Dino-Mania Continues: More Dino Stuff

It looks like Dinosaurs are the new Steam Engines – Gavin has gone from Thomas frenzy to Dinomania. When asked recently which he preferred more, he replied, “Dinosaurs!” So the train table has been cleared to make room for a new hobby while our evergreen trains have finally gone off-duty on the toy rotation cycle.

In the meantime, Daddy bought Gavin some dinosaur figures from Toys ‘R’ Us. The disappointing part was that they repeated the dinosaurs. Instead of increasing the variety of dinosaur types, they had three of each type of dinosaur – 3 T Rex, 3 apathosaurus, etc. Nevertheless, Gavin had fun re-enacting the extintion event using his new dinosaur figures. After that, he and Gareth engaged in some imaginary play where they roasted the dinosaurs in their toy oven.

My SIL2 also bought Gavin a new paleotology kit by SES Explore from Singapore. Hopefully this one will be a little easier to get into. Gavin kept asking me to “help” him with his EduScience stegosaurus paleontology kit because he started to find the whole process too tedious. I lost patience with it somewhere during the third session and seriously considered throwing the plaster block on the road outside our house to hasten the process. I might have to try that when Gavin isn’t watching since I would like to encourage him to learn patience.

We have also been learning how to draw dinosaurs. I tried to find some books at MPH but most of the step-by-step drawing books seemed to have everything in them but dinosaurs. In the end, I managed to find two websites with step-by-step instructions on how to draw various dinosaurs – the easier one being Hello Kids and the more complex one being Drago Art. I figured the step-by-step instructions might be helpful since Gavin wants to paint a stegosaurus for his first art class.

I’ve also discovered that the Dinopedia we bought for Gavin is not quite as complete as I had formerly thought. The list of dinosaurs is pretty extensive if you take a look at Wikipedia. If you wait a bit, we’ll have some new dinosaur flash cards available in our general knowledge flash cards resource page soon.

While you’re waiting, check out the dino foam activity we saw recently while passing Times Bookstore in Hartamas Shopping Mall:

The first time I bought something like this for Gavin was after seeing the dinosaur exhibit at The National Science Center. That kit was a lot smaller, made from cardboard, and cost about RM7 but boy was it crappy. Gavin had a tough time trying to separate the pieces without tearing them – heck! I had a hard time separating the pieces without tearing them. In the end, the kit got shelved and we never finished it.

This kit is made from thick foam and is almost indestructable (except in the hands of a toddler named Gareth). It cost us RM32 (less 10% if you have the Times Bookstore loyalty card) but it was worth it. Gavin had a lot of fun with it and now he wants to go back and get stegosaurus.

Basically, the kit comes with all the pieces in foam sheets. You need to push them out:

And assemble them according to the instructions on the box:

And this is the end result:

I think I remember seeing something similar to this in Toys ‘R’ Us a long time back. Gavin was still pretty young back then and he wasn’t really into dinosaurs so I didn’t get it. I don’t suppose anyone remembers those? Do you know whether it is still available somewhere?

Gavin’s also got “dinosaur t-shirt” on his birthday wishlist. Anyone know where I can find some nice dino tees (except Universal Studios in Singapore)?


Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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