Is there a pint-sized paleontologist sprinting around through your house, magnifying glass in hand? A fossil fancier who might not know how to spell pterodactyl but can tell you it’s wingspan and eating habits? Then load up your digital device with one of these 8 dino-centric games. Each puts Jurassic friends front and center while teaching your kids about everything from money and shapes to science and general comprehension. Even better: they’re all engaging enough that you won’t wish for them to be extinct after a couple plays.
Walking with Dinosaurs: Inside their World
This app doesn’t simply allow your kids to experience 60 different dinosaurs; it brings them so close they can basically smell the snot from a Brontosaurus. Children can fully rotate creatures for further explanation while British actor, author and comedian Stephen Fry narrates the experience. There’s a complete array of dinosaur sounds, too, and they can also check out profiles of famous dinosaur hunters. What kid doesn’t want to learn more about paleontologist Edward Cope?
Ansel & Clair: World of Dinosaurs
This app whisks back to Jurassic times where they can experience 7 different types of dinosaurs as they set out on an adventure with Ansel and Clair. Fun puzzles, games, and interactive activities appear throughout the journey (kids can, say, dig for fossils and put them back together) and the graphics are sure to keep their attention.
Dinosaur Train Eggspress
Geared towards preschoolers, this app based on the beloved PBS series you’ve probably seen 1,000 times, challenges younger kids to find lost dinosaur eggs and reunite them to the respective families. They’ll explore 3 different dinosaur time periods — Triassic, Jurassic, as well as the decidedly less assic Cretaceous period — while tackling simple puzzles and coloring exercises.
This app lets your kids experience the prehistoric world through the eyes of a baby dinosaur. The tiny T-rex stomps through the lush, inviting world, collecting fossils and eggs, while finding dinosaur clues, playing memorization games and learning the answers to such questions as: How many dinosaurs were omnivores?
The various pages of this interactive picture book can be flipped and filled in with digital crayons. But the real fun comes with the record button: Parents and kids can lay down their own voices and sounds to make dinosaurs scream (or squeak or chirp or sound like Skeletor) along with the story. That won’t get annoying, as long as you get a turn.
For kids who want to go full John Hammond, Dinorama lets them build and operate a dinosaur theme park. It’s not all velociraptor races and in addition to building attractions and keeping the Apatosaurus’ happy, park owners must fine tune their business skills. Should you increase ticket sales or invest in more expensive dinosaurs? It’ll introduce kids to money, time management, and the neediness of pterodactyls all without, you know, the carnage of Jurassic Park. And the pressure of looking like Chris Pratt.
March of the Dinosaurs
This interactive dinosaur storybook comes to life with the touch of your hand. Kids can enjoy the story by listening to the soothing narrator or reading it themselves. Whichever they choose, they can spin detailed 3-D renderings of dinosaurs and learn about how the dinosaur interacts with their world. Who knew an Edmontosaurus liked to eat soft leaves? Or that there was, well, a dinosaur called Edmontosaurus.
Dinosaur Games: Jurassic Dino Simulator For Kids
This pre-schooler specific game presents a bunch of shape and number matching games that feature dino-friends. Kids must reassemble triceratops skeletons, feed the right type of meat to the right type of dinosaur, and play whack-a-mole with big-eyed, baby pterodactyls. Bright, cartoon-y animations make it extra addictive, and the meat selection doesn’t hurt their cause either.