Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dinosaurs on the Move

Finally, this one is for the parents who squirm when their child produces a blank piece of paper with a crayon and requests "Can you draw a dinosaur for me?"  Aaargh. I have little to no artistic ability and my dinosaurs looks more like ... blobs with claws. Thank goodness for this clever book!

Here, an actual artist has drawn ten dinosaurs that far surpass my blob results, and actually look like the dinosaurs they are supposed to be!  Your child cuts out the individual body parts, then assembles them to create an army of ferocious dinosaurs. The pages are perforated for easy removal and each piece is marked on the back with a letter key for easy assembly. It gets better. For each fully colored page, there is also a separate page with black and white line drawing of the same dinosaur. Identical set up, but these are perfect for kids that want to exercise more creativity by coloring in the dinosaurs themselves.      
The first few pages of the book contain a short paragraph of information on each dinosaur, including body measurements, diet and a brief general summary.  In case your kids are particular about the dinosaurs they construct, the choices are as follows: Allosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Baryonyx, Brachiosaurus, Ouranosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Pteranodon, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex. 

This was an instant hit at our house. I produced the book, scissors, colored pencils and we started right in. A word of caution - you do have to purchase mini brads or fasteners so that the parts will be movable.  We were delighted to find that the assembly directions are super easy to follow: place the pieces face down and match A Front to A Back, B Front to B Back, and so on. We put together a few of the preprinted dinosaurs first to get a feel for it, and then we turned to the black and white pages to test our creativity.  Hey, nobody really knows what color the real dinosaurs were anyway, right?
I really loved that this was pretty much a fuss free craft.  No glitter, no glue, no paints.  There was no maze of confusing instructions to navigate, resulting in a lot of shushing as "Mommy figures out what this means." Older children could absolutely be handed this book and not need any assistance whatsoever.  Plus, once we were done with our crafting, we had a little herd of realistic dinosaurs that were ready for battle. The perfect activity book!

Figures in Motion also offers another cut and assemble book, Famous Figures of Ancient Times.

Review copy provided by KSB Promotions.

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