Tag Archives: dinosaurs

Learning: Dinosaur Sensory Gelli Baff Activity Box

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.

Learning: Dinosaur Sensory Gelli Baff Activity Box

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 Trofast Storage box
Gelli Baff
Warm water
Selection of dinosaurs and dino accessories

Learning: Dinosaur Sensory Gelli Baff Activity Box

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.

Learning: Dinosaur Sensory Gelli Baff Activity Box

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.

Tips:

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.

Learning: Dinosaur Sensory Gelli Baff Activity Box

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?

Learning: Dinosaur Sensory Gelli Baff Activity Box

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to try Growing Egg and Cress Heads.

Toy Review: Meet the New StikBot Dinos

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?

Toy Review: Meet the New Stikbot Dinos

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.

Toy Review: Meet the New Stikbot Dinos

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.

Toy Review: Meet the New StikBot Dinos

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.

Toy Review: Meet the New StikBot Dinos

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.

Review: New Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2018

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.

Review: New range of Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2018

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.

Review: New range of Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2018

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.

Review: New range of Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2018

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.

Review: New range of Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2018

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.

Toy Review: Posh Paws Jurassic World Two Range

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.

Toy Review: Posh Paws Jurassic World Two Range

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.

Toy Review: Posh Paws Jurassic World Two Range

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.

Toy Review: Posh Paws Jurassic World Two Range

Disclosure: We were sent these Posh Paws Jurassic World Two cuddly toys for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Children’s Books: Five Roarsome Books about Dinosaurs!

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!

Children's Books: Five Roarsome Books about Dinosaurs!

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 Dinosaurs by 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.

Children's Books: Five Roarsome Books about Dinosaurs!

This post contains affiliate links.

Toy Review: UNTAMED Raptors by Fingerlings

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.

Toy Review: UNTAMED Raptors by Fingerlings

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.

Toy Review: UNTAMED Raptors by Fingerlings

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.

Toy Review: UNTAMED Raptors by Fingerlings

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. They are available to buy from The Toy Shop, Smyths Toys and Argos now.

Toy Review: UNTAMED Raptors by Fingerlings

We have been sent the UNTAMED Raptor for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Book Review: Dinosaur Number Crunch!

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.

Book Review : Dinosaur Number Crunch!

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.

Book Review : Dinosaur Number Crunch!

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 enjoyed this review, you might also like our selection of five roarsome books about dinosaurs!

Book Review : Dinosaur Number Crunch!

I was sent a copy of Dinosaur Number Crunch! in exchange for this review. All images and opinions are my own.

Review: Schleich Dinosaurs Collection Skull Trap

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.

Toy Review: Schleich Dinosaurs Collection Skull Trap

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.

Toy Review: Schleich Dinosaurs Collection Skull Trap

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!

Toy Review: Schleich Dinosaurs Collection Skull Trap

The Schleich Large Skull Trap With Velociraptor is available at www.schleich-s.co.uk or from other retailers including Amazon.

Note: We were sent the Schleich Dinosaurs Large Skull Trap for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Books: Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex!

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.

Books: Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex!

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.

Books: Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex!

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.

Books: Jurassic World Special Edition: From DNA to Indominus Rex!

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.

Review: Miles Kelly Read and Play Dinosaur Set

Dinosaurs are still top of the most favourite things in the whole wide world list according to the small boy. He’s 5 and certainly knows his triceratops from his troodons and I’m keen to encourage this interest as much as I can. I may well have a future paleontologist on my hands here! We were sent the Read and Play Dinosaur Set from Miles Kelly to review and put to the paleontological test.

The Read and Play sets are designed for children aged 5+. There are two themed play sets currently available – Princess and Dinosaur. Each box contains a story book, an activity book, board games and a jigsaw puzzle. The dinosaur set also contained some paper 3D dinosaur models you can easily put together to role play a dino scene in the illustrated box.

Read and Play Dinosaur

The box opens like a pizza box and everything can be packed back inside neatly. There are two side flaps which fold out with Ludo and Draught boards printed on with instructions on how to play.

The small boy was first most interested in folding out the box to create the play scene and then together we made up the 3D models of the dinosaurs and he spent quite a long time playing with them like that – there was a lot of roaring going on! We loved the play scene, there was so much going on and lots for us to talk about, from the dinosaurs having a swim to the volcano erupting in the background.

Read and Play Dinosaur

Over the next few days we got the Read and Play Dinosaur box out and did something different with it each time. One day we’d read the story – Rex Gets a Scare, an engaging story about dinosaur friendship and how everyone is frightened of something. I know this will be a regular bedtime story for a while.

On another day we spent some time doing some of the activities in the Dinosaur Puzzle and Colour book. There are lots of dinosaur themed activities, including a how to draw dinosaurs guide and counting games. It’s aimed at children aged 5+ so it’s all age appropriate and engaging.

Read and Play Dinosaur

It’s so well thought out and beautifully illustrated. If I had to find a fault it is that I’d like the dinosaurs and puzzle counters printed on slightly thicker, more robust card. I know that after a few weeks of playing with the dino models that they will start looking tatty and falling apart, which is a shame.

There are so many different aspects to this set that it would be the perfect thing to pack for a holiday or weekend break. It’s priced at £10 (reduced from £14.99) at the moment on the Miles Kelly website, and I think you get such a lot for your money with this Read and Play Dinosaur set. It’s RoarSome!

For more information about the Miles Kelly Read and Play Dinosaur Set visit the Miles Kelly website.

Note: We were sent the Miles Kelly Read and Play Dinosaur Set for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.