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Kirsty McCabe realises just how much little boys love pretending to be dinosaurs

Our weekly columnist finds new ways to encourage play, education and sing-along fun via her sons' favourite subject

Posted: 27 June 2014
by Catherine Hudson

Rockin' the dino onesie at the park
Don't you know what a thagomiser is, mummy?
Andy's raps can sometimes be a little out of tune...
Dinosaur hunting at Crystal Palace Park

Like most little girls I went through a princess phase, which probably explains why my hair is far too long and I pay way too much to make it blonder! If you have a daughter you are probably going through the Frozen years with Elsa and her sister Anna.

I'm not sure if it's better or worse, but we are currently in the 'dinosaur' era. As a former Earth Scientist I quite like all this palaeontology. Although, dinosaurs are starting to dominate our lives.

Let's start with the clothes. We have quite a few dinosaur themed tops like a stegosaurus T-shirt, which Logan often wears. We even have a full on dinosaur onesie that Ethan wears, even on a hot summer day. If suitable dinosaur outfits cannot be found then the boys will simply cover themselves in sheets and romp around roaring like a dinosaur and pretending to hit me with their thagomiser...

Their 'thago' what, you say? You know, the spiky tail of a stegosaurus... Ah, you obviously haven't been listening to Andy's dinosaur raps on YouTube. This has been watched over and over again by my boys who adore it and copy all the actions. It's got to the point that if someone invented a game for parents and children called 'Mime my dinosaur', Ethan and I would be outright winners.

Not only do we adore Andy's Dinosaur Adventures on CBeebies (though I must admit I really do think he should bring his colleague Hatty along as she'd love to experience the time of the dinosaurs), we regularly watch Dino Dan, Trek's Adventures, Harry and his Bucket Full of Dinosaurs and even some Dinopaws.

Obviously we barely watch television. Ahem. Though it turns out that many of our favourite books also have a dinosaur flavour right now. For some reason this doesn't give the boys nightmares, just an impressive vocabulary. Aged just three, Ethan can name just about all the dinos while one-year-old Logan does a good roar.

We've been to the Natural History Museum to check out the dinosaurs there, although because some of them moved and made noise they did frighten Ethan a little bit. That was last year so hopefully if we go again soon (before the chaos of the school holidays) he might enjoy it more. He did enjoy the animatronic dinos at Marwell Zoo and we even travelled back in time to visit the Lost Valley of Crystal Park the other weekend.

When I say travelled back in time, I mean we went to see the dinosaur sculptures that have been there since 1854. Perhaps not quite anatomically up to modern standards but bear in mind these were the first dinosaur sculptures in the world. Following the dino trail was a great adventure for our budding palaeontologists (is it just me that always thinks of Ross from Friends when someone says palaeontologist?) and there's even a free farm to visit at Crystal Palace along with a massive sand pit to play in.

Coming back from the 19th to the 21st century, and there are a whole host of dinosaur-related smartphone apps out there. Our favourites include those that repeat what you say in a silly voice (it never gets old) along with some fossil hunting ones.

Our dinosaur love continues into meal times with dinosaur place mats for my Loganosaurus and Ethanodactyl. Then we've got plastic dinosaurs to turn bath time into a Jurassic wonder followed by a good night's sleep under a dinosaur duvet. Dinotastic!

Do your children have a favourite animal - extinct or living? Have you found new ways to explore their favourite subject? Let us know by commenting below...

Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk every Friday. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine and watch out for the hashtag #somethingfortheweekend to join in with the conversation

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