Dinovember 2017

For those who haven’t heard about Dinovember: welcome! We wrote a blog post last year that can bring you up to speed, and I encourage you to check it out. For those who followed our dinoescapades last year, welcome back! We’ve been doing this for a few years now and the dinosaurs have done everything from smearing cupcakes on the cupboards to colouring on the fridge to playing with the shaving cream in the bathroom. The kids have found them building outside, hijacking a ride to school, and having music concerts. Book forts, colouring pages, cereal across the floor – they’ve all been done at least once, maybe twice.

As Halloween approached this year, I started to hear the dreaded word murmured from the corners of the house : “Dinovember.”

Almost as scary as the house on down the road with the carnival decorations and the clown hiding behind the red balloons with a bowl of candy, the word made my chest tighten. My mind searched frantically for answers. I wondered if it was too late to take a month long vacation (or send the dinosaurs on one).

dinovember mummy

After hearing at length from the rugrats that they hoped the dinosaurs wouldn’t eat their candy *again,* I had to come up with something new.

Don’t get me wrong, I love how exciting and magical Dinovember is.

I do.

And I started the whole thing in our house.

But the thing is, I didn’t expect (foolishly) that it would be such a hit. I didn’t think through the part where I would have to come up with 30 things each year for the dinosaurs to do. Or that the kids would remember just about every single thing the dinosaurs did, shaking their heads disappointingly at any repeat shenanigans. (It really is only fair I warn you, just in case you were thinking of introducing it into your household.)

So just as the pressure of Halloween costumes begin to wane, the anxiety of dinocreativity begins to rear its ugly giant reptilian head in our house.

dinovember pumpkin snowman

One of my favourites so far this year, I fear this make-shift snowman may have been part of an elaborate snow dance done by the dinosaurs as it snowed 24 hours later.

There have already been the moments of panic where I wonder what to do tonight, and sometimes I wish I could take the same tactic as some do with elf on a shelf (no way is that creepy creature coming into our house on the heels of Dinovember).

But I digress. Dinovember is happening.

It’s in full swing.

And the dinoventures abound!

Here are just a few of the things the dinosaurs have been up to this month:

Dinovember tea party

Rugrat #1 wasn’t the biggest fan of this, but Rugrat #2 enjoyed it, and Rugrat #3 loved it so much she insisted on napping with these lovely ladies, their tea set, and the table (while chanting “Tea Par-tay!” right up until she fell asleep).


Counting with Cheerios during Dinovember

The rugrats enjoyed the early morning snack created by this dinosaur game. The game, not so much, but it is a bit too easy for most of them (though these poor dinosaurs struggled).


dinosaur nests for dinovember

The rugrats, in unison, declared this “awesome.” I liked that it was super easy (and in fact done after everyone woke up, in a tiny seldom seen corner of our second kitchen).


castle home for dinovember

Desperate for their own place to call home, the ground-bound dinos set off on their own adventure, far from the picture perfect bird town houses. This was the biggest hit with Rugrat #3 who has exiled the dinosaurs and minis alike in favour of her ponies.


After last night’s hard session of castle building and takeover, the dinosaurs elected to try something a little more relaxing.



Sick of their meat and plant-based diets, the dinosaurs decided to plant a candy garden. The rugrats were sad to see the dinosaurs had stolen their candy for this fruitless project.


The dinos went wild with the erasable marker, colouring all over photos and the windows. The rugrats were not pleased.


While the two of the rugrats enjoyed a sleepover at Nana’s, the dinosaurs went went with a movie marathon – complete with snacks galore!


The kids thought the dinosaurs did nothing… then we found this.




“Yep, that’s what they did.” – Rugrat#2   Well, that’s a late night mess… and a lot of caffeine.  

So tell us, have you participated in Dinovember?

Do you know anyone who has?

If you are looking for more inspiration than our posts offer, there is tons of material out there. (Dinovember has quite the following!)

What’s your favourite one of our dinoshenanigans?

Tell us! We’d love to know. Some of our favorites haven’t been such a hit with the kids. (But man did I enjoy colouring all over the fridge and watching the kids clean that up so the dinosaurs didn’t get in trouble!)  Some of our random/last minute adventures are beloved by all the rugrats. It can be hard to tell what’s going to be a success and what will be an eye roll. So chime in! Let us know what you love!

