Best Dinosaur Toys for Your Kids in 2018 – 10 Great Choices

My kids both went through dinosaur phases, and I have never met a child who wasn’t fascinated by dinosaurs at least for a while. Some kids will stay interested in paleontology well into puberty and even adulthood.

In my experience, dinosaur-themed gifts are a huge hit with boys and girls alike. You can find great dinosaur toys for every age group, and they range from plushies to educational toys to outdoor toys and beyond.

But, if you’re shopping for a young dinosaur fan, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the variety of available choices. Not every dinosaur toy has the qualities a kid needs to safely have fun.

A List of My Favorite Dinosaur Toys for Kids

To make your shopping process easier, I’ve prepared a list of high-quality and enduring toys your kid might enjoy. I made sure to include toys fit for kids of various ages, starting at two-year-olds. You’ll be sure to find something that will match your kid’s developmental stage as well as their interests.

1. 3 Bees and Me Dinosaur Toys for Boys and Girls Toddlers

If you have a toddler or preschooler, they will love this set of dinosaurs on wheels.

The package contains four colorful and cheerful dinosaurs, including a t-rex and a triceratops. Playing with these toys will engage your little girl or boy for hours.

Vehicle toys provide a good way to improve motor skills and instinctively learn basic physics. Your kid will enjoy racing their dinosaurs down slopes. They will also love the way that these toys keep rolling on if they have enough momentum.

It’s possible that this will be your kid’s very first dinosaur toy. You can use these friendly figurines to teach them about dinosaurs in the simplest terms.

Additionally, these dinosaur-cars provide a great opportunity for imaginative play. Since there are four figurines, your kid can share this toy with a couple of friends. You may find them using these dinosaurs as characters in different kinds of pretend play.

What's Great About It: The design is age-appropriate, so there are absolutely no sharp corners or edges. I try to go for BPA-free toys whenever possible, and these dinosaurs are lead-free as well. There are no tiny pieces either, so this toy is a good choice if choking hazards are still a concern.

2. Laser Pegs National Geographic Dinosaurs Building Kit

Here’s an engaging and lovely building toy for dinosaur enthusiasts over the age of five.

The box contains building tools and instructions, so your kid can build 24 different kinds of dinosaurs. This is a great way to improve their spatial reasoning, and it will also help develop their planning skills and coordination.

Laser Pegs have won multiple awards for educational value. They’re a great choice for encouraging kids to develop an interest in STEM subjects. At the same time, the pegs and building blocks will engage your child’s creative side.

A younger kid might need your help in constructing dinosaurs, and they’ll absolutely love taking part in the process. Once the dinosaur is built, it can be used as a toy like any other, although your kid can disassemble it at any time. The very high replay value is one of my favorite things about this building kit.

Best of all, Laser Pegs light up when your kid is done building with them. There is a triangular stand for the completed dinosaur, and this makes sounds and a lightshow. This toy requires three AA batteries and it can make a great nightstand decoration.

For school-aged kids, this building set holds even more possibilities. The kit contains 27 laser pegs and 191 building blocks. All of these pieces are designed to be compatible with LEGO and other popular construction game blocks.

Thus, your kid can practice their creativity by combining this toy with other building toys. You’ll be amazed by the complex and artistic creations they can make using Laser Pegs.

What's Great About It: Some of the dinosaur species you can build from these pegs are fairly obscure. For example, I’ve never heard of a huayangosaur before. This toy will challenge your kid to learn more about dinosaurs they don’t already know, and it will spark their imagination as well.

3. Goliath Games Dino Meal

Dino Meal is a board game for two to four players. It’s recommended for kids aged four and up. Since it’s incredibly tense and dynamic, older children will love it too, and adults can get a few laughs out of it as well.

This game requires precision, practice, and luck. There is a cache of colorful dinosaur eggs and a fierce t-rex standing guard over them. The object is to steal all the eggs from under the t-rex’s nose.

Each player rolls to find out which egg they have to rescue first. Then they reach in very slowly to retrieve the egg. If they aren’t careful enough, the dinosaur lunges.

Board games are good for your kid’s social and cognitive development. This toy will teach your kid to take turns and pay attention to others. Since this toy elicits a lot of giggles, it will be able to draw even shy kids out of their shells.

I love how exciting this toy is. It teaches patience and improves dexterity. Winning will be great for your child’s confidence, and learning to lose gracefully might be even more important.

Dice are included in the package, but you need to get two AA batteries to bring the dinosaur to life.​

What's Great About It: Kids love surprises, and the way this dinosaur dips down will delight them every time. I believe this makes Dino Meal a particularly good choice for children who get very intense about board games and hate losing. The way this t-rex swoops down will make it hard to keep up a grudge about losing points.

​4. Discovery Kids Dinosaurs Rumble Sound Book

This board book is a great gift for two-year-olds and slightly older kids.

Interactive educational toys are the best choice for toddlers and preschoolers, and this book really delivers on interactive options. There are ten sound buttons, each of them associated with a different type of dinosaur. Your kid will love pressing the buttons to get different kinds of roars and growls.

