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?
StikBots were launched a couple of years ago now. They’re little plastic figures with sticky suction cups on their hands and feet which you can animate. There’s even a free app you can use to animate them. If you don’t fancy animating them, you can just play with them normally. I’ve heard they make good fidget toys. We were sent some of the new StikBot Dinos range to have a look at, so what did we think?
We were sent two StikBot Dinos to play with. The StikBot Mega Dino Brontosaurus and a StikBot Dinos Egg. The StikBot Dinos Egg is one of 24 StikBot Dinos to collect. There are Seven different Dinos in nine different colours and some rare ones too. The egg comes with a collectors leaflet, so you can see what you’ve got and how rare it might be. When we opened ours up we discovered that we’d got a rare one.
These StikBot Dino eggs really tap into the trend for blind-bags and collectibles. They cost around £6.50 each and are available online and in some toy shops.
The Stikbot Dinos have a really unique design, with suction-cup hands and feet, so you can position them on any flat surface. Their legs, body, mouth, tail and neck can be positioned in all kinds of different angles which makes them great to make stop-frame animations with.
The StikBot Mega Dino Brontosaurus is bigger than the egg and they cost around £9. You can choose from Stik T rex, Stik Carnotaurus or Stik Brontosaurus, each is available in three different colours.
Th sticky pads make these StikBots perfect for making stop-frame animation films using the free to download mobile Animation App. The app is easy to use and helps you create a professional animation, with built-in music and sound effects.
I wasn’t sure what my 7 year old would think of the StikBot Dinos but he really enjoyed playing with them. We haven’t tried making an animation yet, but he’s played with them all weekend, making a Jurassic story of his own. I can see us putting together a StikBot animation in the future as he’s very keen to try them out, so watch this space for the next dino blockbuster movie!
Disclaimer – We were sent these StikBot Dinos for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.
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.
The eagerly awaited film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is released in the UK on 7th June. This is a real treat for dino fans and not to give too much away, but Jurassic World Two follows what happens when the dinosaurs escape the island – scary stuff! Posh Paws International the official soft toy partner for the 2018 summer’s blockbuster, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. To celebrate the launch of the film, they have launched their Posh Paws Jurassic World Two range. I got my hands on a few of the dinos.
Fans can collect 8 inch, 10 inch and HUGE 21 inch variations of their favourite dinos. Or even Accessorise backpacks with Posh Paws Jurassic World bag clips! We got our hands on the 10 inch Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Triceratops cuddly toys as well as an Stygimoloch bag clip.
The cuddly Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Triceratops are incredibly cute, they have lovely squishy features and are perfect for cuddling and snuggling. They appear to be well made with good stitching and each had a Jurassic World badge on their hind leg.
As well as the T-Rex and Triceratops, there are lots of other dinosaurs in the range, so whichever your favourite is, there’s bound to be one of your favourites to choose from. Other dinos in the range include; Mososaurus, Stygimoloch, Blue Raptor, Grey Triceratops, Indominus Rex and of course the velociraptor.
These Posh Paws Jurassic World Two cuddly toys are suitable for ages 2+. I gave them to my 7 year old who really, really loves dinosaurs and he was blown away by the detail. The “skin” looks scaly, but is smooth and soft to the touch. They have lovely squishy feet and more detail than I’ve seen in other dino cuddly toys. The bag clip immediately found its way onto his school bag, so that’ll be proudly shown off to his classmates tomorrow.
Do we love these Posh Paws Jurassic World Two cuddly toys? Yes. Would we buy the whole range? Almost certainly. Priced at around £15 I know the boy will want them all to help guard his bed at night. We think they’re roarsome!
The Posh Paws Jurassic World Two range is available on amazon or in Sainsburys now.
Disclosure: We were sent these Posh Paws Jurassic World Two cuddly toys for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.
