1-2-3 Brain Break: How Big Was a Dinosaur?

Brain Breaks are short activities, often only 1-3 minutes long, that help kids get ready to learn or refocus on the task at hand. They often involve physical activity and movement though relaxing activities can also boost mental brain power.  

So, in addition to encouraging your kids to participate in these fun breaks, join the kiddos and have some refreshing, stress-free fun yourself, too! 

In today’s Brain Break, you can practice math and measuring skills while learning about dinosaurs!

Supplies needed:

Ruler, yardstick or tape measure
Possibly a partner (especially if you are using a tape measure)

Here’s what you do:

1) Choose a dinosaur from the list to measure (if it is over 10 ft., you might want to measure outside, maybe along the sidewalk)

The size of each kind of dinosaur varies depending on which skeleton is measured, just like different people are different sizes. This list will give a general idea of the size of an adult dinosaur:

  • Ankylosaurus – 5 feet high and 25 feet long
  • Apatosaurus – 15 feet high and 75 feet long
  • Archaeopteryx – 1 foot high and 3 feet long
  • Brachiosaurus – 50 feet high and 100 feet long
  • Stegosaurus – 13 feet high and 30 feet long
  • Triceratops – 10 feet high and 30 feet long
  • Tyrannosaurus – 23 feet high and 50 feet long
  • Velociraptor – 2 feet high and 6 feet long

2) Use a piece of string, a stick or something else to mark one end of your dinosaur.

3) Measure out the length or height (the video will give you some tips on measuring)

  • Using a 6-inch ruler, measure 2 ruler lengths for every foot.
  • Using a 12-inch ruler, measure 1 ruler length for every foot.
  • Using a yardstick, measure 1 yardstick length for every 3 feet (so count by 3s as you measure – 3 ft., 6 ft., 9 ft., 12 ft., etc.).
  • Using a tape measure, you may be able to measure out 10 feet at a time depending on the length of your tape measure (10 ft., 20 ft., 30 ft., etc.).

4) Are you surprised at how big (or small) the dinosaur was?

Challenge Extension: How do dinosaur sizes compare to the size of current animals or other objects?

Blue whale – 15 feet high and 100 feet long
Giraffe – 15 feet high and 8 feet long
School bus – 10 feet high and 35 feet long
Garage door (double) – 7 feet high and 16 feet long
How tall are you?

Check out these books for more fun!

You can find most dinosaur books under the Dewey Decimal number 567.9.

Triceratops vs. Spinosaurus by Jerry Pallotta

Dinosaurs! by Gail Gibbons

How Much is a Million? by David M. Schwartz

Prehistoric Actual Size by Steve Jenkins