My two-year-old is obsessed with dinosaurs, and after purchasing a laminator, I was on the hunt for a fun dinosaur printable.
I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I took matters into my own hands and developed my own dinosaur matching game printable!
This printable is perfect for 2 and 3-year-olds features 23 dinosaurs – some everyone knows (T-Rex and Triceratops!) and some your child can learn (Mimenchisaurus and Ankylosaurus!).
Plus, this 4-page dinosaur matching game printable is completely free to our subscribers.
Dinosaur Matching Printable
We created our free dinosaur matching printable to be laminated. I’m a massive fan of my laminator, especially for creating my own activities for our small children (ages 1 and 2). Every piece of this dinosaur matching game is laminated, and the matching dinosaurs velcro together.
I designed this printable to progress from easiest to hardest:
- Page 1: most popular dinosaurs, including Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Pterodactyl, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brachiosaurus, and Velociraptor
- Page 2: still widely-known dinosaurs, but a little more scarce, including Spinosaurus, Iguanodon, Diplodocus, Allosaurus, Parasaurolophus, and Raptor
- Page 3: less widely-known dinosaurs, a real challenge for toddlers, including Centrosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Plateosaurus, Apatosaurus, and Mamenchisaurus
- Page 4: pretty scarcely known dinosaurs, including Oviraptor, Lambeosaurus, Corythosaurus, Deinonychus, Psittacosaurus, and Pachycephalosaurus
My daughter is two-and-a-half and dinosaur obsessed. She knew all the dinosaurs on Page 1 without any help at all. Page 2 was more of a challenge – she knew spinosaurus and needed reminders for the others.
Pages 3 and 4 were a real learning opportunity – she’d point at a dinosaur, hear me pronounce it (dino experts would probably laugh at my attempts), and repeat me.
I’ll admit it – I created this printable because my daughter loves dinosaurs. Since she’s so fascinated by them, she’ll sit down and concentrate on this activity – sometimes for 20 or 30 minutes!
However, I’m happy to report that researchers have linked an intense interest in dinosaurs to higher intelligence levels.
Fostering any kind of conceptual interest (including dinosaurs) as a child can:
- Boost linguistic skills
- Increase knowledge and persistence
- Heighten attention
- Encourage deeper levels of processing (Cognitive Development report)
Other topics talked about in this report include birds and artificial domains like Pokemon.
These professors and researchers explain that an intense interest in a specific topic often results in the child asking lots of questions. Asking lots of questions helps children harness a better understanding of the world around them.
I hope this dinosaur matching printable encourages your child to ask questions, expand their vocabulary, and ultimately help them excel as they prepare for preschool.
Learn Dinosaur Names
My two-year-old daughter is obsessed with dinosaurs, and she’s also increasingly interested in learning new words. If she doesn’t know what something is called, she holds it up and asks me. I’ll tell her the word, and she’ll repeat it a few times until she’s pleased with herself.
Even though I have a B.A. in English, I’m no vocabulary expert, especially when it comes to dinosaur names. That’s part of the beauty of this particular dinosaur matching printable. Each dinosaur has its name beneath the photo, allowing you to teach your children the dino names – even if you don’t know them.
My daughter continually surprises me with how smart she is. The second page has a diplodocus, and after hearing me say it once, she replied, “Yeah, a docus.”
How to Print and Assemble the Dinosaur Matching Game Printable
Alright, enough reading! Here’s how to print and assemble this free dinosaur printable.
First, you need to download it:
After you download the printable to your computer, go to your print settings. Next to “copies,” change the number to 2.
You’ll need two sets of this printable – one for your base sheet and a second one for cutting out the dinosaur shapes.
If you don’t want to print all four sheets in this printable, change the print range to only the pages you want.
If you want to conserve printer ink and test out the activity with your toddler, I recommend printing pages 1-2 to start.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need a laminator, laminating sheets, printer, ink, velcro sticky dots, and paper for this. It’s not necessary, but I recommend thicker printer paper (80lb) for this project. It makes the dinosaur pieces a bit more durable, especially when in the hands of toddlers.
If you don’t have thick printer paper on hand and don’t want to purchase some, just continue with regular (20lb) printer paper. It’ll be totally fine!
The sticky dots we used aren’t velcro brand, but it’s more cost-effective and has been great for various projects!
I did the math, and the supplies to make this dinosaur printable will cost you $3.75 (93 cents for the printer ink, 32 cents for the velcro, $1.07 for the laminating sheets, and $1.43 for the 80lb paper). If you use regular printer paper, the cost of the project would be $2.42 (regular printer paper would cost about 10 cents).
Laminating the Dinosaur Printable
One sheet can be laminated like normal – put the paper in the laminating sheet and run it through the laminator.
We will use the second duplicate sheet for the dinosaur cut-outs. I like cutting out the dinosaurs before laminating because it’s a bit more durable (I’ll show you why in a minute). However, a faster way is to laminate the second sheet and then cut out the dinosaur shapes.
If you plan to do it the way I did, you’d go ahead and cut out the dinosaur shapes from your second sheet, like so.
Once they’re all cut out, you can put them inside another laminating sheet.
Because the dinosaur shapes are loose, I recommend holding the laminating sheet steady as it goes through. Holding the sheet as it laminates will ensure none of your dinos fall out.
When it’s done laminating, you’ll see that each dinosaur cut-out has a little bubble around it.
If you cut just outside that bubble, these dinosaurs will last a lot longer. And this is why I recommend cutting the dinosaur shapes, laminating them individually, and then cutting them out again.
If you were to laminate the entire dinosaur sheet and cut them out after, your child would eventually be able to peel the laminating sheet off the front and back. This way, the dinosaurs are insulated a bit more and can stand up to some abuse.
At this point, you’re done laminating! The only thing left to do is add the sticky dots (velcro).
I got these big rolls of sticky dots, and they’ve been fantastic. They’re a great price, and they’re so easy to maneuver.
I put the rough stickers on the base sheet and the soft stickers on the backs of the dinosaur cut-outs. It doesn’t matter which way you do it; just ensure it’s consistent.
Go ahead and add your sticky dots to the base sheet, like so:
You don’t have to do the eggs. My daughter loves eggs, so I added the velcro just for fun.
Another little insider tip is to add the soft, sticky dots on top of the rough dots – that’ll ensure your dinosaur cut-outs match up perfectly.
You can see what I mean in this photo:
Once you add the dot, place your dinosaur cut-out on top, press to adhere, and admire your hard work!
Here’s what the finished product looks like:
Now, do that four more times.
The whole process goes a lot faster if you run it like an assembly line. Cut out all the dinosaurs from all four pages simultaneously, add the sticky dots to each dinosaur at the same time, etc.
Once you’re finished, it’s time to hand it off to your little one!
There’s something so satisfying about creating your own DIY educational activity for your kids. You get a deep sense of accomplishment.
I imagine it’s how my husband feels when he builds us something instead of buying it from the store. You did that, so be proud!
Plus, when your kids fall in love with this dino game, you can feel good that they’re building on so many amazing skills for their development.