Help to motivate your little dinosaur fans to read with this handy reading log. Just colour in a cute little dinosaur for every book they read, or for every 20 minutes they read for and reward them with a little treat for completing the sheet!
If you’re the parent of a primary school aged child you will probably be tasked with listening to them read each night. We love listening to our son read and we love reading to him too. We regard it as a special quiet time where we sit together and get transported to another world.
It’s not all sitting on a magic carpet happily listening to a child read. Sometimes it’s a bit harder to get him to read, especially if he’s not interested in the books he’s been sent home with. In those situations we usually promise the reading of a favourite book once the less exciting school reading has been finished. That way we get the best of both worlds.
Our son is very motivated by rewards, it doesn’t have to be big; a sticker or 20p for his jar is very well received. He loves dinosaurs so I devised this dinosaur reading log for him. If he reads for 20 minutes he gets to colour a cartoon dinosaur in. Or if he finishes a book within those 20 minutes he colours one in too.
Once he’s completed a sheet he gets a treat. Again it’s nothing huge; he might get to choose a Netflix film for us to watch with some popcorn, or he might get a trip out to his favourite local museum.
We’ve found that this dinosaur reading log really does help to motivate and encourage him to read. He’s obsessed with anything with dinosaur on, so this reading log is a real winner!
AD/Gifted. Dinosaurs have always been popular, especially in our house. My 8 year old spends a good chunk of his spare time reading and learning about dinosaurs. The Dinosaur Creativity Book is an activity book entirely devoted to all things dinosaur.
The Dinosaur Creativity Book by Penny Worms is suitable for ages 6+, costs £9.99 and is 80 pages of dino fun. Plus two pages of stickers. There is a brilliant glossy gatefold cover where you can create your own dinosaur sticker scenes with some of the 150 stickers included.
The book is packed full of fun things to do; including a big dino quiz, how to draw dinosaurs, find the fossils, dino dot-to-dot and make your own mobile, plus lots, lots more!
There are so many things to do in this book, my 8 year old loved every page. He loves a good puzzle and a maze, he really liked the quiz and the pages of various dinosaur scales and pattern. There’s lots to go at here and it’s ideal for taking out and about and keeping them entertained during meals out of on holiday, as well as at home. The Dinosaur Creativity Book is a must for all dino fans!
There are several other books in the series from Carlton Books; The Space Creativity Book, The Dragons Creativity Book, The Unicorn Creativity Book and The Princess Creativity Book.
The Dinosaur Creativity Book is published by Carlton Books and costs £9.99. It is available online and from good bookshops.
Disclosure: We were sent a copy of The Dinosaur Creativity Book for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.
AD/Gifted. Over the weekend we were looking back at pictures of my son as a toddler and there were a few pictures of him playing with some of the dinosaur figures we’d got him. He’s still playing with them now and every few months we add another dinosaur or two to his collection. Over Easter we’ve added the new 2019 Schleich Dinosaur Figurines to his dino box and he’s thrilled!
The new collection of Schleich Dinosaur Figurines includes the Spinosaurus (£19.99), Giganotosaurus (£19.99), Dimetrodon (£9.99), Dimorphodon (£7.99) and Animantarx (£7.99).
What I really like about the new dinosaurs in the range is that they’re not just the usual, popular dinosaurs. I really like that they’re slightly more unusual, and that’s really great for dinosaur enthusiasts to explore and play with.
The Spinosaurus was one of the most dangerous dinosaurs. It is considered the biggest carnivore because it was even bigger than the T-rex and the Giganotosaurus! It can be easily distinguished from the other two dinosaurs by the spiny sail on its back and its crocodile-like snout. It’s a bigger figurine, really detailed and has a movable lower jaw for extra ferociousness!
The Giganotosaurus is quite similar to the T-rex. Both were hunters with short arms, walked on two legs and had a large skull. However, the Giganotosaurus lived much earlier and was from North America, whereas the Tyrannosaurus rex lived in South America. This large sized figure had a movable lower jaw and is a fearsome as his T-rex cousin!
