It is basically some plastic fossils set in gypsum with a set of plastic digging tools to dig them out.
Gavin seemed to have a lot of fun with it, although he kept asking me to help him. I’ve discovered that I have absolutely zero patience for these things. My first instinct after a few minutes of tapping was to throw the block on the floor to help “break it up”. Gavin tried to pull on the bits that he had exposed. I guess neither of us is actually cut out to be a paleontologist since we’re more likely to destroy the specimens than to dig them out safety and in one piece.
It is a great activity for keeping a child busy because it takes quite a while to free the dinosaur (but be warned, it is an extremely messy activity). This was our progress after the first day (we stopped after Gavin grew weary of knocking):
Once you free all the pieces, you need to put it together. We haven’t gotten that far yet so I can’t show you the finished model. Gavin has a little more patience than I do because he has worked on it steadily for two days in a row. It is a great way to teach a child the concept of what paleontologists do when they discover dinosaur fossils. It’s also a great way to foster interest in learning more about dinosaurs.
The kit cost us RM56.95 from Toys ‘R’ Us, but we had a voucher so it ended up costing us only RM6.95. Edu Science also have other cool toys selling at Toys ‘R’ Us which I have been eyeing:
Edu Science Land and Sky Telescope to further his learning on the night sky, the planets and the solar system.
And the Edu Science Microscope to further his learning about the human body, blood and cells.
Although Gavin has always been interested in learning about the human body, I really have to credit “Here Comes Science” by They Might Be Giants for helping to develop his interests in learning about dinosaurs and space. It was after watching the Paleontology song that he started to get interested in dinosaurs. He begged for the stuffed Diplodocus at Universal Studios.
The Periodic Table song got him into learning about the Elements of the Periodic Table and “Why Does the Sun Shine” got Gavin into learning about the Sun and the Solar System.
Although Here Comes Science might appear limited in terms of the depth and scope of exploration into various science topics, it has been an excellent springboard for further study.