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All Board! Dinosaur Express

All Aboard! Dinosaur Express

April 20 @ 10:00 am5:00 pm

Please enjoy these virtual school vacation week activities, inspired by the special exhibit Dinosaur Train and our permanent collections.

Today's Theme: Dinosaurs vs. Dragons

Triceratops illustrationHistorians believe that myths about dragons probably developed independently in both Asia and Europe, and maybe even in Australia and the Americas. Could myths about dragons actually have been inspired by dinosaurs? Ancient dinosaur skeletons along with surviving reptiles like and large birds of prey and crocodiles may have helped to create the fantastical dragons of human imagination.

Read more from the Smithsonian!
Where Did Dragons Come From?
Dragons of the Past

Dinosaurs, Dragons... or Both?

Sort these descriptive words into 3 categories that they describe: Dinosaurs, Dragons, or Both. You can use the worksheet provided if you like!

  • Scaley
  • Claws
  • Wings
  • Teeth
  • Fantasy
  • Extinct
  • Lay Eggs
  • Real
  • Big
  • Small
  • Tails
  • Fossils
  • Breathes Water or Fire
  • Mythology
  • Paleontology
  • Appear in Stories in Many Cultures
  • Lived on Pangea
  • Capture our Imagination
  • Feathers
In Popular Culture

Popular culture today is full of both dinosaurs and dragons! Can you sort these famous characters into which are inspired by dinosaurs and which are inspired by dragons? You can guess based on their names. For even more fun, have your grownup do an image search and guess based on the picture.

  • Norbert from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Dino from The Flintstones
  • MuShu from Mulan
  • Baby Bop from Barney & Friends
  • Smaug from The Hobbit
  • Salamence from Pokemon
  • Rex from Toy Story
  • Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon
  • Haku from Spirited Away
  • Quetzal from Dragon Tales
  • Buddy from Dinosaur Train
Dragons in Art

The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum at the Springfield Museums has hundreds of beautiful dragons made of all different types of materials like textiles, gold, ceramics, and clay.

Can you use clay, paint, or even a pencil to create your own dinosaur or dragon?
Share your creations with us using #AtTheMuseums.


April 20
10:00 am–5:00 pm


Springfield Museums
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, MA 01103 United States


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