The Dimetrodon is often referred to as a dinosaur. However, it is a primeval reptile, a so-called Pelycosaurus. It has a sail on its back was made of skin and bones, helping it to warm itself quicker in the sun. If it wanted to cool down, it positioned the sail parallel to the sun’s rays. This colourful reptile also has a movable lower jaw and makes a colourful addition to any dino collection.
The Animantarx was an approximately 3-metre-long dinosaur with bone plate armour. Only one skeleton of the dinosaur has ever been found, so scientists don’t really know much about it. It lived during the Upper Cretaceous period, at the time of Argentinosaurus and Giganotosaurus, and fed on plants. It has a squat body and looks like it would be a dangerous enemy to have!
My favourite dino from the collection is the Dimorphodon. It was a small flying dinosaur with a large skull and a long beak. It hunted fish, insects, lizards and other vertebrates, which it held with its claws and then ripped apart with its fangs. With its short wings it could probably only fly short distances, for example from tree to tree. They styling of the figure is really sweet and I can really picture it swooping down to hunt.
The new Schleich Dinosaur Figurines are aimed at children and collectors aged 5+, though the figures are suitable for ages 3+. The new collection also includes a newly re-styled Plesiosaurus, a Dracorex and a Diabloceratops.
As with anything made by Schleich, everything has been beautifully hand-painted and the modelling and attention to detail is excellent. They are really great collectors pieces and the quality is fantastic. The Schleich Dinosaurs my son has been playing with since he was three are still in perfect condition and still played with on a very regular basis. I’ve decided to keep them once he (if he) grows out of them to pass on to any grandchildren I might have.
If you’re building a dino collection of your own, or if you’re starting a collection, these Schleich dinosaur figures are a great place to start. The full range of dinosaurs is extensive, so whatever dino is your favourite, it’s bound to be available.
You can buy Schleich dinosaurs from a wide range of retailers including Smyths Toys and directly from Schleich.
Disclosure: We were sent some of the Schleich Dinosaurs range for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.
A few weeks ago I spotted a packet of Gelli Baff in my local toy shop and decided to treat my son to a Gelli Baff bath. It was brilliant fun and we all ended up having a go. It’s really tactile so I thought it would be something we could use for some sensory play. Today it’s been too grey and wet to go to the park, so I assembled some stuff and we had an hour or so of dinosaur sensory activities.
The Gelli Baff is available in a range of colours but I opted for “slime green” which seemed about the right shade to create a dinosaur swamp with. Gelli Baff comes with a sachet of dissolver, so when you’ve finished it just washes down the plughole like water. It’s safe for children and fine for sensitive skin. It also has a pleasant fragrance.
A packet of Gelli Baff costs £5.99 and there’s enough for one bath in the pack. But if you want to use it for sensory play you can probably get a minimum of five trays of goop out of a packet.
How to create a Dinosaur Sensory Activity box
You will need:
One plastic storage box. I used an IKEA TrofastStorage box Gelli Baff
Selection of dinosaurs and dino accessories
How to make your dinosaur sensory activity box:
In your clean plastic box pour in six pints of warm water, you can add more if you need to later. Weigh out 30g of the Gelli Baff powder and stir it in. It should turn to jelly fairly quickly. If the texture is too firm for you, add some more warm water until you’re happy with it.
Grab your dinos and put them in the box, let your imagination run wild.
Once you’ve finished playing with your dinosaur sensory activity box you can sprinkle over the dissolving powder and then just pour it down the sink.
Although Gelli Baff doesn’t stain (or shouldn’t), you might want to wear an apron to protect your clothes.
My son LOVED this activity and decided he wanted to make a pond for the dinosaurs to drink out of and swim in. We used a small plastic bowl, this definitely added an extra dimension to his play.
I put the washing up bowl nearby so any dinosaurs he’d played with could go in there and be rinsed off afterwards. Some of the goo did cling to them a bit. I’m a big fan of tidy as you go and this helped.
