Want a DINO-mite way to help your little ones learn their ABCs? Consider using giant beasts that already fascinate kids and tie them into the alphabet.
Because kids start to recognize about half the letters in the alphabet by age 3, grownups can help them connect those letters to their sounds (like B makes the “ba” sound). Educators believe tying those sounds to something that already interests a child helps the pairing stick.
“It is empowering and boosts confidence when children learn long dinosaur names and scientific facts, often learning facts that their grown-ups don’t know!” says Susan Michal, director of early childhood education at The Children’s Museum. “Learning about the world of dinosaurs can increase a child’s vocabulary with rich, interesting, big words. In connection with literacy development, this area of study also spurs curiosity in our natural world. “
Using something they are already familiar with or love often helps. Point to the dinosaurs breaking out of Dinosphere at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Those are Alamosaurs. Their name begins with the letter A and it sounds like the name Al. Go through each syllable similarly. Then, you can tie the physical traits of the dino to living animals of today, such as giraffes. They both have long necks to help them reach leaves in the trees to eat.
Some of the dino names seem long and complicated, but concepts about them are not. Parents can help their kids understand that herbivores eat plants while carnivores eat meat. Create a plant-based meal for dinner one night and a meat-based meal the next. By talking through traits of plant eaters vs. meat eaters, your child learns to pair like things together and compare them to similar topics in the world around them.
“Both children and adults are fascinated by dinosaurs — all you have to do is look at their faces as they enter Dinosphere,” says Dr. Victoria Egerton, Eli Lily and Company Scientist-in-Residence at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “The museum’s Dinosaur Alphabet is a great way for both children and their adults to learn a little more about dinosaurs and their world.”
Dinosaurs in particular have unique appeal to people of all ages.The Children’s Museum recognizes this and will be sharing a lot of virtual content about dinosaurs over the next year as it prepares to welcome the giant creatures of Mission Jurassic. Dinosphere will be temporarily closed for the construction of the new and improved exhibit area. Meanwhile, families can go to our website and social media channels to learn about Dinos from A-Z. There will also be videos available sharing what paleontologists do in the field, how a skeleton is put together like pieces of a puzzle and get a glimpse at what new things visitors will discover when the exhibit opens in February 2022.
Don’t worry, there will still be plenty to explore at the museum. Some of your favorite dinosaurs will move to new locations so they won’t be disturbed during construction. There will also be special programs in Corteva Agriscience ScienceWorks revolving around these ancient animals that still captivate us today.