Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It's Dinovember! What The Dinosaurs Did in RVA

Have you heard of Dinovember?

If not, it's that magical time of year when toy dinosaurs come to life at night, getting into all sorts of mischief during the month of, you guessed it, November. It originated with Refe and Susan Tuma who live in Kansas City with their four children and a herd of plastic dinosaurs. The Tumas began documenting their dinosaurs' antics in 2012, sharing the nightly adventures on social media.

In the words of the parents who schemed up this tradition:

"Why do we do this? Because in the age of iPads and Netflix, we don't want our kids to lose their sense of wonder and imagination. In a time when the answers to all the world's questions are a web-search away, we want our kids to experience a little mystery. All it takes is some time and energy, creativity, and a few plastic dinosaurs. Childhood is fleeting, so let's make sure it's fun while it lasts."

Dinovember has picked up traction with parents over the past few years and we've enjoyed watching from the internet sidelines, that is, until this year. As you know, our 5 1/2 year old niece came to stay with us for a week in late October, so in the spirit of making her week memorable, we took the opportunity to bring our two toy dinosaurs to life and knew this first week in November would be the perfect time to share a recap of all the mischief they got into.

The evening Virginia first came to stay, we casually mentioned she should tell these dinosaurs to behave — that occasionally we wake up to find they've gotten into "mischief." She didn't react too much to this statement and we didn't take it any further than that. When she woke up and came downstairs that first morning, she was greeted with this little surprise at her coloring desk in our kitchen:

When she discovered it, it was all we could do to stifle our laughs at her look of bewilderment and wonder.

The next night when we mentioned telling the dinos to behave, she giggled and said she wondered what might happen if they didn't. Well, we sure did find out:

This time she found them when it was time to brush teeth before school — it was a pretty epic surprise.

Tuesday morning, Virginia was beside herself to wake up and get downstairs to see what the dinos might have done overnight, and they didn't disappoint:

She looked all over the kitchen and bathroom, then squealed as she discovered them watching an episode of Barney (the purple dinosaur) on the iPad propped up like a movie screen:

They'd also been snacking on potato chips and since we don't eat snacks in the family room, this was some big mischief!

The next evening we'd planned to have the dinos take on a "light toilet papering" of our downstairs bathroom. That is, until Tim got a sweet tooth and ended up eating the leftover cupcake halves (mine and Virginia's) from dessert that evening. We had decided to save the halves for another time and I was terrified at the thought of having to break the news that Uncle Tim ate our cupcakes — so we blamed it on those mischievous dinosaurs and got away with it (yes, we are awful):

Virginia took the news lightly, given the fact those dinosaurs were up to no good and loved getting propped up to take a peek at them atop the fridge.

The last night she stayed with us, we'd been scheming up a big scene. We had a little pink suitcase filled with Barbie clothes and toys that she'd been playing with all week. As you can probably imagine, Virginia walked down the stairs Friday morning to find those dinosaurs amidst a "Barbie Explosion:"

She loved that they'd played dress-up and brought out all the other animal friends around the house to play. Pretty silly, we know. That being said, watching the look of surprise and delight on Virginia's face throughout the week brought a little magic for all of us.

For a grand send-off, we hid the two dinos at the top of her suitcase with little paper notes taped to their hands that said something like "Roaaaaar! and Can we stay with you"? I forgot to get a picture but later that evening received a call from Virginia who was beside herself trying to tell me that the dinosaurs had somehow gotten into her bag. We told her with an exaggerated sigh of relief that we were happy to know where they were and that be under her good care.

We'd coordinated with Gran (my mom) to have the dinosaurs get into a little mischief in her own home, which I think you'll agree was much more creative and over the top than anything that went down at our house:

Those dinos made a swimming pool out of the dog water bowl, complete with stickers and diving board. They found accessories for sunbathing, borrowed pool and sun accessories from Barbie and even brought sand in from the sandbox during their escapades.

We'd all planned for Gran to take the dinos back to her house when my sister and her husband returned home, but she left them with the kids after they begged for them to stay. Not knowing whether or not my sister would carry on the Dinovember tradition, we've all been surprised and delighted with the pictures that have been rolling in now that November is officially here:

They've played tic tac toe, gotten into legos and even found their way into leftovers inside the fridge. Just look at these smiles:

Want to see more? Keep up with the official Dinovember Facebook page to see all sorts of mischief that toy dinosaurs across the world are getting into this month. Rafe and Susan also just released a book all about their own dinosaurs' antics, learn more here.


  1. This is adorable! Can't wait to do this with our little lady when she's bigger!

  2. So darn cute. My lil grandaughter loves dinos and I will have to get creative , actually copy a few of your ideas here for her. She will love it.

  3. I LOVE IT! I used to do something like this for a house I used to clean. I'd create a scene for one of the daughter's using her toys but it was usually in her room for when she'd come home from school. it wasn't anything this creative though! So much fun!