Where to Buy Dinosaur Stuff
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Where to Buy Dinosaur Stuff
My nephew is turning 4 in a couple of weeks. My sister told me in
passing that he's really interested in dinosaurs these days. Most of
the dinosaur-related items I've seen in the toy stores look kind of
"scary" to me--the pictures are so realistic (mouths wide open, with
lots of teeth). Is the average 4 year old boy okay with these types of
images? I would appreciate suggestions of dinosaur-related books and
toys that are appropriate for a 4 year old. Thanks!
About a month ago my son who's 5 picked out a great dinosaur book at Borders
in Pleasanton. The book was in the "sale" area so I'm not sure if you'll be
locate it. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name. It had cut-out dinos
in the back of the book and the center opened to make a play area for the
The art work is beautiful and fairly realistic wihtout being scary. The
text may be a
little old for a four year old but my son loved listening to the
descriptions of the
dinosaurs. Another book recommendation is "Ten Little Dinosaurs" and
book out that has wiggly eyes for the dinosaurs - I can't remember the
there are a number of age appropriate books available any large bookstore
should be able
If you're looking for videos try the "Land Before Time" series - kids love
them and they
are very appropriate for 4 yr olds.
My son absolutely loved a book called "An Alphabet of Dinosaurs". It
lists a dinosaur (picture and facts about them like what they eat and
how big they are) for each letter - Allosaurus, Brontosaurus, etc.. My
son had these memorized, as well as the facts about them by the time he
was four. Later, when he learned how to read he loved reading the extra
facts about them for himself.
Dinosaurs are very big with the four-year-old set. (I'm on round 2
of dinosaurs with my second child, now 4). Unless the child is particularly
timid, I wouldn't worry about the big teeth and such. Half the reason these
kids love dinosaurs so much is that they are so big and scary. I wouldn't
go show him Jurassic Park, but books and lifelike toys are probably fine.
The Lawrence Hall of Science has just opened its dinosaur exhibit
and the gift shop is full of dinosaur things. The Discovery Store has some
interesting things too. My son was given a hardcover book called
"Dinosaurus" for the holidays, and loves it. It has a page or two devoted
to each kind of dinosaur and lots of facts about them. I think it may have
come from Costco. There also are some stories -- "Patrick's Dinosaurs,"
"What Happened to Patrick's Dinosaurs" and "The Dinosaur That Lived In My
Backyard" come to mind -- that are pretty good. Stay away from pop-up
books; they just get trashed. The Magic School Bus (a PBS series) devoted a
show to dinosaurs, and there is a good paperback book "The Magic School Bus
in the Time of the Dinosaurs." There also is a pretty good computer game
of the same name. I don't know if the Magic School Bus is still on
(second-child syndrome strikes; we have all the old episodes taped and the
book and CD are hand-me-downs), but if it is, these might be a hit. My kids
liked our dinosaur puppets; Hearthsong (Fourth Street) and Sweet Dreams
(College Avenue and Orinda Theatre Square) have a good selection of puppets,
though I don't know if they have dinosaurs. Some of the best presents are
cheap. There are glow-in-the-dark plastic dinosaur shapes that can be put
on walls and ceilings; four year olds love them. Plastic cutouts that stick
on the sides of the bathtub are big too. Good luck.
The Discovery Channel Store on 4th street has alot of great dinosaur items.
They are also very realistic, but not scary. They do not do the scary blood
and gore. They pride themselves on reality based. Anyway, they have
puzzles, books, dino dig kits (fun in the backyard). You may want to try
My son was into dinosaurs when he was ages 3-4, and we never felt he was
by them. Quite the opposite: at those ages, he loved to scare grown-ups with
such things. If you want a fun, non-scary book on dinosaurs, I recommend the
book in the series that has those 3-D googly eyes called something like
"Ten Little Dinosaurs". (If interested, e-mail me directly and I'll check
the title and publisher at home.)
To the person whose nephew is interested in dinosaurs: you might want to look
at the Lawrence Hall of Science gift shop. They are currently running the
exhibit, "Dinosaurs 2000". Usually the gift shop runs promotional tie-ins
with whatever is being exhibited. If you want to call to find out what they
have, the museum number is (510) 642-5132.
Byron Barton has written a series of books geared for young children with
colorful, "tame-looking" cartoon-like illustrations -Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs is
one of the titles. Aliki is another author that has written dinosaur books
for kids -more about the role of an archeologist, what are fossils, etc. My
daughter (3 at the time) really enjoyed these books. We also bought some
Byron Barton dinosaur posters to decorate her room with (now their in her
brother's room.) We a few dinosaur books and the posters for $1 to $2 each
at Half -Price books on Solano Avenue in Albany. They have great prices on
children's books! (510) Their number is 526-6080.
As for the scare factor: most four years really enjoy looking at scary
dinosaurs if they're presented in a fun, "non-threatening way" -
particularily T-rex. But it really depends on the kids - some kids could
experience nightmares if taken to the Lawrence Hall of Science exhibit which
features lifelike, robotic dinosaurs. Depending on their level of
sensitivity and sense of imagination, a scary illustration might be too much
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