Dinovember is one of our favorite annual family traditions. When Jonathan and I were first married and blogging about the most random of things because…what did we even do back then? He stumbled upon a blog with a creative idea he loved by these two parents who just wanted to be fun and keep the magic alive for their kiddos. They called it Dinovember, and we said if we ever had a kid who loved dinosaurs, we’d totally do it. And wouldn’t you know it. When Kai was around two, really starting a few months prior to him turning two, he got super into dinosaurs. Oh I can still hear his sweet little voice say “da-is” for dinosaurs. So we decided, we’d start Dinovember that year.
Here’s the idea: Every November, the toy dinosaurs come to life in the middle of the night and do all kinds of shenanigans. So every morning for the whole month when you wake up, you find the dinosaurs in a different place, in some kind of scene, doing something ridiculous. It’s super fun, and Kai wakes up excited every morning running to find the dinos to see what they were up to while we had all been sleeping. It takes a lot of creativity and work on mom and dad’s part, but it’s so worth it. Fun is one of our values in this family, and this definitely brings it and is just something different.
Now, I know you might be thinking, that sounds a lot like a rip off of Elf on the Shelf.
Here’s why we LOVE Dinovember.
- It’s not creepy. Sorry Elf on the Shelf Lovers, it is straight creeps-mcgee that some CREEPY looking elf is watching your every move AND reporting it to some old man who apparently keeps tabs on you That sounds like a horror movie to me, so that’s going to be a hard no for this family. You do you, but I like to sleep and I’d be watching my back with that thing in my house. This video is my exact thoughts and feelings about it.
- It’s not complicated. There are no rules with Dinovember. It’s just fun and silly. Why on God’s green earth are there so many rules with that elf? It’s like setting kids up for failure. Don’t touch it or he’ll lose his magic. Don’t do anything naughty or he’ll pack up and go to the North Pole. Sometimes the elf is kind and sometimes he’s playing tricks on the kids. And home seems to do something different with it. That sounds like too much work to keep up with so, hard pass on that one.
- It has NOTHING to do with behavior. The dinos are out every morning, whether you had your best day ever or you worst. It is not contingent on anything that your child does or does not do. And since it’s not complicated, your kid can pick the dinos up and play with them, because after all, they are your child’s toys. They don’t come just for a season. Your kid plays with them all year, they just come to life in November for Dinovember. Nothing gets taken away, there’s no punishment for a bad day or a mistake which we all have, parents included. No one plays pranks or tricks on anybody. The dinos aren’t sending mixed messages because…they are dinosaurs. Y’all my biggest complaint is the fact that all that elf does is cause anxiety and unrealistic expectations for both parents and children. No one needs added stress or pressure this time of year.
- It’s something our kid already loves and plays with all the times, which makes it extra special. To us, this is way more like a Toy Story scenario than Elf on the Shelf. Andy’s toys come to life when he’s not around! After last year, Kai has been asking over and over “is it Dinovember yet?” He can’t wait to get a peek at what his toys do. We caught him several times over the past year making up his own scenarios for the dinos. It was so cute, and it’s just a fun family tradition to do with something he he loves.
We could not find that blog to give credit where credit is due, but lo and behold, that couple wrote a book about it! So, grab What The Dinosaurs Did Last Night. It’s a great intro into Dinovember, and will give you some ideas. And of course, here are some of the things we’ve done over the years. If you use one of our ideas, just do us a favor and tag @spoonfulofjordanblog on instagram or facebook. We love to see what other families do too! And we’re hardcore. We were at Disney World last year for a week in November. Dino’s stowed away in our bags, and to add more fun, they snuck out of our hotel room every night. Kai found them at some point the next day somewhere around the park. We’re magical like that.
So that’s Dinovember. Do it, enjoy it, your kids will love it.