Can-Do Dinosaurs is designed to help adults introduce children to the critical skills needed for safety, self-reflection, resilience and interrelationships. Featuring a herd of 28 dinosaurs direct from the Jurassic era, this resources carries a timeless and invaluable message for children—that they can learn and grow by focusing on what they can do, rather than on what they can’t.
The cards are ideal for helping children overcome fears, develop confidence, build friendships and make good decisions. They’re also great for helping children acquire the skills of turn-taking, listening and assertiveness!
- Ask young children to sit in a circle. Invite each child to pick a card and demonstrate how they do the action shown on the card.
- Notice what your students or children do well. Acknowledge them with the appropriate card.
- Ask children to choose a dinosaur they would like to invite into the classroom/kitchen/bedroom today. Create a collage or painting with them based on the card’s theme.
- Invite children to scan the cards and pick skills that could be used to stay safe (eg. ‘I can tell others’, I can be angry’ and ‘I can be safe’)? Which of these skills need practice? Which ones come more readily?
These engaging, easy-to-use skill-building cards are ideal for children aged 3 to 7 years old. Minimal text ensures the cards accessible to both literate and pre-literate youngsters.
Can-Do Dinosaurs is an essential resource for early childhood workers, preschool teachers, primary teachers, social workers, and family and child protection workers. Parents will also love to introduce their kids to these quirky dinosaur characters to encourage good manners, positive habits and healthy self-esteem!
Stories and Reviews
‘The I Can Monsters [re-released as the Can-Do Dinosaurs] have been a great learning strategy for the children as they can be heard saying: ‘I can help you’, ‘I can do it now’, ‘I can ask for help’ and ‘I can try!’ We have had [staff] working with the children this year and the children responded positively to our wonderful educators by including them in the play and learning and developing confidence, resilience and self regulation.’
Bright & District Kindergarten Newsletter, 2011.
Bombs and Sauropods (SOON 64, March 2014)
In March 2013, Innovative Resources received a message from Nicole Rotaru, an aid worker and educator about to begin a two year contract in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. She was leaving to join a group working in the region. The mountains, which cover some 48,000 square kilometres, lie at the geographical heart of Sudan, and have been the site of a two-decade long conflict over religion, resources and ethnicity.
Before she left, Innovative Resources donated several card sets for Nicole to take with her. There was no guarantee the cards would reach their destination—in the warzone roads are few, cars and trucks unreliable, and transport of food and other essential items takes priority. But in May, Nicole and the cards made it safely to their destination, and she generously sent news and photos showing the cards in the hands of children and patients at a local field hospital.
Nicole’s photos showed the children at the hospital enjoying the Can-Do Dinosaur cards. ‘This was the first time the children had used the cards,’ she wrote. ‘They delighted in the bright colours, the funny, crazy pictures and seeing something new. Many of the children do not speak English, but had fun repeating the captions after me. “I can…” was said with strength and adults joined in the activity and had fun.’
‘The laughter generated was a marvellous tonic! “I can…, I can…,” indeed! The Nuba people have great courage, determination and resilience. They have lived through oppression, hunger and war for most of their lives.’When we made contact with Nicole in October 2013 it was a welcome, peaceful day in mountains. Life, for the time being, was quiet for these children who have little experience of peacetime.
‘I was recently working with a 10 year old boy who had a number of issues around aggression and anger. Well, using the I Can Monster [rereleased as the Can-Do Dinosaurs] cards he wrote a R&B song called ‘Smil-ee’ (his special name for his skill). The local high school were really enthusiastic about the concept and recorded and burnt his song onto a CD! It’s such a beautiful song about all his strengths and how he is strong enough to change! The I Can Monster cards have been terrific. Many thanks!’
Lisa Ambrose, St Luke’s Anglicare
I was working with a family that two children (aged 9 and 11) who had been court appointed to live with their Dad. Dad had a new wife and two smaller children. He had not seen the children for six years.
I used the I Can Monsters cards [republished as Can-Do Dinosaurs] to start some positive discussion and to have each person see what the others saw they brought to the family unit.
Sitting round the table, we took turns to hold the Monsters cards and chose one for each person present. For example, the boy chose a card for himself, then one for his sister, his Dad, step-mum, and step sisters. I asked him to give an example of why he chose that card for them.
I took a photo of each family member and used the I Can Monsters stickers [Can-Do Dinosaur stickers available] to make a reminder of what was chosen for them and by whom, so that each of them had a reminder of the things the others had chosen for them.
This helped the family see that each member was contributing to the family unit, and that the small things they did were appreciated by the others.
Jillian Olver (Gold Coast, QLD, Australia)