Dinosaurs go fishing

5 Things I Didn’t Do for Dinovember

Thirty days.  For Dinovember we had to come up with a new idea for the dinosaurs. Every. Single. Day. For thirty days. And with us being several years into this tradition, and the rugrats horribly disappointed if there are repeat adventures, it gets harder.


I always mean to spend the time between one November and the next coming up with new ideas, but time ticks by. At first I’m just happy to be rid of the prehistoric dino-trouble, and then as the next November gets closer, I get excited – but I forget to get planning.

dinosaur rockstars
So Dinovember arrives and, inevitably, midnight rolls around, I’m exhausted from being up so late working, and I curse those damn plastic reptiles – and myself for ever introducing it.  Sometimes I have something brilliant planned, sometimes something basic, but each time I was at a loss I would look hopefully at my husband and he would either suggest something that’s been done, or come up with something a little less than helpful.

dinos making Christmas cards

Here are 5 ideas I did not use this Dinovember:

  1. dinosmoothie“Just stick them all in a pot, and turn it on.  We can have a big plastic dino-soup. Maybe stick a dinosaur head on top of it. They can find it like that in the morning.” (While I was away for a night this month, he actually did go for the blender, but he fought the urge to turn it on.)
  2. “What if we just sent them to live with someone else?” (We actually sort of did this here.)
  3. “Just skip it.  Maybe they won’t notice.” (I thought about this one more than once, especially after Rugrat #1 started making his own when he couldn’t find what we set up.)
  4. “You could just hang them from the ceiling fan, Mission Impossible style.” (You know, because the kids wouldn’t use them to pull the whole fan off the ceiling, or turn the ceiling on and have the toys become dangerous weapons.)
  5. “They could kill me.  The kids could find them standing over my dead body. Please. I’m so tired. And the police would have photographic evidence of the killers.”

And now December has arrived and the dinosaurs’ home is once again the plastic bin. While I still stumble on them from time to time (darn those rugrats for not cleaning up!), the trouble they cause is mostly nil until next year. Which should hopefully mean I can spend less time assembling dinosaur buildings and accessories, and more time on writing projects.Dinosaurs watching Rex play in town.

Dinosaur terrorizes cardboard city.

And, in case anyone was wondering, Elf on the Shelf does not visit this home.  No, if that obnoxious little creature shows up here hoping for a new pose, it might just inspire me to use idea #1 above, or a Christmas variation; I’m all tapped out of creativity when it comes to toys for a bit.

Time to relax with a glass of wine and get back to thinking about gaming projects.

Merry Christmas from the dinosaurs

Dinosaur party

Dinovember Photos

November continues to be far busier than we’d like.  Long overdue appointments, the start of Christmas shopping (I know, I know, but we like photo gifts made by Shutterfly, and shipping them up here to Canada from the States requires a little planning), writing assignments, our own Dire Rugrat projects we want to wrap up, and…. DINOVEMBER!

After doing this for a few years, the dinosaurs seem to run out of inspiration and once in awhile the rugrats tell us the dinosaurs are doing something they have already done.  Repetition is bad.  When you wait all year for remarkable magic, each and every day needs to be brilliant.  Apparently.

I imagine the dinosaurs are exhausted with this sort of pressure (I know I am). And the early morning hunts for what the dinosaurs did last night doesn’t make it any easier.

In the hopes of preventing the rugrats from waking up at an ungodly time hunting down the dinosaurs to see what sort of shenanigans they are up to freeing up a bit of time, we packed up the dinosaurs.  That’s right, no more adventures.  This didn’t come out of nowhere.  No, no.  The dinosaurs deserved it after the stunt they pulled.

Well, it wasn’t exactly their fault.  Desperate for a reprieve, I picked up a package of mini cupcakes at the store, and then, before bed, whispered in Rugrat #3’s ear about a dinosaurs party. She took off chanting “dino party” and her older brothers accepted it as her idea.

The next morning they found the remnants of a dinosaur party.

The cupcakes were gone by the time I dragged my tired self out of bed and, since I said the night before that a big mess meant a Dinovember-break, the kids knew what was coming.

Except a handful of them escaped.

Dinosaurs in the sandbox

And then went on an adventure outside the walls of our house.