We played with this in the kitchen which was fine because if there was mess it could be mopped up. If you’re playing with this in a carpeted room I’d but a wipe clean cloth down under the box to minimise the mess.
Children might like to use tools in the sensory box; we used some normal teaspoons to dig the goo out for the pond.
What did we learn?
My son loves dinosaurs, so for him this was a really good way of stretching his imagination by creating a habitat for his dinosaurs. For me it was a good way of expanding his vocabulary and exploring new ways to describe things.
We founds words such as; squishy, wobbly, gooey, warm, cold, soft and grainy which all described the Gelli Baff well.
We also closed our eyes and felt around for tiny dinos in the goo. When we found them we had to try to feel to guess what kind of dinosaur we had. This was a great game and one he really enjoyed.
For a more interesting tactile sensory experience; make the Geli Baff up with quite warm water and children can explore the different temperatures as the gelli cools while they play with it.
He mostly enjoyed just playing with the dinosaur sensory activity box, and who can blame him?
Recently I’ve started joking to friends that I’m thinking of renaming my blog Dinosaur Days. It sometimes feels like a good percentage of my blog posts are about dinosaurs. When I started out blogging, my blog was there to document our lives; the things we did and the things we liked. Right now, dinosaurs are a pretty big part of our lives because the boy just loves them. Apologies if you’re not as enthusiastic as us about these pre-historic creatures, but there’s usually cake on Friday; so do pop back then if that’s more your thing. Today I want to take a look at some of the new range of Schleich Dinosaur figurines.
Schleich are one of the leading makers of dinosaur figurines. If you’re into dinosaurs, Schleich is the most well-known, quality brands around. Cheaper dino figurines are usually made in China and the bigger ones are often made in two pieces and glued together; which I think looks terrible. We have quite a lot of the Schleich dinosaurs and you can easily spot the difference between them and the made in China figures.
The Schleich figurines are designed with great attention to detail and are painted by hand. Dinosaur figurines help children to explore the fascination of the prehistoric era and its creatures through play.
The new Schleich Dinosaurs for 2018 include a large T-Rex (£15.99), a Dinogorgon (£7.99) and a Psittacosaurus (£7.99). These dinos come in new poses and are really realistic. The quality of these hand painted figurines is superb. They look fabulous fighting to the death in the patch of long grass in my garden.
The T-Rex is fierce looking and impressive, he stands at just under six inches tall and has lots of detail. He’s pretty steady on his feet and coped well on my uneven garden cobbles. He had a hinged jaw which opens and closes, which means you can make him bite any other dinos he catches. It’s pleasing to have some movable parts as this really helps bring them to life in my son’s imagination.
The Dinogorgon lived in South Africa and it’s name translates as terrible gorgon; which probably indicates he wasn’t that friendly. The Dinogorgon was about two meters long and ate smaller lizards. This is the first Dinogorgon in the Schleich range.
The Psittacosaurus was quite a strange looking dinosaur. It was small, dinosaur which had a toothless beak a bit like a parrot. Its tail was covered in long and thin spines as a porcupine. Again, this is the first Psittacosaurus made by Schleich, which makes it quite special.
The boy is understandably thrilled. Adding these new for 2018 dinosaur figurines to his collection just a few days before the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom at the cinema is a real thrill for him.
These Schleich Dinosaur figurines are available at www.schleich-s.co.uk or from other toy retailers.
If you liked the look of these Schleich figurines, you might like this Dinosaur Skull Trap also from Schleich which we reviewed last year.
Disclosure: We were sent these Schleich Dinosaur figurines for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.
It’s well documented that the boy loves dinosaurs. He loves playing with them almost as much as he loves learning about them. His favourite books at the moment are “non-fiction books about dinosaurs” and every week he seems to bring a new one home from the library. His current favourite is the newly published Dinosaur Number Crunch! by Kevin Pettman.
Dinosaur Number Crunch! is a snappily written, fact-packed overview of the world of dinosaurs. It’s jam-packed full of colourful, well-illustrated facts. It contains all the essential info that dinosaur fans need to know; such as where they lived, what they ate, how big they were, how fast they could run, how many teeth they had and their key weapons.
