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Paper Mâché Dinosaur Eggs

June 26, 2009

 

Last summer Sam had fun discovering the dinosaur eggs we had hidden in the tall grass and then figuring out how to open them during our dinosaur dig. Many of you asked how to make the eggs, so we came up with instructions to help you make the dinosaur eggs at home with your son or daughter.

Materials:
balloons
permanent marker
paint
newspaper
small plastic dinosaur toys
paper mâché mixture
knife
bowl
white tissue paper

Directions:
Start by blowing up the balloon to the desired size. We chose the Duckbill (Hadrosaurus) eggs. Their eggs were approximately 10 – 20 cm (4 – 8″). Here is a list of other dinosaur egg sizes that you might want to use (You could also use them to compare the sizes).

Segnosaurus: the size of a giant football (60 x 20cm or 2’x8″)
Brontosaurus or Apatosaurus: the size of a cantaloupe
Sauropod: the size of a regulation football
Unknown small dinosaur: width of a thumbnail (18 mm or 0.7″ long)

Paper mâché the balloons. See how to paper mâché.

Use paper mâché to cover the balloon. Several layers of paper mâché are recommended, this makes the egg structure sturdy (see figure 1 and 2). For the last layer, apply white tissue paper with the paper mâché mixture.

When the egg feels solid and the paper mâché is completely dry (usually the next day), you can make a small incision like a door with a knife to insert a small toy dinosaur inside (this is a fun and simple surprise for your child to find). You can either patch the incision with tape or a small amount of paper mâché.

When it is dry, have your child paint the egg. She could use a permanent marker to make some fine details.

This would be a great time for a discussion of what color your child thinks the eggs should be? Since scientists don’t know, they can paint them any way they would like.  They may want to add stripes, polka dots, zigzags or …

If you hide the dinosaur eggs in a sand pit or in tall grass for your child to find, you may want to have a hard-boiled chicken egg available for your child to compare it to the paper mâché dinosaur egg.

Think About It!

Some questions that you might ask your child:

  • Is the dinosaur egg bigger or smaller then the chicken egg?
  • What kind of dinosaur do you think had an egg that big?
  • Which dinosaurs made nests for their eggs?
  • Which dinosaurs ate eggs?
  • Which dinosaurs ate meat?
  • How could we open these eggs? Do we have any tools that we could use? (a great problem solving opportunity – your child can use anything they come up with as long they won’t get hurt using it).
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