Toy and Gift Ideas for Children Who Love Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs are the sun, moon, and stars to our 4 year old son. Dinosaur books, dinosaur toys, dinosaur puzzles, dinosaur fossil kits, dinosaur anything: he’s interested in them all!
If you have a child (of any age) on your holiday gift-giving list, you’ll want to check out my curated list of our favorite dinosaur gift ideas.
One piece of advice as a parent: please pay attention to the age recommendations for each gift. There’s nothing more frustrating for a child than being given a gift that there are not yet ready for, and therefore can’t play with.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to my Amazon Associates account, as well as links to my Barefoot Books storefront. If you purchase items through these links, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Dinosaur Book Gift Ideas
Dinosaur Rap singalong book + Folkmanis Pteranodon Puppet
Our four year old loves singing along and moving to the music in this hip-hopped theme singalong book with CD from Barefoot Books. He’s quickly memorized the chorus, and it inspires a lot of pretend play in our house.
He’ll be receiving this Pteranodon puppet made by Folkmanis for Christmas this year to further that play. The illustrations in the book are bright and inviting, and I love the diversity of the children who dance along with the dinosaurs. It also includes 6 illustrated pages of educational facts about dinosaurs. (Recommended for ages 3 – 7).
The Great Big Dinosaur Treasury collection of 8 dinosaur stories
We purchased this collection of humorous dinosaur stories recently and love it. With 8 imaginative, playful stories that were originally published as individual books, it’s a great value. Our 4 year old’s favorite tale is Ridin’ Dinos with Buck Bronco. (Recommended for ages 4 – 8).
If you have an elementary aged child who is interested in nothing but the facts (and fascinating, realistic illustrations) about dinosaurs, the quality of DK Eyewitness Books is unmatched. This book covers topics such as how dinosaurs evolved and went extinct, what we can learn about a dinosaur’s diet from fossils, and what their skin and feathers were like. (Recommended for ages 8 – 12).
I Dreamt I Was a Dinosaur is an ideal book for toddlers interested in dinosaurs, because the felt embellished illustrations are cute, inviting, and not frightening. In the story, a young boy dreams that he has become a baby diplodocus, and meets all kinds of other young dinosaurs and their families.
The matching dinosaur block puzzle looks simple. However, the blocks contain 6 different puzzles, so children will have to get all the blocks turned to the correct side to be able to complete the puzzles, adding a fun challenge.
Also included are dinosaur stickers and a set of sturdy cardboard Pop Out Dinosaurs (Recommended for ages 3 -5).
Dinosaur Games and Puzzles
In the Dinosaur Escape board game, players work together to help three dinosaurs escape from a volcano before it erupts. Our 4 year old will be receiving this at Christmas; he seems especially interested because the game includes dinosaur figures. I like the fact that Peaceable Kingdom games can be played fairly quickly, as preschoolers’ attention spans are short. (Recommended for ages 4 – 7).
Younger children can build this sustainably-made wooden stegosaurus puzzle in the box, but older children with better fine motor skills could build it standing up. Each piece is labeled with an uppercase letter on one side and a lowercase letter on the other, making it good literacy practice for a child who is learning the alphabet. (Recommended for ages 4 – 7).
Melissa and Doug 12 Piece Wooden Dinosaur Puzzles (Four Puzzles in Box)
This set of 4 dinosaur puzzles, with 12 pieces each, would be a great gift to give a child who will be traveling, since it fits so compactly in the wooden box. Each puzzle features a different dinosaur: T Rex, stegosaurus, triceratops, and apatosaurus. (Recommended for ages 3 – 5).
With 100 pieces, this prehistoric scene is an ideal puzzle for an early elementary aged child. If you want something slightly more complicated, Ravensburger also has a 200 piece Land of the Dinosaurs puzzle. (100 piece puzzle recommended for ages 6+).
First, children build this 3-D T-Rex puzzle, which has 85 pieces. According to Amazon reviews, the pieces are labeled, making it easier to put together. Once built, it will walk and roar when you clap, providing additional play. It does require 3 AA batteries, which are not included, so pick up a set to include with your gift. (Recommended for ages 6 – 12).
Dinosaur Fossil Activities and Kits
We have so many of the Safari TOOBs at our house because they are great for many different kinds of play: imaginative play, Montessori inspired activities, discovery bottles and more. This Dinosaur Skulls TOOB would be a perfect for a stocking stuffer. You might want to pair them with kinetic sand so that the child can pretend to dig up the fossil skulls. (Recommended for ages 3 – 8).
Future paleontologists will enjoy using the tools included in this Smithsonian kit to unearth the dinosaur bones, which can then be assembled into a T-Rex. This is a fun and messy activity which you’ll want to do outdoors or somewhere that you won’t mind bits of the crumbly “rock” getting everywhere (the “rock” will wash out of clothes thankfully.)
Please note the age recommendation as in my experience, preschool-aged children do not have the hand strength to use the tools included to excavate the dinosaurs. (Recommended for ages 8 – 12).
This Magic School Bus kit includes instructions and supplies for a number of different dinosaur activities. Children can create a dinosaur timeline, build a wooden dinosaur replica, make a diorama, make fossil molds, fold 3D dinosaurs, and more. (Recommended for ages 5 – 12).
This kit is a dinosaur habitat play mat that folds up into a toy box, perfect for the child who already has quite a few dinosaurs and needs a fun way to store them. It also comes with two 5 inch dinosaurs. The toy box itself should hold around 150 dinosaurs of a similar size. (Recommended for ages 3 – 7).
This 40+ piece dinosaur set is one of the first dinosaur gifts our son received, and he still loves to play with the dinosaurs, trees, volcanoes, and rocks a year and a half later. It is a great starter set for a child who wants a large quantity of dinosaurs, though I have to add that the play mat is thin plastic and not very impressive. (Recommended for ages 3 – 8).
I recommend anything made by Schleich because their toys are of the highest quality. The adult T-Rex in this set has a mouth that opens and closes. All of their toys are hand painted, with incredible attention to detail. (Recommended for ages 3 – 10).
Do you know a child who loves dinosaurs? What are their favorite toys, books, or activities? Share in the comments!