The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention)

About This Program

Target Population: Children 3-8 years of age

For children/adolescents ages: 3 – 8

Program Overview

The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention) is used by teachers as a prevention program for an entire classroom of students. The curriculum is delivered 2-3 times a week by teachers in the classroom in 20- to 30-minute circle time lessons, followed by small group practice activities and promotion of skills throughout the school day. Program topics include doing your best in school, understanding feelings, problem-solving, anger management, friendship skills, and how to talk with friends. The program includes letters for teachers to send home with suggested activities parents can do with their children to reinforce the classroom learning and promote parent involvement in classroom learning. The program includes lesson plans for 3 levels so that teachers can choose lessons based on children’s developmental age (Level 1: ages 3-5: Level 2: ages 5-6: Level 3: ages 7-8).

Program Goals

The goals of The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention) are:

  • Learn and practice classroom rules and group norms at their developmentally appropriate level
  • Increase attention, focus, concentration, and cooperation with pre-academic and/or academic tasks
  • Increase feeling literacy, understanding of their own feelings, and ability to understand and have empathy for the feelings of others
  • Increase ability to self-regulate
  • Learn problem solving steps and positive solutions for common problem scenarios
  • Increase ability to manage own anger and respond to the anger of others
  • Learn prosocial skills and friendship skills with peers

Logic Model

View the Logic Model for The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention).

Essential Components

The essential components of The Incredible Years ® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention) include:

  • Classroom-based intervention:
    • Groups of 18-26 children
    • Led by classroom teacher alone or co-led with other school professionals such as school counselors, school psychologists, or school nurses
    • Lessons are delivered 2-3 times per week in a 20- to 30-minute circle time (depending on children’s level of development)
  • Lessons are provided for three developmental levels:
    • Level 1 (3-4 years)
    • Level 2 (5-6 years)
    • Level 3 (7-8 years)
    • Approximately 60 lessons for each level
    • Lessons can be delivered systematically from preschool up through 3rd grade
  • Small Group Activities:
    • Occur after the structured circle-time lesson
    • Reinforces the skills taught in circle time
    • Hundreds of activities are available:
      • Choice of numerous activities per lesson
      • Cover different developmental levels
      • Cover different kinds of tasks including:
        • Writing
        • Reading
        • Science
        • Art
        • Games
        • Gross or fine movement
  • Teachers promote skills through the rest of the school day through coaching:
    • Academic
    • Social
    • Emotional
    • Persistence coaching
  • Skills are taught and reinforced through developmentally appropriate methods such as:
    • Songs
    • Games
    • Large puppets
    • Video vignettes
    • Role play practices
  • Teachers draw on their knowledge of children’s real-life problems and experiences to tailor the lessons to the children in their classrooms
  • As part of the training on the program, teachers learn how to:
    • Deliver this program in their classrooms
    • Implement the curriculum lesson plans
    • Use strategies for positive teacher classroom management
    • Do academic, persistence, social, and emotion coaching
    • Develop behaviors plans for children
    • Involve parents

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • All children ages 3-8 years in the classroom; may include children who live in poverty conditions; who have difficulty making friends; and/or with low achievement scores, higher levels of behavior problems, language delays, emotion regulation problems, oppositional behaviors, anxiety, or other internalizing problems
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Parents are involved through parent letters and children’s assigned home activities.

Recommended Intensity:

60 lessons delivered over entire school year, 2-3 lessons per week, 20- to 30-minute circle time lesson, 20-minute small group activity

Recommended Duration:

9–10 months

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)


The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention) includes a homework component:

Children are given a developmentally appropriate home assignment to do with their parents each week.


The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention) has materials available in languages other than English:

Danish, Norwegian, Spanish

For information on which materials are available in these languages, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Equipment to play videos (this may include computer, projector, large screen, TV, DVD player or USB port or internet access for video streaming—depends on format of videos purchased)
  • Classroom with room for circle time activities and small table groups
  • Stickers and incentives
  • Curriculum set
  • Puppets (large child puppet, large Dinosaur puppet, small turtle puppet)
  • Homework Activities Handouts
  • Art supplies, hand puppets for children, children’s books, toys, games, and puzzles (materials typically present in most classroom settings)

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

All teachers/group leaders must have background in child development, knowledge of effective teaching practices, and experience teaching or working with groups of students. For prevention program, it is preferred that leaders have at least a Bachelor’s degree in teaching, early childhood education, school psychology, school counseling, other helping profession, or equivalent experience.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Program Manual(s)

Program manual details:

  • Webster-Stratton, C. (2007). The Incredible Years Classroom Dina manual. Incredible Years Press. [Revised in 2013].

