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Kids young and old are sure to have a roaring good time with dinosaur toys at the ready. Like dolls, dinosaurs are figurines that provide children with tools to create their own world and play pretend, says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a neuropsychologist at Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services in New York City. These interactive toys can be used to play a plethora of games that will keep them entertained for hours upon hours — and, best of all, they can be used in a new way each and every time kids engage in the imaginative play time. These toys also come in a variety of sizes, some of which are even battery-powered so the creature can let out those familiar growls.
Here, the best dinosaur toys for the curious kid in your life.
3 Bees & Me Dinosaur Toys
Got a little dinosaur lover on your hands? This set of four rolling dino toys will have your preschooler moving around the house with joy. This pack includes a T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Brontosaurus, and Triceratops.
Jurassic World Chomp 'n Roar Mask Velociraptor Blue
If your kid is really into Jurassic World, let them play out the Blue character with this interactive mask. Children ages 6 to 10 years old will get a kick out of the three different sounds and chomping styles this mask has. If anything, you'll be sure to get some great pictures out of this buy and will scare the neighbors.
LEGO Creator Mighty Dinosaurs 31058 Build It Yourself Dinosaur Set
This LEGO set can create a Pterodactyl, Triceratops, or T-Rex with 174 pieces providing them with hours of entertainment and STEM building skills. There are tons of accessories like colorful eyes, claws, and teeth so kids can truly flex their creativity. The set is best suited for children ages 7 to 12.
Prextex Realistic Looking 7" Dinosaurs Pack
The best dinosaur toys inspire imagination. This set of 12 dinosaurs comes with a book that highlights facts about each type including habitat, diet, size, and more. As they learn about the Monoclonious, Triceratops, and more they'll begin to act out play scenes at home.
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs
Bring the prehistoric age to life with this informative book intended for children ages 4 to 8. With these illustrations, kids will get a better sense of what the dinosaurs' day-to-day life was like while they practice their reading and comprehension skills.
National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit
What kid (or adult!) wouldn't want to dig for their own dinosaur fossils? This kit lets children ages 8 and up to discover 15 different real fossils. Kids will use a chisel, brush, and magnifying glass to unearth the likes of Mosasaur tooth, Crow Shark, and more. As they uncover these finds they can read up on them in the included book.
VTech Mix and Match-a-Saurus
This expressive dinosaur is a fun role-play toy for kids ages 2 through 5. Using the nine tiles, kids place them on his back in different combinations. Each one represents a character (dinosaur, robot, monster), type of music (ballet, hip-hop, marching), or feeling (happy, angry, sleepy), and the dino will respond with noises and movements based on each tile. He can talk, sing, dance, and move, and there are 27 different performances in all.
Hey Clay Dinos
This kit comes with 18 small cans of modeling clay that kids can use to build six different dinosaurs: Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brachiosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Triceratops, and Pterodactyl. An app provides 3D instructions that explain how to make shapes like spheres and cylinders, as well as facial features and different textures.
Rubie's Silly Safari Triceratops Costume
Rubie's is known for making good-looking, high-quality costumes that don't require a Broadway-size budget. This Triceratops suit, sold in two sizes, will fit kids who wear 2T through 6, and the elaborate horned headpiece is easily removable—in case your little one gets hot or cranky and just can't deal.
Jurassic World Grab 'n Growl Indoraptor Dinosaur
Although this dino is based on the movie Jurassic World, your kids need not have seen the film to appreciate this dude's awesomeness (and, truth be told, terrifyingness).
He's recommended for kids ages 3 to 7 and meant to be an Indoraptor, which in the film is a new hybrid known for being small but dangerous. The toy has all kinds of impressive animal effects, including a chomping mouth, thrashing tail, and glowing, red eyes. Did we mention he also screeches?
Temi Dinosaur Toy Figure with Activity Play Mat & Trees
Let their imagination run wild with this play mat and nine dinosaur figurines set. Children 3 years old and up can create fun scenes with the dinos, as well as the five trees that are included. Best of all, when they are done the mat and figurines pack up into a handy carrying case making this a smart buy for those who travel or want to keep toys neatly contained.
What to Look for in a Dinosaur Toy
Consider the age of the dino-lover on your list when shopping for your gift — and make sure to check the label to see if it matches up. There are prehistoric-inspired toys for young children who'll enjoy pushing around a whimsical wheeled dinosaur, but this isn’t likely to capture the attention of a teenager who may want something more high-tech or hands-on. If you’re shopping for an adult, look for collectible dinosaur gifts or those that serve a practical purpose.
There's no shortage of realistic, detailed collectible dinosaurs out there, but kids won’t readily learn much from these figurines — except for maybe the different types of dinosaurs. For something with a little more educational value, there's an abundance of more informational gifts, like books or hands-on activities, that teach about science and natural history, but still entertain. Think about the personality of your recipient and choose accordingly.
Bring another world to life with a dinosaur gift that responds to commands via voice or an app — just keep in mind that these types of gifts are better for older children who can figure out how to operate them without getting frustrated. Or, for a low-tech but still interactive option more suitable to the younger kids, choose from Lego building kits or sets of realistic dinosaurs for imaginative play.
While you don’t have to worry about dinosaur bites, you should evaluate any potential toy for safety. Make sure to choose toys made out of rubber or BPA-free plastic for younger kids. You’ll also want to keep any battery-operated toys out of reach of babies and young toddlers, since they can be dangerous if ingested, says Hafeez. When they get a bit older, children can handle toys made out of heavier materials — like metal or wood figurines — since they have better control and hand-eye coordination. And for any age, make sure that all materials used have been tested for safety and that any paints are safe for use on toys.