This is one of my favourite activities I’ve done with Finn. He spends his entire day in an imaginary world, full of babies and creatures. At the moment, Finn keeps making up his own dinosaurs, so I asked him to draw one. This was his ‘bathosaurus’.


  • Paper
  • Felt-tips


All these ideas were his own. I only asked questions such as, “What else?” I have broken the video in to stages, to include a transcript. I know that understanding three year olds can be tricky!

One of Finn’s targets at pre-school is to hold his pencil correctly, so that’s why I keep asking him to put the pen down and pick it back up again.

“This is my bathosaurus so we’ve got to put it like that, because he is very big. He has a big, green, fat tummy.”

He had a go at spelling and writing ‘fat’ independently.

“His head looks like a big, blue bath. Shall I draw it? On his head.. Like them?”

He decided it looked like a reindeer with the tap ears on his head, then wrote the word ‘big’. It’s spread over two videos as Cian stopped the filming!

“G..g..g..g..g. G’s are very tricky for you Mummy. I can do one though. B-i-g.”

“His scaly tale. A scaly tail is terribly long. That’s what a scaly tail looks like and it needs a bit more for his tail, doesn’t it? There’s his tail. Do you like his tail Mummy best? See that’s what his head looks like and that’s what his tummy looks like and that’s what his tail looks like.

“His eyes are like fire but they’re not hot. They’re small like mine. Oh he needs some black round them first.”

“I’m going to draw his nose next, but it’s going to be purple. It’s going to be very, very big like the Big, Bad Mouse. Ta da! He’s saying ‘whooo!'”

“He’s b-i-g so he needs long arms to catch his food. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

“He needs, he needs 5 plus 5 to make, what do you think Mummy? … Noooo, 10! … 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.”

“Very, very big smelly feet so he can jump. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. They’re big, smelly, pink feet and he needs some food doesn’t he? I’ll give him some tomatoes to eat, to gobble up.”

“He’s getting very hungry so he needs some food. Bathosauruses eat… erm.. tomatoes and pasta. Draw orange ones… erm… ovals. He’s got one. See he’s got one.”

“Yes you get sofia tomatoes. Red. He’s got some tomatoes. Orange and some red.”

“Draw his yellow pasta. Do you know what his favourite food is? It’s satsumas like me!”

After drawing satsumas and teeth in his mouth: “Big, sharp, pointy teeth. The Highway Rat.”

He counted the teeth up to 18, then wrote the number 18 independently.

“One more thing I need to draw and that’s his wings, because he lives at the airport and you can’t fly without wings.”

This was his happy face at the end, proud to show it to his big brother. Ioan added that if the bathosaurus was a plant eater, Finn could describe him as a herbivore. Ioan was impressed to hear how big the bathosaurus was, but clarified, “It might be bigger than all the other dinosaurs, but not a brachiosaurus!”

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Communication and language

ELG 03 – Speaking:

Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.

Physical development

ELG 04 – Moving and handling:

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.


ELG 10 – Writing:

Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds.

Expressive arts and design

ELG 17 – Being imaginative:

Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through art and stories.