cartoon robot


Step into the role of a palaeontologist as you freeze your own dinosaurs and hunt for them in the great outdoors!


  • Toy Dinosaur (this can be substituted with any small hard, rubber toy, or item which can be safely frozen and thawed)
    • Note: Please consider the material of the toy. Some materials may not react well to being submerged in water, frozen, and then thawed
  • Balloon or Ziploc bag
  • Water



  • Choose a dinosaur to encase in ice!
  • Depending on the size of your dinosaur, either work together to help place it inside an uninflated balloon, or if your dino pal is too large to fit inside a balloon, place it inside a Ziploc bag
  • Fill your balloon or Ziploc bag with water, seal it, and place it in the freezer
    • If you are using a Ziploc bag, please be sure to remember that water expands when it freezes. We recommend only filling your bag halfway full to ensure that the water has space to expand and checking on it periodically so you don’t end up with the ice age in your freezer! If the water does break out of the top of the bag, we found that turning a metal teaspoon upside down for use as a scraper was a safe, effective method of removing unwanted ice
  • Wait for your dinosaur to freeze!
  • Once frozen, take it outside. Remove your dinosaur from the balloon or Ziploc bag
  • You are now free to explore with your dinosaur! Hide your dinosaur(s) outside and go on a hunt! How many times can you hide and find your dinosaur before it melts? Use the activity extensions listed below to continue your study of these prehistoric pals!


How does this spark creative learning?

Just where are your dinosaurs hiding? Where could they hide? Before hiding your dinosaurs outside, brainstorm a list of landmarks (aka: potential dino hiding locations) in your community. How far is each of these places from your home? What direction are they in? Head outside, spin yourself around, and see if you can point in the direction of these locations!

Grade 1:
Bathing in the sun, or hiding out in the shade, which do you think will help uncover your dinosaur pals faster? Choose a place outside that you think will help melt the ice surrounding your dinosaur the fastest. But wait – is that same spot still good, regardless of the time of day? Check back in on your dinosaur friend throughout the day and see if you need to move their hiding spot to help them come out and play!

Grade 2:  
The block of ice and your dinosaur pal are both solids, but do they react the same way when they’re left out in the sun? Explore and experiment with states of matter by observing how heat affects each of these solids. Look around your house to find other solids to include in your experiment!

Grade 3:
Sunlight is important for much more than just melting ice – it also helps plants grow! Think of the things that plants and dinosaurs would need to survive. Are some of them the same? Are some different? How do you think plants helped the dinosaurs to survive?

Grade 4:
There are many different sources of light! If you leave your dinosaur outside to melt, what source of light are you taking advantage of? Is it natural, or artificial? Are there any other sources of light you can think of that would produce enough heat to help free your dinosaur?

Grade 5:
Take a deeper look into the science behind matter! When you place your dinosaur in the freezer, what type of change is taking place? Is it reversible or non-reversible? Is it a physical, or chemical change? Is this change happening to the dinosaur, the water, or both? What other solids would change by placing them in the freezer?

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