Dinosaur Molds, Models, and Digs

You have to look hard to find a child who isn't fascinated by dinosaurs. They want to learn about them and often enjoy pretending to be a paleontologist. When did the dinosaurs live? How were dinosaurs discovered? How do scientists dig up a dinosaur? Kids can read about dinosaurs, but it's not the same as some hands-on fun with dinosaurs. These toys will allow your child to play paleontologist and use their imaginations as they manipulate dinosaur figures.

1

This set of twelve different dinosaur skeletons offers plenty of fun for dinosaur-loving children. Since the set includes only skeletons, kids may not be able to pretend the dinosaurs are interacting with one another and with their environment, but they can use them to play paleontologist with them. They can take them outside and bury them in the dirt (or you can) and then dig them up. They can be washed and buried again and again. Or you can get some clay and have your child use the skeletons as frames for models of dinosaurs. The skeletons, which are made of flexible plastic, measure between 4 3/4" tall or 6" long and can stand up by themselves.
Ages 3 and up

2

These kits are actually 3D puzzles, which when put together, create a dinosaur skeleton. The pieces are made of 3mm plywood and interlock with one another thanks to the slots in the individual pieces. The slots make gluing unnecessary, although kids could glue them together if they wanted to. They wouldn't be able to take them apart and rebuild them, though. When completed, the models will stand up on their own and could be painted if a child wanted to paint them.
Ages 5 and up

3

This plastic dinosaur mold set can be used in many different ways. The first way is to use them as advertised - as molds to use with sand, such as in a sand box or at the beach. Kids use the small 10 plastic molds to create what looks like a recently discovered dinosaur skeleton covered by drifting sand or not completely cleaned at the dig site. Those dino "bones" won't last long, though, so for a more permanent set of bones, kids can use plaster of paris. You just have to spray the molds first to make it easier for the pieces to come out -- but if the pieces break, they can look even more authentic. After all, few dinosaur skeletons are found where some of the bones aren't chipped or broken (or even lost). You can also make chocolate bones or jello bones. If you use white chocolate, you can "bury" them in crushed cookies like vanilla or chocolate wafers. (That would make a fun dessert for a dinosaur party.)
Ages 3 and up

4

This bone casting kit provides kids with lots of fun making casts of Tyrannosaurus bones. Kids start by casting the 18 pieces in the kit. Next, they paint them and then they glue magnets to the back of the pieces. The 11-page instruction booklet not only guides kids through this process, it also answers some common questions about dinosaurs like why some dinosaurs are called "lizard hipped." When the project is done, kids can display the bones on magnetic surfaces. If your child is a fan of Eyewitness books, she might like the Eyewitness book Dinosaur. This kit was designed as a complement to that book.
Ages 6-15

5

This is another kit that will allow children to play paleontologist. But this one doesn't require any casting -- just "digging." The kit comes with a plaster block, a digging tool, and a dust brush. Hidden inside the block is a "fossilized dinosaur skeleton." Acting as a paleontologist, kids use the digging tool to start digging in the "rock." They use the brush to brush away the dust created by the digging - just like paleontologists do. Once the bones are "excavated," kids can put the skeleton together. It can make a mess, but digging for dinosaurs is never a clean activity! 
Ages 7 and up

6

No dinosaur lover's collection is complete without a number of dinosaur models. This set includes all the well-known dinosaurs as well as some of the lesser-known ones. The models are up to 4.5" tall (T-Rex) and up to 7" long (Brachiosaurus). The dinosaurs included are those listed below:

  • Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • Stegosaurus
  • Brachiosaurus
  • Pterodactyl
  • Utahraptor
  • Apatosaurus
  • Velociraptor
  • Gallimimus
  • Silvisaurus
  • Allosaurus
  • Ischisaurus
  • Torvosaurus

Ages 3 and up

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Rather than keep your child's collection of dinosaur models in a plain old box, put them in this dino playset. When not in use, it is a soft box that holds dinosaur models and other items like trees your child may have collected. The box has handles, making it easy to move it from place to place. When your child is ready to play with the dinosaurs, the box unzips and lies flat and acts as a playmat. The washable playmat's surface includes an island, a tarpit, a volcano, and a cave. When your child is done playing, it zips back up and is a box to hold the dinosaurs again. The toybox comes with an activity/coloring book to add to the fun.

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