Chances are good that you barely remember what you had for dinner last night, or who backstabbed whom on the most recent episode of Succession. Your dinosaur-obsessed child, on the other hand, can easily rattle off the difference between the diplodocus and the mamenchisaurus, and tell you with supreme confidence that of course the velociraptor was a feathered carnivore with enlarged claws. It’s no surprise, then, that these same kids are obsessed with cool, big dinosaur toys and figures. The best of the best are ferocious, powerful, and imaginative, capturing the imaginations of children across most age groups.
“Dinosaurs are exciting and powerful but relatable,” says education professor Keith Sawyer, who studies and teaches about creativity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “In the case of dinosaurs, both boys and girls play with them. It’s not gendered. That’s a really good thing.”
Of course, kids’ love for dinosaurs is ubiquitous, meaning that it can be hard to sort through the options and find the best dinosaur toys based on your kid’s interest. It’s especially difficult considering you probably aren’t an expert on prehistoric animals yourself. When choosing the best dinosaur toys, use your common sense: Pick the right toy for your child’s level of cognitive development. Make sure the toy is neither too challenging or too simplistic, or else kids will be bored or overwhelmed. And lean in to your kid’s preferences: If he loves puzzles, get him one; if she’s into action figures, go with those. Looking for the best dinosaur books for kids? We’ve listed our favorites here on a separate page.
The Best Dinosaur Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers
The franchise that (re)started it all, this set recreates an iconic scene in the original Jurassic Park move, complete with T-Rex, jeep, and, yes, Timmy. It's a great companion while rewatching the same movie for the 70th time.
These soft silicon night lights are illuminated with multicolor LED lights and have a four-hour battery life. When your child falls asleep, remove them, wipe them clean, and plug them in via included included cables for daily entertainment.
Preschoolers give their problem-solving skills a workout as they put together these just-hard-enough set, which features with open-and-close fencing, a large T. rex with an opening mouth, a baby triceratops and a dinosaur trainer.
Little kids can create their very own Jurassic World with this complete set of nine dinosaur action figures, as well as a colorful dino mat so they can hone their exploration skills. Kids get all the big guys, including the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Giganotosaurus, Therizinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Velociraptor, Acrocanthosaurus and Brachiosaurus..
The Best Dinosaur Toys for 5-Year-Olds
This dinosaur toy set lets explorers check out the island from above, while monitoring activity in the chopper. The pterodactyl is soaring around nearby. In addition to the dino, the set includes a dart gun, a tree landscape, and eggs. Plus the copter of course.
The Best Dinosaur Toys for 6-, 7-, and 8-Year-Olds
If your child is read for the field, this all-in-one kit will get them into the dirt. It includes a heavy-duty rock pick, eight-inch rock chisel, a wooden skewer, a brush, and even a limestone chunk to get him or her started. Just keep them away from foundations, decorative stones, or anything else you don't want 'explored.'
First, kids use the rock hammer and chisel to chip away at a hardened sand block and excavate the fossils hidden inside each rock. And once they're brushed clean, kids get up close and personal with them under the included magnifying glass.
This kit is a celebration of the human heroes of the dinosaur world, the scientists who find fossils and study them. This dig brick comes with tools similar to those used by real paleontologists on real fossil digs. Once kids finish excavating, the full-color booklet that's also included is packed with educational information.
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