Each fact is based around a number, creating an entire book of easy-to-digest information that will hook even the most reluctant of readers. For example…
“Ankylosaurus had 2 horns on the top and 2 horns on the side of its head. These 4 horns protected its head and eyes from predator attacks.”
Dinosaur Number Crunch! is written to be enjoyed by children aged 8 and up. My son is 7 and such a big dino fan that he’s had no trouble at all reading and digesting the facts in the book. He does struggle to pronounce some of the names, but I’m 41 and I can’t pronounce them either!
This 96 page, hardback book covers a wide range of dino topics including “Clash of the Killers”, “Under the Sea”, “North verses South” and “Brill Bones & Fab Fossils”.
It’s very much the kind of book you can dip in and out of and absolutely perfect for fact fans like my son. It’s very well put together. I like the themed pages and it means you can find the facts you want quickly. It’s probably the most informative and interesting dinosaur book we’ve read, and we’ve read an awful lot of dinosaur books!
Dinosaur Number Crunch! is published by Carlton Kids and costs £9.99. It’s available in all good bookshops and online now!
If you live with a wannabe paleontologist who has virtually every kind of plastic dinosaur in the world, yet wants more, what on earth can you get them that they haven’t got already? Is the answer to their Jurassic dreams the Large Skull Trap play set from the Schleich Dinosaurs collection? We shall see.
The Large Skull Trap play set from the Schleich Dinosaurs collection is indeed large. It comes in a nice big box which alone brought gasps of excitement. It’s well packaged inside and most of the packaging can be recycled.
Inside the box is a large dinosaur skull, a velociraptor figure, a compsognathus and a bearded dragon. I’m going to stop right here and say if you like dinosaurs then this is cool.
The dinosaur skull is hinged which means you can move the jaw and make it snap shut when you press the nose. The velociraptor has movable arms and jaw, you have to make your own dinosaur roars, but that’s all part of the fun!
It does come with three dinosaurs so you can start playing with it straight away. But if you’ve already got a large and comprehensive selection of dinosaurs, then this would fit seamlessly into your collection.
As with anything made by Schleich, everything has been beautifully hand-painted and the modelling and attention to detail is excellent. The movable parts on the skull and velociraptor are particularly well done and lots of fun to play with.
The Large Skull Trap play set is priced at £24.99 which I think is really good value for a set of this size. It’s suitable for ages 4+. My six year old absolutely adored it and quickly gathered all of his dinosaurs together for a big dino-war.
This set would make a brilliant Christmas or birthday gift. It’s a little bit different to your average dino toy, which I like and it has lots of imaginative play potential. it’s a hit!
Dinosaurs are showing no signs of falling out of fashion for my six year old son. On the contrary, he seems more obsessed than ever at the moment and why would I discourage that? He’s starting to read independently now and whilst he still needs some help with tricky words he’s never seen before, he does like to take himself off to bed each night with a dinosaur book. We were sent the new Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex to see what our junior paleontologist thought about it.
Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex is a 32 page hardback book. It’s a large sized book packed with dinosaur facts and includes genetically engineered, terror-inspiring dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park trilogy and Jurassic World, including new profiles for Tyrannosaurus rex, Indominus rex and Velociraptor, as well as other favourites from the original films.
Download the free Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex app (available from the App Store and Google Play). Then using the advanced Augmented Reality app, you can bring the book to life. Just scan the code on the pages of the book and you can walk a lifesize Jurassic Park dinosaur across your floor, photograph your friends with favourite dinosaurs or connect with another device in dual user mode to roam and explore.
There’s lots of reading in small chunks which are the right length for our six year old. The book features the fictional island where Jurassic Park is set, with information about some of the main characters in the films. It’s an engaging combination of fact and fiction and ideal if you’re a fan of the films too.