I write about our love of dinosaurs quite a lot on this blog. We have toys, games, dino figurines, DVDs and stacks and stacks of books about dinosaurs. We have a good selection of non-fiction books about dinosaurs, but we also have a couple of fiction books about them too, like Dinosaurs love Underpants. For this round-up we’ve chosen five of our favourite non-fiction books about dinosaurs; because if there’s one thing we love, it’s a big book of dinosaur facts!
Five Roarsome Books about Dinosaurs!
Lift-the-flap Questions and Answers about Dinosaurs by Katie Daynes has been one of our favourite dino books for a year or so now. It’s beautifully illustrated and wonderfully engaging. This interactive flap book will answer all kinds of questions. It’s great for young readers, my son sits for hours reading and lifting the flaps. It’s a real favourite!
Dinosaur Number Crunch! by Kevin Pettman 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. You can read our full review of this book here, but it’s one of our favourites!
National Geographic Kids: Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs by Catherine D. Hughes is for children aged 4- to 8-years-old who LOVE dinos! This fact packed book brings the prehistoric world to life with dinosaurs small, big, giant, and gigantic. The book is easy to read and contains lots of age appropriate information, better still, there’s an interactive element, so if you want to find out more, you can do!
The Complete Book of Dinosaursby Dougal Dixon is the ultimate guide to 355 dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods. It includes more than 900 illustrations, maps, timelines and photographs. It is the ultimate dinosaur guide for children who want to take their knowledge to the next level.
Usborne Pop-Up Dinosaurs by Fiona Watt is perfect for littler ones. This adorably illustrated book is ideal for mini dino fans. The book features all kinds of dinosaurs which pop up and move. Learn a little more about each dinosaur, from the long-necked Brachiosaurus, the triceratops with sharp horns, and the most famous dinosaur of them all, Tyrannosaurus Rex! It’s simply written and a delightful book to share with small children.
We are always looking for new books about dinosaurs to read at home. Have we missed any that we absolutely must get? Please let us know in the comments.
Last year, probably very high on most Christmas lists you’d find Fingerlings. They were cute little monkeys who would cling to your finger and be adorable. This is all very sweet; but for my son who favours a fearsome dinosaur over almost anything else, the thing he’s most been looking forward to this spring was the launch of UNTAMED Raptors – fearsome dinosaur fingerlings which roar, snap and snarl at you.
The UNTAMED Raptors which have just been launched in the UK are available in four different characters; each with its own name and unique personality. Choose from Stealth, Blaze, Fury and Razor. Each raptor has snapping jaws, gripping claws and they react to touch, motion and noise. They have over 40 different sounds and reactions. The UNTAMED Raptors are based on Velociraptors, so would tick some boxes for young dinosaur fans like my son.
We welcomed Blaze the Raptor into our home. We weren’t really sure what to make of him, until I spotted the on/off button on the back of his head. He immediately sprung to life, snarling and chomping.
I was a little worried that Blaze (our Raptor) would have pretty limited appeal; but he’s been a roaring, hissing part of our lives for a few days now. I asked my son what he thought of it, and he said he liked all the noises and the way it moves. He’s figured out more or less where to tap the Raptor to get it to react to him. Although he left it alone when he left the room and it lay there thrashing and roaring to itself for a minute or two which was quite funny.
It’s a sturdy figure, made of plastic and colourfully painted. It has moving parts such as its eyes, mouth and head and its legs are positioned so they wrap around your finger. The space where you put your finger is quite small, it is absolutely the right size for my son’s fingers, but a little too tight for my dainty digits.
It fits in really well with my son’s extensive dinosaur collection. What sets it apart is that it is so animated compared to the rest of his figures. It has a slightly cartoonish appearance, but with all the snarling, roaring and chomping, it makes it a little bit adorable, in a fearsome way.
The Verdict: Really cool dino figures who respond and react to you. They seem to be really good quality, they’re certainly lots of fun and they’re very appealing, especially to dinosaur fans. We think they’re roarsome!
The UNTAMED Raptors Fingerlings are suitable for ages 5+ and cost £16.99 each.
We have been sent the UNTAMED Raptor 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!