Parenting is tough. It just is. But it’s also this wonderful, funny, silly, adventure. Last night, as per usual, my two preschool boys hopped on my back and began growling fiercely. In the evening, my generally adorable little children transform before my very eyes into abominable beasts of great size and ferocity. Bingham is a Tyrannosaurus Rex, while Billy becomes an Apatosaurus (he only eats leaves, but he’s quite serious about it and his teeth are very sharp). Some nights I become a Triceratops, because that is my favorite Jurassic creature. But other days I triumph over them both as the Mama T-Rex, also known as a “Mamasaurus.”

When I was but a Baby-soarus, I used to dominate at a special game. The Dinosaur game. Today is your lucky day, because I’m about to tell you just how to play – and win.

The Dinosaur Game

Participants sit in a circle, each waiting in eager anticipation, with lips tightly sealed. One person begins the game when she turns to her left and makes whatever dinosaur noise she thinks might entice laughter from her first opponent. The catch: she cannot reveal her teeth. This may sound simple, but I assure you, it is actually quite difficult. If a participant shows his/her teeth during any part of the game, that person is disqualified. The last person to reveal teeth is the winner.


Make dinosaur noises at each other, one at a time, without anyone in the group showing teeth. If someone sees your teeth, you are out! Last person standing wins.


  • Sit in a circle
  • Curl your lips over your teeth
  • 1st person: turn to the person on your left and make a dinosaur noise without showing your teeth.
  • 2nd person: repeat the actions of person #1.


  • Do not laugh. If you laugh you’re out. (Though this might also be considered a different type of winning…)
  • Do not show your teeth. If your teeth break the rim of your lips, you’re out.
  • The last dinosaur left standing wins. You can laugh now, you’re amazing.

How to perfect that Dino sound:

Sometimes adults look down on those who make loud Paleolithic noises in the name of fun… but they’re ridiculous and really their opinion doesn’t matter. So let’s begin.

What kind of a dinosaur are you? It’s important to identify in your mind the dinosaur or Jurassic mix you would like to replicate. This could be a Pterodactyl, T-Rex, Bracheosaurus, Steggasaurus, Velocoraptor, etc. There are hundreds of them, so google could be your best friend in this part of the process. If you’re still unsure after looking through lists, real live audio recordings, and pictures of them, you might try taking an online quiz. They’re truly the very best way to know who you are and what you want out of life.

Just do it. Nike was onto something when they came up with this ultra popular tagline. It sticks with us because it’s simple, and it’s the way to get a lot of things done. Like winning at a dinosaur game, for example. Just begin making noises. You can do this, I believe in you.

Keep Going. It’s ok if you don’t get it right the first time. From time to time, I hear the objection that, “It is impossible for a human to exactly replicate a dinosaur…” Or more often, “MoOaHmm, that’s NOT what a dinosaur says!” But practice makes perfect, my friends. And the third time might not be the charm, but three hundred and thirty-three just might be. Keep at it. You’ll get this. And hey, even if you don’t, you and the children around you are going to have a blast.

A note from the expert

I wasn’t going to say it, but I guess there’s no reason not too. I am the expert at dinosaur noises. And just because I like you, dear reader, let me share my favorite sound to inspire your own process. My favorite dinosaur noise is like a low, slightly guttural gurgle with a bit of an “usk.” This noise is generally best when accompanied by two curled hand-like claws held up by the noise maker’s mouth.

So there you have it. Grab some kiddos, or just some great people who want to have a good time, and let out some stress with a Dino-growl. Parenting can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be dull.