Cardboard Dinosaur – Recycled Craft DIY Toy for Kids!

My son is obsessed with dinosaurs, and that’s all he wanted for his birthday. Well, his wish came true when he got this awesome giant cardboard dinosaur as a gift!

I’ll first explain why we love this cardboard dinosaur craft and how it was made.

Then I’ll share a few fun learning activities that you can try with your children!

fun ways to use a cardboard dinosaur #cardboard #recycledcraft #kidscrafts #kidsactivities

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3 Fun ways to use a cardboard dinosaur

Cardboard is such a wonderful resource to upcycle for activities, and this dinosaur craft has been useful in many ways for my children.

  1. In addition to being a fun DIY toy, my children consider this cardboard stegosaurus to be their “pet”.
  2. The recycled dinosaur craft also is a cute decoration for a child’s room.
  3. The cardboard dinosaur is also an excellent, eco-friendly alternative to dinosaur balloons. My son actually requested a dinosaur balloon for his birthday, but we are trying to avoid balloons due to pollution and helium waste.

Although we have a cardboard stegosaurus, you can adapt the idea to make your child’s other favorite dinosaurs!

modern kids playroom

Important vocabulary: dinosaur names in Chinese, Pinyin, and English

Since my children and I are learning Chinese together, activities like this cardboard dinosaur craft have made the learning process much more fun!

In Chinese, dinosaur is 恐龙 / 恐龍 (kǒnglóng), and the Chinese names of each type are just as complicated as the English ones!

In case other families are wondering about common dinosaur names, you can take notes from this list!

  • Brontosaurus / Apatosaurus 雷龍 / 雷龙 (Léi lóng)
  • Stegosaurus 劍龍 / 剑龙 (Jiàn lóng)
  • Triceratops 三角龍 (三角龙 Sānjiǎo lóng)
  • Tyrannosaurus rex 霸王龍 / 霸王龙 (Bàwáng lóng)
  • Velociraptor 迅猛龍 / 迅猛龙 Xùnměng lóng
Colorful acrylic paints and sponge paintbrush

Cardboard dinosaur craft: What you need

  1. Cardboard
  2. Pencil
  3. Colorful acrylic paint (buy from Michaels or Amazon)
  4. Sponge paint brush (recommended over typical paint brushes for a smoother finish)
  5. X-acto knife
  6. Sharp scissors
scissors, X-acto pen knives

Cardboard dinosaur craft: How to make it

If you have large pieces of cardboard, you can make large cardboard dinosaurs.

If it’s too much cutting or if you only have small cardboard, you can make cute mini cardboard dinosaurs!

  • With pencil, draw outlines on cardboard of the following shapes:
    • 2 pairs of legs with a general arch shape
    • 1 Dinosaur body
    • For stegosaurus: pentagons or spade shapes for the spikes

*Note: no templates were used for this craft. We don’t think “perfect” crafts are necessary!

cardboard pentagons
  • Cut out these shapes with scissors and/or X-acto knife, whichever you are more comfortable with
  • On the cardboard feet, cut rectangle slits approximately the width of the cardboard dinosaur body. A snug fit is preferred so that the legs don’t slide out
cardboard dinosaur legs
  • Paint the dinosaur desired colors
  • Assemble and enjoy!
How to make a cardboard stegosaurus dinosaur; DIY recycled craft for kids

Learning activities with the DIY cardboard dinosaur toy

  1. Disassemble and reassemble the dinosaur – this could be a great simple puzzle for a young child!
  2. Count the dinosaur dots with dot stickers!
  3. Word matching on the dinosaur dots with dot stickers
Kids activity: count the cardboard dinosaur dots!

To make the dinosaur versatile for various activities, we use these 1″ round stickers.

So far, they have not stuck to the cardboard because the acrylic paint seems to provide an added layer of durability.

Have you tried making a cardboard dinosaur for your kids?

If you try this activity, please let us know in the comments below! What age(s) are your kid(s) and how did it go? We’d love to hear about your learning experience!

More fun, recycled learning activities for kids!

If your kids love this dinosaur craft, they may also enjoy the following recycled activities:

Learning activities for every topic!

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Happy playful learning, friends!

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