Learn to count, sort, order and measure using this wonderful dinosaur bones match and measure set for preschool and school aged children! This makes the perfect addition to the maths area in the indoor or outdoor classroom, is brilliant for focused maths objectives in small groups and wonderful for free play at home too!
Two years ago I published an activity idea on this blog for creating dinosaur bones from salt dough and using them in creative play to be buried, excavated, measured, sorted and counted. The girls enjoyed it a lot and soon after I was approached by a fantastic UK educational toy company, Yellow Door, to ask if they could turn my DIY version of the bones into a durable play kit to be used in schools and nurseries.
In many ways being an educational toy designer is my dream-come-true job, so I was thrilled to be involved and we began the design work straight away! A few months later the company made the first prototype bones and showed them to me so I could feel them.
They are made of a special resin mix which feels heavy and cool to the touch, and is amazingly durable when dropped, buried in the mud or sand and immersed in water. They are absolutely perfect for incorporating in messy, sensory play activities and will withstand a lot of handling, which is exactly what is needed with for busy little hands hard at play.
When the design and testing phase was finished, the dinosaur bones kit was ready! It is a brilliant resource for nursery/ preschool all the way through to Reception (Kindergarten) and Year 1. It contains 16 bones of varying lengths, with two of each size ranging from 6cm to 20cm, increasing in 2cm increments each time.
This makes them idea for ordering by length, making comparisons, matching by length, using two shorter bones to make the length of a longer one, and measuring accurately with a ruler.
My own kids have loved giving the bones a test run and we have made lots of palaeontologist excavation site games by burying the bones in the sand and using paintbrushes to uncover them, with magnifying glasses to examine them closely!
Alongside the actual bones set, I designed a Match and Measure Activity Cards kit to be used during play and in small group learning sessions too. These cards encourage children to match, count, compare, order and measure the bones they discover, incorporating rulers alongside the edges of some of them for making real measurements as they play.
[Photo credit: Yellow Door]
They are made from durable PVC and are tough enough to use in the outdoor area in the sand, mud and even in water play, which we felt was crucially important.
[Photo credit: Yellow Door]
Each set includes 16 colourful plastic cards measuring 275 x 210mm.
Roll on one year later and the Dinosaur Bones Match and Measure set has just been awarded its second GOLD award for excellence, first from the ERA (Education Resource Awards) and now the Practical Preschool Awards too! The set and cards are proving extremely popular with nurseries and schools and have made their way over to the USA too. I’ m so thrilled that they are doing so well and am thankful for all of the positive feedback about them.
I don’t sell these directly but if you would like to get yourself a kit for your home or classroom, hop on over to Yellow Door using this link (UK readers) and see the options available. Here is the link for US readers, You can either buy just the bones, which come in a lovely drawstring bag for storage, or just the activity cards (with teacher notes.) Or, even better, buy both and get £5 off the combined price!
I can’t wait to hear what you think of them or for you to show me photos of these being used in your own classrooms or at home! They would be a GREAT gift for the little dinosaur lovers in your life this Christmas!
UK readers link:
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