Dinosaur world created from Jurassic Coombe Mill

Posted on May 18th, 2018

I love it when I have an idea that jut grows. We had such fun back in half term up in the deer field, where Farmer Nick was explaining the ice age history of the woodland there and I began to think about how we could incorporate this into an activity hour. My mind moved from the ice age landscape to the dinosaurs who would have roamed the Jurassic landscape back then. Creating a dinosaur world from the ancient parts of Coombe Mill began to take shape in my mind whilst I was cycling over Bodmin Moor. Farmer Nick was out shopping and as my plan came together in my mind I had to stop and phone him to ask him to buy me a bag of plastic dinosaurs. He is used to my strange requests and came home with just what I wanted. A little more planning and creative thought and I had our dinosaur world of discovery mapped out.

Dinosaur world recreated from Jurassic Coombe Mill

Dinosaur know how

As everyone assembled the children began to look through 3 lovely dinosaur books we have on the farm from Atlas of Dinosaurs and Lonely Atlas of Dinosaurs which covered the age range of the children perfectly. I was surprised how knowledgeable the children were on their dinosaurs, telling me names, habitats and even how long ago they lived on earth (180 – 65 million years ago) and theories on they became extinct.


Reading dinosaur books together

I focused in on the Atlas of Dinosaurs and the page on the UK which depicted a beautifully illustrated landscape that could have been Coombe Mill. The children quickly identified the river and the forested deer field as looking just like the book.


Spotting the Jurassic landscape in Coombe Mill through Lonely Planets Dinosaur Atlas

Dinosaur rocks

By now everyone had arrived and we set about painting dinosaur rocks out of old Coombe Mill scavenged ancient chunks of rock which I had pre primed with white paint as a base.


Painting Coombe Mill Dinosaur Rocks


The children painted their favourite dinosaurs and we set them on one side to dry. I later took them home and varnished them so they could be taken home with the children the following day and kept or hidden locally. My own is now hidden at Coombe Mill and added to our Coombe Mill Rocks page on Facebook.


A dinosaur rock for the Coombe Mill Rocks Facebook Page

Creating our dinosaur world

Next we arranged cereal box backing into supermarket vegetable trays as the base of our Jurassic world. When everyone was happy with the fit of the two items we took just the tray with us on a farm scavenger hunt to look for and collect evidence of where the dinosaurs might have lived and what they might have eaten at Coombe Mill. We stopped to look along the river, to collect and smell wild garlic which we all agreed dinosaurs would have enjoyed and headed up into the deer field.


A walk to the deer field scavenging for our dinosaur world


A play in the trees followed, along with collecting moss as a carpet to our dinosaur world. We also searched for ferns and leaves which we had read they liked to eat.


Play in the deer field and moss and fern to collect


Back at the craft table the children tipped out their scavenged items, added the backing board back and began to assemble their own mini Jurassic world replica.

Where are the dinosaurs?

 There was just one thing missing, mine had a dinosaur in and no one else’s did. I had a last activity up my sleeve. Clio had laid a dinosaur trail for us while we were on our scavenger hunt. This took us from the games room up to the sand pit where 9 dinosaurs were hidden in the sand; one for each child. They raced along spotting and collecting the clues and enjoyed digging up their dinosaurs. The Play Expert diggers were very handy for the job!


Dinosaur hunt and dig


Finally with dinosaurs in hand they headed back to place them in their newly made home.


Dinosaur worlds completed by children


It’s amazing how much fun we had with some lovely books, little dinosaur toys and 30 acres of ancient dinosaur landscape that makes Coombe Mill.



Country Kids