Math at Home Math Access for Teachers
and Home Child Care Providers

CME Group Community Foundation



Dinosaur Hop

Children play a board game that has them collecting different colored dinosaurs
and counting their way around the board.

Content Area Standard Target
  • Data Analysis and Probability
  • Number and Operations
  • Algebra
  • Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems
  • Understand patterns, relations, and functions
  • Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them
  • Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data
  • Count with understanding and recognize “how many” in sets of objects
  • Sort, classify, and order objects by size, number, and other properties
  • Sort and classify objects according to their attributes and organize data about the objects
  • Represent data using concrete objects, pictures, and graphs
  • Describe parts of the data and the set of data as a whole to determine what the data show
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Obtain materials Obtain the Materials
  • Dice
  • Game board – Make a game board that has spaces around the edges of the board.  Make the majority of the spaces dinosaur bones and 8 to 10 of the spaces colored dinosaurs. Make sure that each of the colors of the dinosaur counters are represented on the game board. Leave space in the middle of the board for the colored dinosaurs
  • Mini Dinosaur counters.
  • Recording sheet with the colored dinosaurs at the top and a place where the children can record the different colored dinosaurs they collect
  • Place markers


Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Introduce the activity Introduce the Activity
  1. This game can be played with 2 to 4 Players.  The object of the games is to collect all of the dinosaurs in the basket.  The one who has the most dinosaurs wins!
  2. Players can start anywhere on the board. Player 1 rolls the dice and moves that amount of spaces. If the player lands on a colored dinosaur, they collect that color dinosaur. If the player lands on a bone, no dinosaurs are collected and the next player takes their turn.
  3. Play until all of the dinosaurs are collected.
  4. Once the dinosaurs are all collected, have the children record the dinosaurs they collected on their recording sheets. They can represent their collected data in any form you decide – numerically, pictorially, or with tally marks.
Engage the children Engage the Children
  1. Explain the rules of the game to the children.
  2. Set the children up with everything they need to play the game. Keep an eye on how the children are playing the game to make certain they are counting correctly and collecting the correct dinosaurs. For example, when a child lands on a red dinosaur, they take a red dinosaur out of the basket. If the child lands on a red dinosaur and there are no more red dinosaurs in the basket, the child does not collect a dinosaur and it is the next player’s turn.
  3. Once the game has ended, have the children record their collected data (dinosaurs) and compare their data with the other players. Who collected the most blue dinosaurs? Who did not collect any yellow dinosaurs?

Additional Extensions

  • Include an addition piece to the recording sheet. Add the number of blue dinosaurs to the numbers of red dinosaurs. Based on their collected data, formulate a series of addition questions that can be answered. 
Encourage vocabulary Encourage Vocabulary
  • Collect  To bring together in a group; gather.  (e.g., “Collect dinosaurs as you move your way around the game board.”)
  • Count – To identify the amount of something by number. (e.g., “You rolled a 4. Count how many spaces you will move.”)
  • Data – Facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis. (e.g., “The dinosaurs you collected are your data.  We look at and record your data.”)
  • Record – To write down or indicate. (e.g., “Record your data.”


Glossary of MATH vocabulary

Make adaptations Make Adaptations

Supporting Children at Different Levels

Toddlers   Pre-K

Toddlers may:

  • Have difficulty multi-tasking while playing the game.
Vertical line

Pre-K Children may:

  • Collect the color corresponding dinosaurs and record their results.

Home child care providers may:

  • Have the children concentrate on just one aspect of the game.  Either just have the children roll the dice and move their markers around the spaces, counting while they move.
  • Switch the dice to include the colors of the dinosaur counters.  Have the children roll the dice and collect the corresponding dinosaurs.


Home child care providers may:

  • Include an addition piece to the recording sheet.  Add the number of blue dinosaurs to the numbers of red dinosaurs.  Based on their collected data, formulate a series of addition questions that can be answered. 

Books Books
  • Ten Little Dinosaurs by Pattie L. & Harris Schnetzler (New York: Andrews McMeel Publishers, 2007)
  • How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague (New York: Blue Sky Press, 2004)
  • 1 – 2 – 3 Dinosaurs Bite: A Prehistoric Counting Book by The American Museum of Natural History (New York: Sterling, 2012)
Music and movement Music and Movement
Outdoor connections Outdoor Connections
  • Play “Long Dinosaur Tail” - This is one of those fun and simple dinosaur games. One child is IT and starts running around the party area trying to tag other kids. Once someone is tagged, they hold hands and continue tagging others. The more people tagged the longer the dinosaur tail becomes! (everyone holds hands in a line). They keep going until the last one tagged becomes IT and starts the dinosaur tail from the beginning.


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