Are dinosaurs dangerous?
Why are dinosaurs extinct?
If I had a quarter for every time I heard those questions……I could pay somebody who is more knowledgeable than I am to answer them.
And if I had a quarter for every time I have actually answered those questions (you know, when I’m not playing deaf)……I could go shopping, probably at Goodwill, while someone else is teaching my kids about dinosaurs.
Because right now, dinosaurs are my boys’ prime passion. If they aren’t playing with their dinosaur models, then they are holding them while they are watching a dinosaur documentary. If they aren’t watching a dinosaur documentary, then they are listening to me try to figure out how to pronounce all the lesser-known dinosaur names while I read to them. I mean, after trying to sound out compsognathus or massospondylus a few times when my eyes are already glazing over at bedtime, I just start throwing together a few sounds and following it with -saurus. I have a couple of years before they can read to get it all figured out anyway.
Given how much dinosaur paraphernalia I see at stores when we are out and about, the infatuation is not uncommon. If Target has cheap options available in the dollar spot, it must be pretty popular. (Since everyone knows Target is the go-to place to get a pulse on trends and what is cool).
It’s really not surprising that dinosaurs are so cool. What’s not exciting about enormous creatures with ridiculous strength? The fact that so much of what we know about them is based on conjectures, including their extinction, just adds to their mysterious appeal.
I love when the boys’ interests seamlessly flow from one activity to another. And since the majority of their learning right now is naturally occurring in their playtime, I try to give them as many opportunities as I can to fuel their interests. It’s been my experience that boys love dress-up play just like girls. Hence, pterodactyl wings and dinosaur tails.
This is a quick project that requires minimal supplies. It is also highly adaptable. Make wings as big or as small as you need them. In whatever color your dinosaur-lover prefers.
Pterodactyl Wings Tutorial
- 1/2 yard of knit fabric
- coordinating thread
- optional: gold/brown craft paint
1. Cut out the wings. Measure the span of your child’s arms from wrist to wrist. Add 2 inches. This is the length of the piece of fabric you will need to cut. The width is 20″.
My son’s arm span was 34″ so I cut a piece of fabric 36″ x 20″.
2. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise. On the side opposite the fold, make a mark 3″ down. On the bottom, make a mark 3″ from the fold. Draw a line or use a ruler to make a line connecting the marks. Cut along the line.
Unfold the fabric. The shape of the wings is now cut.
3. Optional Step: Using a sponge or wadded paper towel, sponge paint the material with gold paint. This is intended to create a leathery look to the wings.
4. From one of the triangles you cut off, cut rectangles for the wristbands and neckband. Measure around your child’s wrist and add an inch for the length measurement. The width measurement is 2 inches. Cut two wristbands 2″ x your measurement. I cut out bands 2″ x 7″. Also, it is important to test which direction the stretch is in your fabric and cut the wristbands with the stretch going lengthwise.
Cut out the neckband. Cut a rectangle 16″ x 2″.
5. Attach the wristbands and neckbands. Pin one wristband almost at the end, overlapping the wristband and wing pieces by a half inch. Sew two seams to attach the wristband. Repeat for the other side.
Find the middle of the wings and attach the neckband on either side on top, overlapping the neckband and wing materials a half inch again. Sew two seams attaching the pieces together.
6. Gather the bottom. Find the middle of the bottom of the wings. Mark a line from the center-bottom eight inches up.
Sew along the gathered section to keep the gathers in place.
7. Cut thumb holes in the wristbands. With each wristband folded flat, cut out a small triangle in the top middle of the wristband. This hole will serve as a finger or thumb hole to keep the wristband in place.
8. The pterodactyl wings are complete!