Tuesday, January 4, 2011

D.I.Y. Dinosaurs

For kiddos like mine, who love realistically-molded plastic animal models (especially dinosaurs and horses), I think that the paint-your-own model kits that some companies sell now are just great. They're basically the exact same realistic toy animals, only unpainted.

No worries about lead paint? Score.

Kids get to exercise their artistic and creative muscles? Score.

Kids get to take ownership over the look of their toy? Score.

Kids get to use the same toy in more open-ended ways? Score and score.

These dinos that I bought the girls for Christmas are pricey, so I can't say that paint-your-own animal toys are going to be a constant in our homeschool stash (I need to buy a big set of labeled slides first, for one thing), but I can see a new set making its appearance at a variety of gift-giving occasions. The dinos that we do have, however, have been thoroughly enjoyed thus far.

Painting them is an all-consuming pastime, as you can see:
Dinosaur Paint&Play Set 1After the paint dries, I put a coat of the provided varnish on each dino and let it dry again. Often, when the girls receive a kit with paints, I substitute my own craft acrylics for the cheap kit paint. However, the paint sets that came with these dinos is really nice--Willow, who at first declared that she was going to paint all of her dinosaurs realistically, was quickly wooed away from that intention by the numerous metallic paints that came in the kit. So far there's still plenty of paint left for the rest of the dinos, but I can't imagine that there will be enough for every single dinosaur to be as generously covered as my girls have done so far, so I'm just planning to add in my craft acrylics as needed, and I can already tell that there's going to be nowhere near enough varnish in the kit to coat all the finished dinos. The varnish I will have to make a special trip to the craft store to look for the next time I have a little disposable income (HA!).

My favorite part of this toy, however, is that the fun doesn't stop when the painting does. For my little girls, it's just the beginning:
I'd say that these painted dinosaurs are ALMOST the kiddos' favorite plaything of late:
But that competition for first place in the babies' hearts? Really not a competition at all.

1 comment:

Tina said...

My daughter loves dino's and horses also. Anytime we head to the store, she asks if she has enough chore money to buy a horse model. I love the idea of her being able to paint her own horses and dino's also.