Dinosaurs on the train tracks

After all, why dash our children’s happy little dinodreams when the magic of the internet can allow those dinosaurs to send pictures to our adorable kiddos? And all after 7 am.

The rugrats had mixed reactions.  Rugrat#1 was worried.  And he missed “Pentie”. He insisted on checking the sandbox in case they were still there.  (They weren’t.)

Rugrat#2 was curious.  It could come from his own love of wandering off to be unsupervised, I’m not sure.

“I hope they are okay out there.” – Rugrat#2

For one week, the kids were sent these pictures by those magical reptilian beasts.

Dinosaurs climbing

The rugrats diligently checked the areas where the photos were taken, sure they might be able to catch up with the dinosaurs.  Rugrat #1 suggested the dinosaurs could see what we were doing but were staying hidden. Or were invisible. I will say was impressed with his ability to locate the areas in our neighbourhood with just a snapshot.
Dinosaurs worshiping at a statue

Dinosaurs building a nest of sticks

Rugrat #2 continued to be thrilled with the whole experience, but at four years old, I think he liked that a) his brother didn’t discover what the dinosaurs did last night any sooner than he did, and b) he got to look at the computer to see the pictures.

Rugrat #1 continued to be frustrated.  He loved determining where the pictures were taken, and he loved seeing the photos, but a few minutes after their reveal he would get upset the dinosaurs hadn’t returned.

Dinosaurs at a playground

“I see! I see!!!” – Rugrat #3

Rugrat #3 definitely just loved the computer (screen time is pretty limited in our house).

Dinosaurs at a mailbox

Rest assured the dinosaurs are back in action and, after a little break, Ken and I are feeling a little more ready for some dinoantics. Plus, these prehistoric reptiles found the photobook of their dinofun from 2015 in the mail, so they brought that home with them.

Have you tried Dinovember yet? Share your ideas! Our dinosaurs can always use a little inspiration.


Warning: this post is a bit off topic for an RPG publisher’s website, maybe.  Humour me here.

If you haven’t heard about Dinovember yet, you are missing out.

This is a highlight for the dire rugrats in our lives, though by the end of the month it is often a burden on us as we scramble for yet another thing for the dinosaurs to do and Ken curses me for introducing it in the first place.

The dinosaurs got into the Halloween candy. It seems to be the way they start every Dinovember, and who can blame them?

DAY 1: The dinosaurs got into the Halloween candy. It seems to be the way they start every Dinovember, and who can blame them?

So here’s the deal: Dinovember started in 2012. The idea was that by capturing the moments when the plastic dinosaurs came to life and caused chaos in their house, Refe and Susan Tuma were “igniting the imaginations of hundreds of thousands of children–young and old–across the world.”

It took off like wildfire and since 2012 people have been sharing their own pictures of what their dinosaurs did last night.

With a new double toaster in the house, the dinosaurs seemed keen on making a midnight snack. Two points for team work?

DAY 2: With a new double toaster in the house, the dinosaurs seemed keen on making a midnight snack. Two points for team work?

It is a great way to get kids away from the screens, and back to using their imagination. We’ve often found our kids setting the dinosaurs up again, when they think we aren’t looking, and then announcing the dinosaurs did something else and showing us incredible and creative things. They are forever guessing what could be coming next, and they’ve learned to be really good sports when the dinosaurs have done terrible things (like eat some of their Halloween candy).

Another perk? I gained a better understanding of my toddler during Dinovember. How so? Well, I learned it is sickly satisfying to watch your kids scrub crayon off the fridge, after you had a great time putting it there. (Sorry kids – they’re your dinosaurs, you clean it up.)

The dinosaurs said goodbye to Halloween by smashing the pumpkins. "I am not impressed, dinosaurs," said Rugrat#2.

DAY 3: The dinosaurs said goodbye to Halloween by smashing the pumpkins. “I am not impressed, dinosaurs,” said Rugrat#2.

It’s a game we all get to play for the whole month. It forces Ken and me to be creative, and it helps the kids use their imaginations and believe in something amazing.

“There is only one thing that can make the dinosaurs come to life: MAGIC!” – Rugrat#1

I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos from this month so far; no doubt those dinosaurs will be up to more shenanigans before the month is through.

Have you ever done Dinovember? Share in the comments your favourite thing you’ve seen them do!