H is all dinosaurs all the time right now. Over Thanksgiving she had found a stuffed dinosaur in the closet of my childhood bedroom. It's Little Foot from the Land Before Time movie and it's is a little more than half the size of her body. My dad had gotten it for me the Christmas after the movie had come out, to be a companion for my stuffed Fivel from An American Tail.
Anyway, H has become very attached to this dinosaur and has taken him to school for show and tell numerous times. We introduced her to the Land Before Time movies, of which there are approximately 75, as well as PBS's Dinosaur Train.
As is usually our pattern, I introduce her to something on TV, she becomes obsessed and wants to watch constantly, and then I try to find ways to engage her interest away from the tv. With the dinosaurs this hasn't proven to be too difficult. H and I raided the library's supply of dinosaur books, we found some plastic dinosaurs at the dollar store and I scored big with some clearance Dinosaur Train toys at TJ Maxx. And she is content to sit and play with them for long periods of time. There is something particularly endearing about hearing a high pitched little voice yelling things like "come on, ry-sara-tops! Run! It's a sharp tooth!"
She'll bring a plastic brontosaurus to the table and ask for extra broccoli to share with her "leaf eater". And she loves to pretend to be a dinosaur: "you will be the mommy pteranodon, and I will be the baby. Come on mommy pretend pteranodon, let's find some fish!"
I had done a google search for "dinosaur crafts" to try to come up with some more dino-based activities for us and came across several DIY dino hoodies. It's so easy and quick and I like that you can make choices about color. All the pre-made ones that I've seen are very "boy" and my girl is a lover of all things pink and purple!
This is something that can be done in 20 minutes if you use a sewing machine, but could also be done easily with hand sewing (maybe over a couple of nights in front of the TV!).
- A hoodie (I found this one at Target for $10)
- Felt - I have a lot of felt on hand, but not enough to do all the triangles in the same color. So I chose 3 that I thought complemented the hoodie the best. If you are going to buy felt to match your hoodie, I would recommend getting 3 pieces. That's how many I used for a 3T one and a 4T one for a friend's son.You will probably need less for smaller sizes.
- Coordinating thread and a sewing machine or needle
- Iron and board
Fold the hoodie in half and iron down the fold. Both the hoodies I worked with had a center seam on the hood but not down the back of the sweatshirt. Ironing the fold will help you make sure you are lining up the triangles centered down the back.
Cut a triangle from a piece of paper or tracing paper. Hold it up on the hoodie to make sure it's the size that you want.
Fold your felt in half lengthwise. Iron down the fold (make sure the iron isn't too hot or the felt will stretch!) Hold or pin your paper triangle to the felt, with the bottom of the triangle lined up with the fold. Cut along the two outside lines of the triangle. You should now have a diamond with a fold down the center.
Once you have all your diamond/triangles, start pining them down the center of your hoodie, with the fold of the diamond aligned with the fold down the center of the sweatshirt. Sew straight down the center of the hoodie and diamonds.
Fold the diamonds in half and pin together. Sew along the edge of each triangle all the way down the sweatshirt. If the two sides of the triangles get slightly off alignment when sewing, just trim the edges after.
And that's it! Now your little one can just put it on, zip it up, and then ROOOAR their way through soccer practice (which is what mine did!).
*Note: I have not washed this yet and I'm a little unsure about the felt. I think I'm just going to wash it cold and then air dry. I'll update with the results.
UPDATE: I did wash it in cold water and let it air dry and the felt was fine!