Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Dinosaurs & Fossils

Dinosaurs & Fossils

Fall 2005 Toys
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $29.95
This science kit is comprehensive, engaging, and most importantly, it demonstrates a respect for science. Dinosaurs and Fossils includes a 32-page book of facts, materials to complete six model-building activities, and a genuine fossilized sharks tooth. The book provides extensive chemical safety information (although the only "chemical" used is plaster of Paris), and stresses the importance of learning scientific terminology to ensure uniformity in understanding. In addition to the age-appropriate technical information about the study of dinosaurs, the book profiles more than 25 prehistoric creatures. Also included are quizzes to test the reader's understanding. Upon successful completion, readers will discover a password that allows access to a special section of the Thames and Kosmos website.

The model activities are first-rate and offer varying levels of difficulty. The bookmark model is the simplest as it is just punched out of card stock, while the time spiral has the most assembly. The T. Rex skeletal model looks best sitting on the shelf and the dinosaur facts ring is loaded with information. Children use the plaster of Paris to create their own "fossils".

Ellie and Don Homce   ©2005 Parents' Choice
Don and Ellie Homce are the parents of two sons. Ellie is a former chemistry and physical science teacher and trainer in the hazardous materials field. Currently a professional volunteer at local schools and a thrift shop, Ellie continues to pursue her interests in art. Don is a health and safety and environmental science professional who enjoys building and fixing things. He has been a Boy Scout Leader for the past ten years.

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