I like toys that engage more than one sense. Sound effects are fun, and the illustrations are bright and engaging. Turning the pages and pressing buttons will also provide your kid with an excellent tactile experience.

The Dinosaurs Rumble Sound Book also contains a number of interesting and accurate facts about prehistoric life. If you have a four-year-old or five-year-old, they will love learning the facts in this book to impress friends and relatives. At age two, pressing buttons to cause a reaction is also a good way to teach causality.

What's Great About It: This board book won’t tear easily, and your kid will be able to turn the pages without help. When you’re looking for a book for toddlers and preschoolers, you need to make sure that it can withstand spills too. Since it won’t fall apart, this book will become a cherished memory in a few years.

​5. Prextex Dinosaur Volcano House

This adorable toy contains five friendly plush dinosaurs, and a pyramid-shaped volcano bag to store them in.

Every piece in this set is handcrafted. I love the colorful six-inch dinosaur figures because they’re very soft to the touch. The volcano house is soft and durable as well, and it closes with a zipper. This toy is a great choice for car rides or plane rides because it’s very easy to pack and carry.

I love the detailed attention that went into crafting every piece. The t-rex has fierce teeth, the stegosaurus has a row of spikes. And yet, all of these plushies are soft enough to sleep with.

Kids of any age can enjoy the Volcano House. Playing with plush animal and dinosaur figures is especially important for preschoolers since they can use the figures in different types of imaginative play. However, these toys are so well-made that they can also be a great addition to an older kid’s room.

What's Great About It: My favorite thing about these dinosaurs and their house is that you can put everything in your washing machine. The toys won’t easily get damaged, so your kid can take them anywhere. They are also large enough to hold on to, and your kid won’t misplace them in a rush either.

​6. Intex Dinoland Play Center

This inflatable dinosaur-themed kiddie pool is perfect for high-energy kids who love splashing around. It’s recommended for outdoor play, for children aged two years old and above.

In addition to the wide but very shallow pool area, there’s a water hose that will spray your kid from above. The inflated dinosaur figures make this pool more inviting and they engage the imagination too. Your child can pretend that they’re in a prehistoric jungle, complete with waterfalls.

I also love the slide. It has a gentle slope and there’s a soft-landing pad, so there are no risks of injury. Any kid will love to slide down and take a few toys along for the ride.

Since this pool is very durable, older children can use it too, though it’s not fit for adult use. This toy is a very good choice for cooperative play. If you’re hosting a kids’ party, it will provide an excellent and safe source of entertainment.

I would like to add that the package doesn’t include a pump, but you can buy one separately or just blow it up by yourself.

What's Great About It: When you’re not using it as a pool, you could easily make this pool into a ball pit. The cheerful prehistoric design will allow your kid to include this in various different types of games.

7. National Geographic Dinosaur Dig Kit

Here’s an excellent gift for paleontology fans aged six and up.

With careful work, your kid can dig through this brick and find three ancient fossils. Archaeological tools are included in the set. There is even a magnifying glass your kid can use to study the fossils.

Every fossil in this kit is real. There is a dinosaur tooth, a shard of bone and even fossilized dinosaur droppings. Once your kid has worked through the digging brick, they will have valuable keepsakes.

Getting to the fossil will take time and dedication, so I recommend this for mature kids who have a sense of determination. But the process of excavation is exciting too. After all, it can feel like unwrapping a gift in slow motion.

Your kid can share this toy with friends to make the digging go faster. In my experience, digging toys are a great feature for family nights as well.

What's Great About It: If your child likes the thought of collecting rocks, these ancient fossils can be the perfect place to start. Collecting is a hobby with a number of developmental benefits and it can help your kid fall in love with natural sciences.

​8. Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up

This book is a classic, and for a very good reason. Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart are experienced and award-winning pop-up book writers and illustrators, and the Encyclopedia Prehistorica is one of their best-loved books.

So, what makes this book ‘the definitive pop-up’?

Every illustration in this book is drawn with care and precision. The pop-ups themselves are fascinating and innovative. This encyclopedia contains both well-known and obscure dinosaurs. The most impressive one might be the detailed t-rex skeleton pop-up.

In addition to information about each species of dinosaur, this book provides information on the history of paleontology. There’s a number of fascinating facts your kid can learn. I love that this book strives towards accuracy, but isn’t bogged down by boring facts.

Reinhart and Sabuda are great at using humor. Your kid will laugh at some of the more outrageous moments in the history of this science. Nothing about reading this book will feel like a chore.

I particularly love that the Encyclopedia Prehistorica has fold-out mini-books. These contain more information, as well as engaging mysteries and more pop-ups. Your daughter or son will be surprised and delighted by this extra content.

This book is a great choice for kids aged five to nine years old. It takes some care and delicacy to fold the pages, but the pop-ups will provide a thrill even on re-reads.

