fans, you may even catch a guest appearance of the original paleontologist in training, so don’t forget to tune into Dino Dana May 26th on Amazon Prime Video! In the meantime, check out the trailer here:
If you don’t already have Prime you can Try Amazon Prime with a 30-Day Free Trial to check out all the benefits yourself, or learn more about Dino Dana here! Honestly, we love our Prime membership and Prime Video. There are so many great original kids series, like Creative Galaxy and Thunderbirds Are Go, that we all enjoy! Amazon Prime comes with a ton of other benefits too, like free ebooks, audio books and other exclusive member goodies.
While you wait for the premiere of Dino Dana we’ll wish you some Happy Dino Hunting!