Age of Dinosaurs

Kids and dinosaurs: their fascination is fascinating.

When our nephew Christopher was 6, he wanted to be a paleontologist and would rattle off scientific names of dozens of these long-gone creatures. Uncle Victor’s tongue gets twisted just trying to say some of them.

Our son Peter is 4. He educates us about the dinosaurs of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, what they ate (plant eater or predator?) and which continent they’re found.

Peter’s favorite dinosaur is the Stegosaurus, featured below.

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Stegosaurus, Water Color by Peter
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Stegosaurus sculpture greeting visitors at Dinosaur National Monument, Utah
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Mounted Stegosaurus skeleton at the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum

Our daughter Gabrielle, age 6, is into ballet and sweet pink things but considers a stuffed Dilophosaurus as one of her favorite toys. She brought it and a plaster-of-Paris Eubrontes cast to her kindergarten show-and-tell. On Earth Science Week, she asked her teacher if she can show her friends a DVD on fossils. Her teacher said yes and she came home beaming that her friends loved it as much as she did.

Peter devours books on dinosaurs like a hungry T rex. We have found our local library a treasure trove of children’s dinosaur books.

For young dinosaur-loving friends having birthdays, we gift dinosaur books. When our kids’ friend Aaron turned 5, his Mom told us that he is into dinosaurs. Our son asked us to get Aaron the same book that he has: National Geographics’ First Big Book of Dinosaurs. We could see the excitement in Aaron’s eyes when he saw the book and jumped to his Dad: “Dad, Dad! We have to read this together!” It may be an inexpensive gift, but it’s a gift of knowledge and parent-child bonding time.

Peter’s love affair with dinosaurs probably started at age 2-3 when he was gifted these dinosaur books:

All Aboard the Dinotrain

Alphasaurus

Countasaurus

Colorosaurus

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Birthday/Play with Their Friends/Say I Love You

 

We have learned that these are winning combinations:

Legos and dinosaurs

Trains and dinosaurs: PBS Dinosaur Train

Artwork/coloring pages and dinosaurs

Puzzles and dinosaurs

 

We are very well aware that not every child who is dinosaur crazy will grow up to be a paleontologist. Christopher, now a teen, is on to other things.

We believe, though, that reinforcing our children’s strong interest in these long-gone but majestic creatures strongly benefits their learning processes. We’re using their dinosaur “obsession” to introduce concepts of time, sequencing, classification. Dinosaurs seem to be great help for little ones to learn ABCs, numbers, colors, geography, geology, even manners.

Neither one of us had the dinosaur affinity growing up but as parents of dinosaur-obsessed children, we have learned a lot and want to learn more with our little ones.

Why Dinosaurs Matter is a very absorbing grown up dinosaur book by Kenneth Lacovara. He says, “Dinosaurs matter because the future matters.” We cannot agree more.

On the next posts, Dinosaur Travels

-Victor and Kathleen

 

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