I suspect that just about any boy mom will tell you that the dinosaur phase is inevitable and will make a significant impact on just about everything in your home. With my oldest the dinosaur phase did not really hit until he was about four years old, making my middle guy just a little over two years old at the time. Dinosaur fever has spread fast and furiously in our house, affecting the younger siblings earlier and earlier. I can't say that dinosaurs are one of my favorite topics and growing up one of three girls didn't exactly give me a ton of exposure to this phenomenon, which is why I've compiled a list of our favorite dinosaur resources for those parents who find themselves with dinosaur enthusiasts of their own.
In the beginning I struggled to find books that helped the boys explore the topic without exposing them to graphic images of dinosaurs eating other dinosaurs. The boys were really interested in seeing "real" dinosaurs (not cartoon depictions) and we found that National Geographic Little Kids My First Book of Dinosaurs was the perfect balance. With over sixty pages of information this book includes realistic renderings of dinosaurs as well as facts and accessible descriptions of each creature. Similarly we have found the My Big Dinosaur Book to be great for it's simplistic text (mainly pictures labeled with the appropriate name) and with it's interactive nature you can use this book to categorize dinosaurs (Which have three horns on their heads? Who are the peaceful plant eaters? ). We also love Alphaprints Dinoshapes for it's rhyming text, artistic illustrations, and dinosaur facts that are perfect for toddlers.
What kid doesn't love a good story about what might happen when the parents are away? Combine the notion of a mischievous nighttime adventure with a collection of toy dinosaurs and you get What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: A Very Messy Adventure. This picture book is a favorite with the boys thanks to recognizable household items, familiar toys included in the illustrations, and for the simple fact that they own many of the same dinosaur figurines used in the story.
Our bedtime routine now includes more chapter books and it is no surprise that the Microsaurs series has become a BIG hit. Microsaurs: Follow That Tiny-Dactyl quickly grabbed the boys' attention with it's relatable characters and fast moving adventure. When the second story, Microsaurs: Tiny-Raptor Pack Attack, was released this summer we dove into the story the very day it arrived on our doorstep and the excitement for Danny and Lin's latest escapade took over bedtime reading yet again.
While the focus of this post was dinosaur books it is hard to avoid talking about other amazing dinosaur gear that has fueled our endless days of dinosaur fun. And what dinosaur loving crew wouldn't love a team oriented game that has you rolling the die to save the dinosaurs before the volcano erupts?! Peaceable Kingdom Dinosaur Escape is a multiplayer board game that is approachable for children as young as preschool (packaging says ages 4-7). This cooperative game can be played with 2-4 players and is a great way to satisfy dino-fever outside of reading time.
Fortunately we continue to stumble upon many great dinosaur resources, toys, and activities that keep all of us learning about this fascinating time period. With our youngest dinosaur fanatic just now jumping on the bandwagon there is no doubt in my mind that there will be a few more years of dinosaur mania in our house!
ABOUT CHRISSY K
I am mom to three boys (one with several life-threatening food allergies) who will never own too many picture books or create Pinterest-worthy snacks. Simply Chrissy K is a place to find helpful tips on parenting that stem from my work with families and design ideas based on our adventures building a home from the ground up.
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