The boys were happy to arrive at the dinosaur chapter of our science book a couple weeks ago!  We have been studying Exploring Creation with Zoology Vol. 3 from Apologia this year, and I love it.  We started the book in July and will finish in April (we usually do science 2-3 days per week).  However, even though this curriculum only requires 2-3 days per week, the boys are learning more than they would from most science books!

After completing the dinosaur chapter, I thought it would be fun to explore the size of the dinos in real life.

How Big Were the Dinosaurs? Three Hands-on Ways to Find Out!

Activity #1:  How many child footprints would fit inside a triceratops footprint?

After a quick google search, I found a life-size printable triceratops footprint from Schleich.  The footprint prints on 12 pages, so beware.  It doesn’t take a lot of ink, though.

We put the footprint together on the kitchen floor and taped it down.

How big were the dinos? Three hands-on ways to find outGresham and Owen could easily fit inside the triceratops footprint!

How big were the dinos? Three hands-on ways to find out

Then I asked Gresham to guess how many of his footprints would fit inside the triceratops footprint.  He guessed four, but I think that he was thinking about the distance across the footprint and not the volume of the footprint, so he was pretty far off.  I traced Gresham’s foot, and made a cardboard pattern that he could use to trace onto construction paper and cut out.  It took a little while for both of us working together to cut out enough feet to cover the triceratops footprint, but we did it!

How big were the dinos? Three hands-on ways to find out

 Gresham had trouble counting up all those footprints without losing track.  Dad (who was home for lunch at the time) suggested that Gresham count each color and then add to get the total.  Gresham said, “Yes!  I can write a math sentence!”  He’s learning something!  Woo hoo!

It took 26 footprints from a 6-year-old to equal the volume of a triceratops footprint!

Activity #2:  How long was a Diplodocus?

For this activity, we simply went outside and measured the length of a diplodocus – 90 feet!  We marked the ends with sidewalk chalk.  In this picture, there are boys at each end of the diplodocus!

How big were the dino's? Three hands-on ways to find out

Then we counted how many steps it took to walk the length of diplodocus(walking normally).  It was 49 steps for Gresham and 32 for Aidan!

Activity #3:  Make some life-size Tyrannosaurus Rex teeth

Tyrannosaurus Rex had teeth that were 6 inches long.  I cut out some 6 inch long teeth from poster board for the boys to admire and play with.  Gresham said that he wanted some T-rex teeth to put in his own mouth, but I’m glad that he has little boy teeth and not T-rex teeth!

How big were the dino's? Three hands-on ways to find out

 Dinosaur Resources:

Books about dinosaurs that are written from a literal 6 day creation perspective can be difficult to find, but there are some good ones out there!

Here are some of our favorites:

Dinosaurs by Design by Duane Gish.  This one is probably my favorite.

Dinosaurs for Kids by Ken Ham

Dragons:  Legends and Lore of Dinosaurs


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  1. Eddie - The Usual Mayhem Mar 19, 2013

    I love this! I'm pinning it to my dinosaurs board. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Ticia Mar 29, 2013

    We did a similar activity for measuring how tall the whales were when we did swimming creatures and the kids were amazed at their sizes. I'm sure we'll be doing the same thing again when we reach the dinosaur chapter this year.

    I love the footprint activity, that is really fun.

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!

  3. Terri May 19, 2013

    Thanks for all these great ideas! They definitely made our boring rainy day much more interesting today!

  4. Nicole Aug 8, 2016

    I love these great ideas! We just finished the first Magic Treehouse book and we're looking for dinosaur-related activities. These will be so fun! Thanks!

  5. Kelly Feb 4, 2018


    Do you have the template for the foot? The link doesn't work anymore and I can't find one.

    1. Sarah Feb 7, 2018

      I don't! That's too bad that the link doesn't work anymore! I'll look into it.

      1. Caitlyn May 21, 2018

        I found it here:

  6. Heidi Feb 14, 2021

    I was able to find the footprint here:


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