A Month of “Dinovember”/Elf On The Shelf Inspirations

Last year I heard about this new–what shall we call it…a movement?–called Dinovemer. During Dinovember (a combination of the word parts “dino” for dinosaur and “November” for the month these escapades occur during) children awake each morning to find that their toy dinosaurs have caused mischief the previous night while the family was sleeping. Dinovember is similar to the profoundly popular Elf On The Shelf movement that has picked up steam over the last few years. I like the idea of the elf, but we already have several advent activities that we focus on during December so I just can’t with the elf. With two little boys at home, I knew that I just had to participate in the Dinovember festivities. So, I marked my calendar and when November rolled around this year I was ready!

And, I have to say, our first Dinovember was epic. I had fun thinking up antics for our dinosaurs to get into (er..I mean, the dinosaurs had fun getting into mischief all on their own…) but, even more, I loved hearing my boys’ squeals of delight and screams of astonishment each morning when they discovered their dino friends.

Dinovember helped our family play together and use our imaginations. As an added bonus, my boys also diverted some of their attention that is usually reserved solely for Toy Story and cars to a new topic of interest: dinosaurs. We checked out dinosaur books from the library, watched a dinosaur movie, and looked up the names of dinosaurs together on the computer. Dinovember was such a hit this year that we have already decided to make it an annual tradition.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your own family fun–whether it’s Dinovember or Elf on the Shelf or whatever other creature you feature during this festive season–I’ve got you covered. Here are the highlights of our first–but certainly not our last!–Dinovember:

Our Dinosaurs arrived on November 1st, the day after Halloween. They brought with them a cute little rhyming note that explained their presence and what they’d be up to this month. They also, conveniently, got into the boys’ Halloween candy and ate most of it up (“But, Dad, why is there chocolate on the corner of your mouth…?”).
IMG_0367The dinos left their mark on the bathroom mirror with dry erase markers. They wrote clever phrases like “Dinos rock!” and “Rawr!”:
IMG_0568They built intricate towers with blocks:
IMG_0579 ..and even made themselves a midnight snack (dino nuggets, of course):IMG_0594Our dinosaur friends made a mess out of TP:
photo (27)The dinos had a late night story time with all of their favorite dinosaur books:IMG_0613 ..and, knowing how important oral hygiene is (because, you know, they have all those sharp teeth), they even took the time to brush up:IMG_0629The dinosaurs got into some old-school mischief printing off pictures of themselves on our office copy machine:
IMG_0641 They got out some favorite board games for a night of good clean fun:IMG_0658 And, if that wasn’t enough fun, the magnadoodles were certainly entertaining! Our little dinosaur friends did some baking (poor little Stegasaurus even got trapped under a bowl!):IMG_0716 They must have wanted to go for a walk because the dinos tried on all of our shoes:IMG_0723 Then they decided to primp themselves up with some of Mom’s jewelry:IMG_0736 As everyone knows, art is a dinosaur’s favorite subject:IMG_0746 Some of the other toys retaliated against the dinos’ mischief-making tendencies:IMG_0561But, in the end, the dinosaurs were so very thoughtful. They even put their own ideas onto our family “Thankful Tree” (even if their ideas of “sharp teeth”, “loud roars”, and “sharks” were a bit unconventional):IMG_0749Hunger must have struck in the middle of the night, because one morning we found them outside grilling up a hamburger and reading our “King of the Grill” cookbook:
IMG_0763 Even dinosaurs get tired sometimes (can you find them in there?):IMG_0766 The dinos wanted to be just like Daddy and shave off their wiskers:IMG_0771 Occasionally the dinosaurs were downright helpful. Here they are starting a load of laundry:IMG_0783Our dino friends built impressive book towers with a bit of prehistoric ingenuity:
IMG_0819 Going back to their animal roots, the dinosaurs decided to go fishing…from the top of a doorframe:IMG_0825 After watching countless hours of our boys playing cars, the dinos wanted their own turn at the race track:IMG_0853 …And what visit to a little boys’ room would be complete without trying some undies on your head?photo (26)

Then, as one final goodbye, the dinosaurs left us with some lasting memories from their “professional” photo shoot:

photo (28)

Dinovember has been a blast but, like all good things, it must come to an end. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and our dinosaurs will eat enough turkey to go into hibernation until next November. We will miss our little dino friends, but we can’t wait to see what they come up with next year!

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