The book and app combination is an obvious winner. Bringing the dinosaurs to life and having them walk across your table is really good fun. Swatting off a plague of flying Pteranodon is also pretty funny; it helps if you’ve got a silly mum who will pretend to run away from them too.
Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex! costs £9.99 and the app is free to download. Together they are a lot of fun to play with and it is both interesting and educational. The book would make an excellent present for any junior dinosaur enthusiasts in your life.
Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex! is available in bookshops and on Amazon from 10th August 2017.
Note: We were sent the Jurassic World Special Edition book to review. All images and opinions are our own. This post contains an affiliate link.
For a few days before the show, we’d had the boy watching the Dinosaur Zoo trailer and trying to get him all excited about his trip to The Lowry to see the show.
We’ve been there before and he loved it so we had high, high hopes for this trip. More so given the fact we could now get the Metrolink there (which he loves) and go door to door pretty easily.
Dinosaur Zoo is an interactive dinosaur show for children aged 3+. The boy is just short of his 3rd birthday now but he’s bright, mature and loves dinosaurs so we thought we’d chance it.
It’s an Australian production showcasing some of the many dinosaurs you’d have found in the southern hemisphere 65 million years ago. The dinosaurs are realistic, almost life sized puppets which move authentically and make all the right noises.
It’s a very educational production, which at the same time is entertaining, exciting, interactive and occasionally scary for the young audience. It was interesting, but I think a lot of the show went over my boys head, the older children around us seemed interested though. Maybe three is just a touch too young.
The zoo-keeper Lindsey Chaplin was engaging and informative, but some of her jokes fell a little short, perhaps it didn’t suit the English audience, or they were just pitched wrong. I’m not sure. There was a lot of talking and information which didn’t always hold the attention of the young audience. But really the dinosaurs were the real stars of the show, that’s what everyone had come to see.
As I said it was scary and some of the smaller children did leave early. I think the dinosaur roaring and trying to eat a 7 year old might have been too much for them. My brave little soldier loved it, the roarier the better as far as he was concerned.
His highlight was meeting the dinosaurs afterwards outside. We thought this was a lovely touch as not many kids got a chance to go on stage and meet them. It was great to see the dinosaurs at close quarters. The puppets are beautifully made with amazing attention to detail and their movements were incredibly life-like.
It’s always a sign that he’s had a really good time when he spends the whole journey home muttering “more dinosaurs, more dinosaurs”. Yes, most of it went over his head, but visually and as an experience it definitely hit the spot for him.
If you’ve got a dinosaur mad child, then it’s well worth going to see this while it tours the UK.
Find out more about Dinosaur Zoo here, or what’s on at The Lowry. Next stop for us is The Snail and the Whale. We’ll let you know how that goes!
I also wrote a separate review of Dinosaur Zoo for Mums & Dads Magazine which you can read here.
The young master of the household is obsessed with dinosaurs. I mean seriously obsessed! He generally wakes us up in the morning by roaring at us and shouting “dinosaur!” until we let him go downstairs and play with his toys. With this in mind I was super-excited (on his behalf) to see that Dinosaur Zoo is coming to The Lowry in October.
Dinosaur Zoo is an interactive dinosaur show for children aged 3+. Having watched the trailer it kind of looks like something the late, but wonderful Steve Irwin would have done if dinosaurs still roamed the earth. It’s an Australian production and the dinosaurs are very realistic, almost life sized puppets. The children (and adults) learn all about various dinosaurs as well as getting the chance to touch them, feed them and help the zoo-keeper out.
The dinosaurs range from cute baby dinos to teeth-gnashing giants, including a carnivorous theropod known as the Australovenator, based on the most complete meat-eating dinosaur skeleton found in Australia.
We cannot wait to go and rest assured I’ll be blogging about our Jurassic adventures when we get back. In the meantime I’ll just have to put up with even more roaring early alarm calls from the boy.
Dinosaur Zoo will be at The Lowry, Salford on Fri 4 October 1pm, Sat 5 October 10.30am, 13.30pm & 15.30pm
Tickets £13.50 & £16