What's Great About It: Even now, in the age of educational software, children adore traditional interactive books. In addition to being fun and educational, this book is a work of art. Your kid will love the dinosaurs, but they might be just as impressed by the craft that went into making these pop-ups.

​9. Melissa & Doug Dinosaurs 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles

This set comes with four different puzzles, each featuring a beautiful prehistoric scene with different species of dinosaurs. Every puzzle consists of 12 pieces, which makes this a great choice for kids aged three to six. Your kid will soon be able to put these puzzles together without your help.

Jigsaw puzzles are a great educational toy. They develop your kid’s hand-eye coordination and precision. Melissa & Doug puzzle sets are generally made with little hands in mind.

Improved problem-solving skills are another cognitive benefit of jigsaw puzzles. When your kid fits everything together and gets a beautiful picture, they will feel both accomplished and confident.

These puzzles come with a handy wooden storage box with four compartments. For an extra challenge, your kid may enjoy mixing together pieces from all four puzzles and then working on four pictures all at the same time.

I recommend getting the personalized version of the storage box. It’s fairly affordable and your kid will love seeing their name on the side of the box. In my experience, three-year-olds don’t tend to enjoy putting away their toys, but packing up into their own personal box can make them feel very grown up.

What's Great About It: These puzzles are great for kids who enjoy playing alone. But if you play along with your kid, you can encourage them to tell you a story based on the pictures. You can also make sure they learn to cooperate and verbally express what they’re planning to do.

A Few Words on Kids and Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs are a popular feature in entertainment made for kids and young adults, from good old purple Barney to the impressive but dangerous dinosaurs in the new Power Rangers film. So, what makes them so well-loved?

In my experience, kids love thinking about different eras. They are fascinated by the thought of these massive and intelligent creatures that used to cover the earth and then disappeared.

When your kid gets interested in dinosaurs, you should prepare yourself to answer questions about extinction. Don’t be alarmed if your kid becomes particularly interested in this topic, and make sure to answer every question patiently and truthfully.

Kids start understanding mortality in stages. The idea that death is irreversible usually settles in around age four. It’s important to keep in mind that these developmental milestones are very closely tied to your child’s experiences and their general maturity levels.

Dinosaurs can provide a very safe and abstract way for your kids to approach this topic. Having fun and age-appropriate books or study materials will help you find the right way to explain things. You may even enjoy learning along with your child.

Of course, not every toy has to be educational. Some of the dinosaur toys I picked for this list are extremely friendly and non-threatening, and some don’t really look like dinosaurs at all.

At the same time, I made the effort to only pick toys where dinosaurs are surrounded by other dinosaurs, rather than mammals or humans. It’s a good idea to let your kid know that the world used to be different. This will engage their imagination and inspire them to ask even more questions.

A Few Words on Choosing Appropriate Gifts and Toys

Any age is a good age for a dinosaur toy. Here are some questions that can help you decide whether a particular toy will be a good fit for your kid:

  • Is This Toy Safe for my Kid?

For example, you should avoid getting building toys with very small pieces for anyone younger than five. Additionally, some outdoor toys can lead to dangerous falls, so make sure to go for high-quality products made with safety in mind.

  • Does your Kid Have the Physical Skills to Use This Toy?

It’s very important to assess your kid’s spatial development before you commit to any toy.

Challenges are great for your kid’s self-esteem, so don’t worry if they can’t use the toy perfectly right from the start. But you want to avoid frustrating toys. So, if your kid’s manual dexterity still hasn’t developed fully, make sure to get something they can pick up and hold easily.

  • Will your Kid Understand This Toy?

A young kid’s cognitive development is a work in progress. Thinking toys should always come with age recommendations, and it’s a good idea to follow those.

Educational books can be a great choice, but you should make absolutely sure that they’re fun and engaging. Humor is a great tool that can make learning easier and less intimidating for kids of any age. There is a lot of fascinating information about dinosaurs out there, so don’t settle for anything that looks boring or overly complicated.

  • Is your Kid Socially Mature Enough to Play with This Toy?

Playing with others will enhance your child’s social skills and help them make friends. But you should avoid games with very complex rules until your child is old enough for that. Luck-based board games and outdoor toys are a good choice for mixed-age groups of kids.

  • Can This Toy Be Used More Than Once?

Whether you’re shopping for picture books, board games, or something else, make sure to think long-term. Will your kid find a use for this toy a week after unwrapping it?

Some toys, like the dinosaur dig kit, can be used in a different way after your kid completes a task. This is a great approach, because every time your kid uses the toy in the future, they will feel a sense of accomplishment.

A Few Final Words

Not every kid is going to grow into a paleontologist, but they can all benefit from learning about nature. You can’t go wrong with dinosaur toys even if you’re shopping for a child you don’t know very well.

If your kid receives an educational toy or game about dinosaurs, you should absolutely share the experience with them. Your kid is still full of wonder. Together, you can go on a trip to the past, gather new knowledge, and discover new ways to have fun.

Sandra Cobain
    Sandra Cobain
     

    Sandra is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she's not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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