There are kids who like dinosaurs, and then there are kids who love dinosaurs: they know every dinosaur name, every period they came from, and everything they ate. For these kids, solving a dinosaur word search would be loads of fun. Or better yet, help them make their very own dinosaur word searches.
Making dinosaur word searches with your child (rather than simply making one for them) will be more fun for both of you. They’ll guide you on the words they want in the puzzle, then you can use these ideas to help make it more cohesive. If your child is already rattling off dinosaur names they want to use, come make a word search now! Below you will find tips for making dinosaur word searches and helping your child solve them once you’ve made a few.
Making Dinosaur Word Searches
Some kids are opinionated and will tell you exactly what words they want in their dinosaur word search right away. Others will want more ideas, or perhaps you’ll want ideas if you’re giving your dinosaur word search as a gift.
Listing your kid’s favorite dinosaurs is the most straightforward option. Use this list of dinosaurs to pick a few. You could also go an extra step and make a word search with the dinosaur names, then changing the word list to the meaning of each name.
If your child has a favorite book, website, or movie about dinosaurs, you can use that to select words, too. You might look for sections on dinosaur classifications, where in the world they lived, which dinosaurs ate similar types of food, or dinosaurs from the same era. Or make an extra large and challenging word search by using the entire resource. It’ll keep your child occupied for hours!
Word searches are sort of similar to digging for dinosaurs, too, only you’re finding words instead of bones. Make your word search like an excavation – list words for what you’d find while digging. This may include types of bones, fossils, dinosaur eggs and more.
Either of the above ideas could also go hand and hand with a museum trip. Visit the museum website beforehand to make a word search in preparation, or make a word search as soon as your child comes back. This will help them remember what they learned.
Finding Dinosaur Words Using Common Word Formations
Once you’ve made your child’s dinosaur word search, it’s time for them to solve it. If the word list is particularly difficult, or they need a little extra help finding the words, give them these tips.
A lot of dinosaur names end with the suffix -saurus. Your child can use this knowledge to find words faster. Instead of fixating on one word at a time, they can find any -saurus ending, then check the beginning of the word to find which dinosaur it is. This word search below has a number of -saurus endings for practice.
Other common suffixes in dinosaur names include -raptor and -ceratops. This extensive dinosaur word search includes all three common suffixes.
Other words related to dinosaurs also have common endings, such as -ozoic for eras, -assic and -ian for time periods, and -ivore for what kinds of food the dinosaurs ate.
The overall difficulty of the dinosaur word search will depend on your child and their knowledge of dinosaurs already. If they know a lot, a seemingly difficult puzzle might actually be relatively straightforward. Working from a resource may also make the puzzle easier, along with the length of the word list, the size of the puzzle, and the direction of the words. Try out a couple of puzzles to see what difficulty level works best for your child.
Making dinosaur-themed word searches is a great way to bond with your child over something they love. Want to go a step further? Make a dinosaur crossword puzzle with your kids! Word searches are a fun way to develop the vocabulary, and crossword puzzles will reinforce information about each word.
Kristen Seikaly used her artistic background, research skills, and love for the internet to launch her first blog, Operaversity. Now she uses the skills to connect teachers, parents, and game enthusiasts with Crossword Hobbyist and My Word Search. She studied music at the University of Michigan, and now lives in Philadelphia.