Free Dinosaur Printable for Toddlers: Learn Dino Names, Practice Matching, & More

Apr 20, 2021Child Development, DIY & Crafts, Popular, Printables, Toddler Activities

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free dinosaur matching printable
Free Dinosaur Matching Game Printable
Free Dinosaur Matching Game Printable With All Your Dino Favorites
How to Assemble the Dinosaur Matching Game Printable

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!

free 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.

Toddler playing with dinosaur printables

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.

Why Dinosaurs?

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.

Playing with dinosaur velcro matching game

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.

Dinosaur activity matching game for kids

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.”

Finished second dinosaur printable sheet

How to Print and Assemble the Dinosaur Matching Game Printable

Alright, enough reading! Here’s how to print and assemble this free dinosaur printable.

How to assemble the dinosaur matching game

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.

Dinosaur printable side by side

If you don’t want to print all four sheets in this printable, change the print range to only the pages you want.

Printing dinosaur game settings

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.

Laminating the dinosaur printable

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.

Cutting out dinosaur shapes
All dinosaur shapes cut out

Once they’re all cut out, you can put them inside another laminating sheet.

Cut out dino shapes in laminating sheets

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.

Laminating cut out dinosaur shapes

When it’s done laminating, you’ll see that each dinosaur cut-out has a little bubble around it.

Bubble around laminated dino shapes

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.

Side by side of laminated dinosaur printable

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.

Velcro activity

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.

Sticky dots - velcro - side by side closeup
The left side is what the soft dots look like; the right side is a rougher texture. Ensure you’re consistent about using the same dots for the cut-outs and the same dots for the base sheet.

 Go ahead and add your sticky dots to the base sheet, like so:

Sticky velcro dots on first dinosaur printable

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:

Layer the sticky dots to match up dinos

Once you add the dot, place your dinosaur cut-out on top, press to adhere, and admire your hard work!

Place the dinosaur shape on sticky back

Here’s what the finished product looks like:

Completed laminated dinosaur activity

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!

Finished dinosaur matching game laminated

Conclusion

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.

Let us know in the comments below if you try this – I would LOVE to see pictures, too! You can tag us on Instagram at @thetwomamabears, and we’re also very active on Pinterest at @twomamabears.

Happy crafting!

Other printables:

By Rebekah

By Rebekah

I'm a work-from-home mom with a supportive, hard-working husband, two toddlers, and a newborn. In the business world, I'm a copywriter with a deep background in marketing and SEO. At home, I'm always looking for mom hacks, the best projects and toys for my growing kiddos, and ways to solve everyday mom dilemmas. Whatever I find, I'm sharing on this blog, which is my passion project!

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Joanna
Joanna
1 year ago

cool article love the concept cant wait to try it

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