Max is obsessed with dinosaurs. He can tell you what each of them are called and can spend hours pouring over books and tv programmes, learning about them and how they lived. He's always fancied himself as a Dinosaur handler like Chris Pratt was in Jurassic World (I don't have the heart to tell him it's a film!).
We were recently approached to review the Great Gizmos Dinosaur DNA Kit and I couldn't wait to let Max get stuck in. Its a gift with so many different components that it will keep kids amused for hours, if not days! Not only do you have a skeleton to dig out, but there is also DNA that must be found to create some awesome augmented reality play mats that can be used with a digital device.
The Dinosaur DNA Kit comes with a block that contains a dinosaur skeleton and a DNA tube full of stickers, tools to help excavate the bones and two play mats that work alongside an app to bring the dinosaur to life. Because of the material that the block is made out of you are advised to wear old clothes. We popped down a blanket and a large tray to keep the plaster contained and got to work.
Because you have to spend time hammering and chipping away at the block, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Luckily we popped on Jurassic Park and all got stuck in to try and unearth this dinosaur.
It took us quite a while to chip at the edges, once we found part of a dinosaur Max shouted with delight and carefully brushed away bits of the dust. Once we uncovered it all we could put it together. We found it was easiest to wash off all the dust in water and use a blunt needle to poke out the plaster stuck in the joints. Once it was all cleaned off they easily popped together to form a dinosaur skeleton that Max has been taking everywhere with him since!
It's worth noting that this set can get really messy. We kept the hoover close by and cleaned up some of the finer bits of mess as we went along. Max loved looking at the imprints of the bones on the plaster once he pulled them away. It was a great toy to help show Max how fossils create imprints and can be excavated. He was fascinated with the process and it was such fun to work together as a family.
Once the dinosaur was put together we got out the play mats and attached the missing DNA helix stickers that we excavated. By downloading the Dinocodes app (can be found on most Apple and Android devices) you can bring the mats to life and inject yourself into the photos and videos. It took us a while to get the hang of how to get the dinosaur to appear, but once we did we had tonnes of fun pretending to be scared and play with the dinosaur. There was also a bonus mat that created a scene for us. We had a volcano that was bubbling over with hot lava.
The Dinosaur DNA Kit is available from Rymans for £9.99. It's a fantastic gift to buy any dinosaur addict. The box does recommend it for ages 8+ but Max had no problems with using any part of the toy, in fact he had so much fun with it that he has popped the other two dinosaurs on his Christmas list.