“But Mama, you cannot have a dinosaur from the Jurassic period living with one from the Cretaceous period – It just can’t be done!” His forehead was wrinkled and his eyes expressed sadness and confusion.
Jacob (9) threw his hands in the air with an exasperated sigh. I was about to commit the cardinal sin of letting a Brachiosaurus live with a Tyrannosaurus Rex and I really should have known better. Note to self: brush up on my paleontology studies.
I have always wanted a fairy garden, ever since I was small enough to live in one. But when you are the only female in a house of all boys, your dream of a fairy garden goes out the window. It is replaced with the reality of creating a miniature dinosaur garden. Dinosaurs are as cool to our boys as fairies and gnomes are to me. (This article reminded me just how cute miniature gardens can be. It was my inspiration for this project! “15 Enchanting Fairy Gardens“)#DIY an awesome #dinosaur garden the kids will love! No #fairies allowed! #MomWin Click To Tweet
Instead of fighting my micro-managers, I decided to embrace my all-boy-motherhood and create a miniature dinosaur garden for the kids. This is, after all, THEIR childhood – I already had mine! (I keep having to remind myself of this!)
The kids were involved in every step and even now it is their responsibility to water and maintain their dinosaur garden. This is one of the chores they take VERY seriously.
- Large pot
- Rocks: smooth river rocks and gravel
- Plants: succulents and prehistoric looking ferns or other greenery.
- Dinosaurs, or other appropriate wildlife.
(Let the kids help and put aside your “type-A” need for everything to be perfect! This is a reminder to myself, but perhaps it also applies to you!?)
- Fill the bottom of the pot with 2” – 3” of rocks, for drainage.
- Add dirt. Fill the pot up to 1” – 2” from the top rim.
- Place plants throughout the pot.
- You can group them to look like a small forest.
- Create a small oasis in the middle or make one of the larger plants the centerpiece.
- Build rock formations throughout, mixing the gravel and the river rock.
- (None of this has to look perfect, remember this is the kids’ miniature dinosaur garden!)
- Strategically place dinosaurs (or other animals) throughout the miniature garden.
Jacob, our resident Paleontologist eventually got over the fact that our two dinosaur species would have never lived together, except in our miniature dinosaur garden. Instead, he took it upon himself to educate his brothers about the distinct differences between the various popular dinosaur species.
Creating a miniature dinosaur garden is a great opportunity to talk to the kids about these extinct giants. Moms love teaching moments, so embrace this one and talk about:
- The various species.
- What they ate.
- When they lived.
- Where they ranked on the food chain.
- How they cared for their young.
- How do we know so much about dinosaurs today?
Are you on team “dinosaur garden” or “fairy garden?”
These are our favorite dinosaur-themed books, toys and activities.