The program manual is included with the Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention) set or can be ordered separately from:

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Individuals can sign up for training through Incredible Years. There are on-line and in person options:

Training can also be obtained for an agency. There are online options (up to 15 people in a training) and on-site in-person options (up to 25 people):

Number of days/hours:

In person training (for all): 3 days, 18 total contact hours Online training (for all): 5 sessions, 3.25 hours per session

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention) as listed below:

Agency Readiness Questionnaire: Available at this link

Cost Planning Sheet: Downloadable from this link (Just save the Excel sheet to your computer)

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention) as listed below:

Following initial group leader training, on-going consultation is highly recommended. Supervision and consultation are provided by accredited trainers from the IY administrative office. If they wish to take care of this on their own, agencies can nominate accredited group leaders to be considered for further training as Peer Coaches (who can offer coaching to newer group leaders in their own agency) or Mentors (who can offer accredited training within their own agency). Peer Coaches and Mentors go through extensive selection, training, and accreditation processes. On-going support and consultation are available in the following ways: Consultation Zoom sessions for small groups of teacher/leaders: This includes review of video from sessions, role play, and discussion. Recommended 3-4 times during each group led by a nonaccredited group leader. Half- or full-day group consultations: This is offered in person or on-line (Zoom) to groups of 6-8 teachers/leaders. Video review and peer support. Recommended 1-2 times per year (for both accredited and nonaccredited group leaders). Accreditation process: Includes video review to evaluate teacher/leader’s proficiency in program, paperwork to indicate whether leader is doing the program with fidelity. Leaders who pass the accreditation process are deemed to be doing the program in the way that it was intended.

Fidelity Measures

There are fidelity measures for The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention) as listed below:

These process checklists are designed to be completed by group leaders as a self-assessment or by trained mentors who are giving feedback to group leaders on their implementation of the program. The checklists cover all skills that a group leader needs to demonstrate to do the program with fidelity. There is a Likert-type rating scale for most questions so that it can be used to measure fidelity in quantitative research.

  • Teacher Child Group Process Checklist - Dinosaur School in the Classroom available at this link
  • Incredible Years Classroom Dina Teacher Peer and Self-Evaluation Form available at this link

Another process checklist is used to assess whether a group leader’s submitted video is ready to pass for accreditation in the program. In addition to marking whether the group leader has demonstrated each skill that is important in implementation of the program (yes, no, NA), there is space for qualitative feedback. This is available from the program contact (information at bottom of entry).

These fidelity measures are not required in order to implement the program, but they are required for group leaders who which to be accredited/certified in the program.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention) as listed below:

The administrative page of the Incredible Years’ website provides extensive implementation guidance:

Implementation Cost

There have been studies of the costs of implementing The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention) which are listed below:

Olchowski, A. E., Foster, E. M., & Webster-Stratton, C. H. (2007). Implementing behavioral intervention components in a cost-effective manner: Analysis of the Incredible Years program. Journal of Early and Intensive Behavior Intervention, 4(1), 284–304.

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has been conducted on how to implement The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention) as listed below:

Albrecht, E. C., Sherman, L., Fixsen, A., & Steffen, J. (2022). Adaptations in the context of COVID-19: Application of an implementation science FRAMEwork. Global Implementation Research and Applications, 2(4), 278–292.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Webster‐Stratton, C., Jamila Reid, M. J., & Stoolmiller, M. (2008). Preventing conduct problems and improving school readiness: Evaluation of the Incredible Years teacher and child training programs in high‐risk schools. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49(5), 471–488.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 1,921 (1,768 students and 153 teachers)


  • Age — Students: Mean=63.7 months (Range=35–101 months); Teachers: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Students: 27% Caucasian, 20% Asian, 18% African American, 18% Latino, 9% Other Minority, and 8% African; Teachers: 65% Caucasian, 16% African American, 12% Asian and 8% Other
  • Gender — Students: 50% Male; Teachers: 95% Female
  • Status — Participants were culturally diverse Head Start programs and elementary schools serving low-income populations.

Location/Institution: Seattle, Washington

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the Incredible Years (IY) Teacher Classroom Management and Child Social and Emotion curriculum (Dinosaur School) [now called Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Program (Prevention)], as a universal prevention program for children enrolled in Head Start, kindergarten, or first grade classrooms in schools selected because of high rates of poverty. Participant schools were randomly assigned to intervention (Dinosaur School) or control conditions. Measures utilized include the Teacher Coder Impressions Inventory (TCI), the Multiple Option Observation System for Experimental Studies (MOOSES), the School Readiness and Conduct Problems: Coder Observation of Adaptation-Revised (COCA-R), the Classroom Atmosphere Measure (CAS), the Wally Problem Solving and Feelings Tests, the Teacher—Parent Involvement Questionnaire (INVOLVE-T), the Teacher Satisfaction Questionnaire, and the Parent Curriculum Involvement and Satisfaction Questionnaire. Results indicate that intervention teachers used more positive classroom management strategies and their students showed more social competence and emotional self-regulation and fewer conduct problems than control teachers and students. Intervention teachers reported more involvement with parents than control teachers. Satisfaction with the program was very high regardless of grade levels. Limitations include the inability to determine whether the child behavior improvements occurred outside of the classroom environment, and whether they generalized to the home environment; reliance on self-reported measures; and lack of follow-up.

Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: None.

Additional References

Webster-Stratton, C., & Reid, J. (2004). Strengthening social and emotional competence in young children – the foundation for early school readiness and success: Incredible Years Classroom social skills and problem-solving curriculum. Infants and Young Children, 17(2), 96–113.

Contact Information

Lisa Wallace-Gloria, M.Ed.
Agency/Affiliation: The Incredible Years
Phone: (206) 285-7565

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: September 2023

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: November 2023

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: December 2023