Measuring with Dinosaur Feet

Guess what!?!? We had a dinosaur visit our house last night! How do we know, you ask…well because he left footprints. Really REALLY big footprints! See?

We thought we’d have a little fun comparing the big dinosaur foot to Big Brother’s foot. Using non-standard units of measure is a great way to introduce children to the concept of measuring. Legos, blocks, and even dinosaur feet make great measuring sticks for a young child. Once they have an understanding of the basic concept of measurement and have had plenty of opportunities to explore, then we can introduce them to standard units of measure (inches, feet, etc).

Here’s what you’ll need:  a dinosaur footprint–if a dinosaur doesn’t make a stop at your house anytime soon, you can make one on a large posterboard. :)

We also used paint to make an imprint of Big Brother’s footprint as well. This made it easier to compare the dinosaur foot to his foot.

For 2-year olds:

  • Begin by letting your child walk on the footprint and compare her foot to the dinosaur’s.
  • Ask her which is bigger and which is smaller
  • Count the toes on one of her feet and then count the dinosaur’s toes. Ask which is more…5 or 3? If she isn’t sure, take out 3 blocks and then 5 blocks and line them up. Then ask which is more.

For 3-years and up:

  • Do all of the activities for 2-year olds above
  • Ask your how many of her feet equals a dinosaur foot. You might have to explain what the term equals means.
  • Make a table on a piece of construction paper. Draw a few items on the left-hand side of the table that your child would like to measure. Make two columns at the top of the table–one for the dinosaur foot and one for your child’s foot. Measure the items and then compare.

Literature Link
Prehistoric Actual Size
Prehistoric Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
This is such a FUN book!!! It’s a sequel to the original Actual Size book…especially for dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. The neat thing about these books is that the pictures are proportionate to real-live animals! Seeing that only an animal’s eye fits on the page really helps children comprehend the enormous size of dinosaurs and other animals!

The Dinosaur Who Lived in My Backyard by B.G. Hennessy
This cute dinosaur tale tells the story of a boy who has a dinosaur living in his backyard…only he isn’t there anymore. The author gives a lot of comparisons such as “The dinosaur who lived in my backyard was bigger than my school-bus”, and  “just one of his dinosaur feet was so big it wouldn’t even have fit in my sandbox.”

abc button


  1. Stopping by from the Show and Tell Blog Hop from ABC 123. You have a great blog and I love your dinosaur footprints! Thanks for sharing!

  2. We are going to be learning about dinosaurs this week and I am so glad that I stumbled upon your blog. I love this idea and can't wait to see what other dino activities you did as well.

  3. Hi there! i really like ur detailed post in expalining how to do with diff agegroups..mine is onl 20 month old n im sure gong to try it with him. Thnx again for sharing such a simple activity with such an extraordinary touch.. Keep up Good Work
    May Allah Bless u!
    Cheers! Farah (came frm NTFFC)

  4. Perhaps you had a fragmented family and never experienced consistency in your early
    years. You are the one that controls your fate and the winning numbers are your fate.
    Look inside the records for more information before placing your soccer bets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *