Girls and Dinosaurs

Here’s the thing: I’m pretty sure girls like dinosaurs just as much as boys do. In fact, when I realized how beautiful some dinosaurs could have been with bright feathers like some modern birds, I found myself becoming fascinated in a way I never was as a kid. Scientists have discovered so much more in the past 15 years, including that not all dinosaurs are extinct, for example.

Do you have a dino-nut on your hands? Finding fun dinosaur stories and toys that are especially appealing to girls can be tough, especially as they reach the age where they become more aware of what’s supposedly “for girls” or “for boys”. Over the past couple of years I’ve started to accumulate some books, videos, and other resources worth recommending. You’ve probably already read about our activity on the beach, looking for “fossils”, but I think the original craziness probably dates back to stories like Boynton’s Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!

If you’re the parent of a dino-nut, I recommend adding the  Big Book of Dinosaurs to your collection, since it has a very simple pronunciation guide at the back to get you trained up before you have to start reading the more complicated books out loud. All Aboard the Dinotrain also continues to be a favorite.

I don’t recommend this if your child doesn’t do well with “scary” live action, but Miss H has enjoyed Walking With Dinosaurs (available free with Prime on Amazon’s Instant Video service) since she was about 3. Many animated Disney flicks still freak her out, though, so my judgement may be skewed there. She’d always rather watch sharks eating things than an animated Maleficient, or that sea witch in The Little Mermaid.

Big Book of Dinosaurs was one of Miss H’s favorite books to “read” as a toddler, until she received a British pictorial encyclopedia of prehistoric animals, which shows many of the dinosaurs with the bright feathers scientists now think they had. It’s a beautiful book, and if I’m ever able to find a link to it, I will update you all! It’s called Dinosaurs And Other Prehistoric Animals, edited by Mehling. The thing is so heavy she has to lay it down on the bed to “read”, but she loves the colored maps and the small-scale silhouette of each animal next to a small-scale 6′ “daddy”.

For your little ballerina, Brontorina is the perfect story. It has it all, including the search for a studio large enough to contain her talent and the reveal of an extra-large set of toe shoes. Brontorina even finds another student who can lift her! So far, this is the ONLY story I have found about both ballerinas AND dinosaurs, but if you find another one, PLEASE let me know in the comments!

The whole How Do Dinosaurs…series, such as How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? is also a great addition to your bed-time rituals.

Many girls are particularly interested in expression through costume, so why not add appealing dinosaur-themed wardrobe items? It sure beats all the puppy and poodle pap out there. Santa brought this one for Miss H at Christmas, combining dinosaurs AND gardens. What could be better?

I also love this girl on a Tyrannosaurus Rex T-Shirt or the Girl on a Triceratops T-Shirt, with a killer little necklace. Or, what little preschool girl could resist a dinosaur shirt with matching twirly skirt? The color combo is a little funky on this, but I love the idea of the Dinosaur Princess Tutu, as well. Then I stumbled over the perfect shirt for a baby girl who can’t decide whether she likes dinosaurs or robots!

If you’re clever with the sewing machine, you might even whip up a little dinosaur cape when your child insists on being her favorite dinosaur for Halloween. I know a certain little girl who would probably demand rainbow spines!

I thought this was cute for a girl’s dinosaur birthday party. I remember how hard it was to find anything girly with a shark theme for birthday #2. We ended up compromising with a shark bouncy house and a ballerina-themed birthday cake. I could not find a “shark ballerina” anywhere, go figure!

We’re still in the middle of nowhere on our remodel, but I keep a Pinterest board of ideas, including dinosaur decor for girls. This Pink Dinosaur ABC print would be perfect for a nursery, or Chalkboard Dinosaurs for a desk/drawing area.

What have you found for your dinosaur-crazed girl? Keep me posted, I’m always on the lookout!

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