What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: Our First Dinovember

Last November I saw posts on Facebook talking about “Dinovember” so I clicked and googled and having checked out this site I vowed to make Dinovember happen in our house this year. My husband and I agreed that it would be a bit of fun.

Then we completely forgot til late on Halloween night, yes, the dying hours of October. So I waded into the toybox zone, stood on Lego and tripped over a few cars and eventually found some toy dinosaurs. I returned with my battle scars to the kitchen, spilled some porridge on a tray and let the dinosaurs loose in it. We’d start gently.

I’d planted the Dinovember seeds earlier in the week, letting the boys overhear me saying to their daddy that I hoped we’d escape Dinovember again this year and that our dinosaurs seemed to be pretty well behaved . The boys’ ears pricked up and they started asking questions and we explained that sometimes toy dinosaurs come to live and get up to mischief at night during the month of November, so it’s called “Dinovember”.

They dismissed it, but the porridge sort of made them believers. Ciarán, the wise six-year-old didn’t buy it at first  but we thought we had Cathal on board, until he went into the sitting room and made a mess, then shouted at us to come see what the dinosaurs had done in there. Hmm.

The next night the dinosaurs spilled baby powder all over the changing table. I gave out in the morning and suggested that the dinosaurs would have to go. I hammed up my annoyance. They giggled and consoled me, decrying the bad behaviour.

Dinosaurs in the baby powder

Since then we’ve had dinosaurs helping themselves to breakfast (although it was pointed out that TRex was a carnivore so wouldn’t eat cereal). We’re not hardcore like the Dinovember creators who make dreadful messes, but we mess enough that the kids know it’s naughty and might have us a little cross.

Breakfast with TRex

Dinosaurs having fun with tinfoil

Tinfoil everywhere

And spilling the fruit bowl, even sampling some apples

Checking out the fruit offerings

Dumping the entire contents of my handbag on the floor (I got very, very mock annoyed)

The contents of my handbag ravaged by dinos
Piggybacking each other to climb up the changing table

and toilet paper


Toilet paper mess. Seriously.

So what’s it all about?

Magic and imagination. While I don’t think that my children need to live magical lives I love to see their faces light up when they discover the mischief that the dinosaurs got up to the night before. So, for the month of November their toy plastic dinosaurs will do something unexpected while we are sleeping.

Initially we wondered how we’d manage to come up with ideas, but my husband and I spend a few minutes every night conspiratorially coming up with plans. We’re like kids ourselves, it’s like being Santa every night for the month. Some days the dinosaurs just play with toys, but it’s the boldness that the boys really love.

The adults get to use our imaginations too, spending a few minutes each night getting creative with the plastic toys. The kids bounce in in the mornings wondering aloud what the dinosaurs have been up to overnight, some days I’ve been gone to work already and they’ve insisted that their Daddy takes a photo to show me.

Then there’s the mock crossness every morning as I complain about the mess that the dinosaurs have made and their badly disguised glee as their parents moan about the mess.

The minute I get to the childminder’s in the evening the first thing they say is “Mam, you’ll never guess what the dinosaurs did last night”. They fight over who tells me, their eyes dance with excitement.

Maybe it’s overkill, maybe we’re spoiling them, but watching their imaginations go into overdrive is worth it.

It’s not too late for the Dinovember mischief to start in your house. There’s ages til we have to start the Advent calendars.

13 thoughts on “What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: Our First Dinovember

  1. That is brilliant!!! There is a big kid in you just bursting to get out! We’ve no dinosaurs in our house yet but Santa might bring some for Christmas and I’m signing up for Dinovember 2015.

  2. Oh my god I love this so much. I got excited looking at your photos – I can’t even begin to think what it’s like for the kids – what a lovely, lovely idea. We have no dinosaurs in our house though. I have feeling we’ll find a way to rectify that before it’s too late…

    1. DO! They’re in every euroshop and TK Maxx have lovely sets. You could ham it up to say that you thought you’d escaped it but those silly new dinosaurs toys, and that it was such a bad time to buy them during Dinovember! If you try it let me know how you get on.

  3. I love this, all for imagination in this house 😉 I had great plans to do join in Dinovember this year but didn’t get my act together! Love what you are doing and how funny about that they boys pointed out that the T Rex was a carnivore!)

      1. Actually at the start of November I realised we no longer had any dinos living with us but we since received a gift of five of them so maybe that is a sign? 😉

  4. I LOVE Dinovember and love that you’re doing it. I’m a big believer in making childhood magical so I really wanted to do this. I told my husband about it and he said he’d get involved. He is loving it taking pictures every day for his Instagram account… only he’s not actually doing it for the girls… just for himself. I think he sort of missed the point…

      1. It’s got to be the kennedy gene mine still want advent calendars and if Rudolph isn’t overfed they’re not happy campers in fact the 20 year old has just completed her Santa list!!!! All 38 items!!!!

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