Name: Dinosaur State Park
Location: Rocky Hill, Connecticut
Length of stay: 1 hour 45 minutes
Dinosaur State Park is a collection of dinosaur foot prints called a track wave. There are over 1,500 Jurassic-period foot prints that were discovered in 1966. Only 500 of them are available for viewing. The track wave is indoors and covered for protection.
The girls were excited walking up and stopped to look at the information board. They saw the chronology of Earth’s geologic eras in the sidewalk and loved that it has numbers. We read every slab of rock as we walked down the path. Then they found dinosaur foot prints on the sidewalk and had to follow them.
Inside we walked through the store and into the main exhibit. We read the signs about the foot prints and that they were a track wave. A track wave tells you the distance between steps and gives you an idea of how the dinosaur walked. Rose noticed right off at the the tracks where not all in a straight line. Most of the books that we have read have track waves in a straight line. The exhibit talks about this. There is also information on different kinds of foot prints and about the rocks.
The girls liked the replicas of the dinosaurs. We talked about each one and about where we have seen them before: books, videos, or museums.
The girls each found something fun in the learning area they wanted to do. Rose went right for the coloring dinosaurs. Amelia went for the dinosaur toys. Mary went for the magnifying glass and small rocks and fossils. The room is full of books and information.
There is a board for assembling dinosaur names. We mixed up some of the names to see what we could create. Rose put many of them together and knew the names of all the dinosaurs on the board. There were some fossils in the room as well. You could look at the different sizes of a few dinosaur heads. All three of the girls liked everything they found in the room.
We went back outside and looked at some plants. Many are labeled with names and information. We also looked at the area where the rest of the track wave is buried. There are some trails outside. During the summer there is an area for track casting.
We went out to see what we could see on the trails. The trails are well maintained and in good condition. The girls each had parts they liked and did not like. Rose loved looking around to see everything, but was concerned that we would not be able to find our way back. Mary just wanted to keep going and did not want to stop. Amelia liked to look but did not like the bugs at all.
On the drive down to the park I asked the girls three questions.
- What time period did they think the tracks where: Triassic, Jurassic or Cretaceous periods?
- Rose said middle Cretaceous.
- Amelia said Jurassic.
- Rose said a lot and about 100 foot prints.
- Amelia said a lot and 50 foot prints.
- Rose said both kinds of dinosaurs.
- Amelia said Carnivore.
We talked about the results of our guesses on the way home. Rose was upset that she did not guess better about the time period. Amelia was happy to have got something right. I asked if I had shown them more information would they have made different guess. Both said they would have said differently if they had seen the website. We talked about the observations that we made while on the trip.
We looked at the web site and got a book about the park to read at home. The girls loved going and it was a great learning experience.
Cassie – 3Dinosaurs.com