Growing Up





Ethan's Dinosaurs:  Resources

This page contains information about resources we've used over the last six years-- Web pages, books, videos, toys, and so forth. 

Other People's Dinosaurs

We wanted to know how other kids relate to dinosaurs, so we searched the Web for other sites put together by kids and their parents.  Here's what we found.  (Some of them are by adults, but they're still cool!)

Bobby has his own Web site about dinosaurs, with lots of quizzes, puzzles, games, and kid pictures.  His Mom helped him make it.
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This person loves raptors!  (We're not sure how old he is.)
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OK, we know this guy isn't a kid!  But, if you're serious about toy dinosaurs, then be sure to visit his site!
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Here's the life story of a boy dinosaur lover who grew up to become an adult dinosaur lover:  < >
You can see his current artwork by following this link:
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Know of any sites that belong here?  Then please write!

If you give us permission, we'll share your e-mail (but not your full name!) with our other visitors.


Books About Dinosaurs

Ethan has always loved dinosaur books.  We regularly get books from both the children's and adults' sections of the library.

If you want reviews of lots of Children's Books About Dinosaurs, go to this site from Online Class:
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It lists and describes the recommended reading for their Dinosaurs Alive! classroom unit.  The page includes both non-fiction and fiction for younger children.  (It also includes links to

Below are our reviews of some of our favorite dinosaur fiction:

When Ethan was two or three, one of our favorite books was Patrick's Dinosaurs, by Carol Carrick (Houghton Mifflin Co, 1985):

It's about a young boy, Patrick, who visits a zoo with a dinosaur expert, his older brother, Hank. As they walk the zoo grounds looking at live animals, Hank keeps finding excuses to talk about his passion for the past. At the elephants, Hank talks about Brontosaurus. At the crocodiles, Hank talked about a supercroc, 40 feet long, with jaws twice as long as Patrick. As Hank talks, Patrick listens carefully and imagines Hank's giant beasts wandering through the zoo. The Brontosaurus towers above them, and the supercroc gobbles smaller crocodiles for lunch. Patrick's imagination almost gets the better of him as dinosaurs follow him home and almost eat him--until Hank reminds him that dinosaurs had been gone for 60 million years.

Patrick's Dinosaurs became the story of our life for six months or more, with Ethan playing both roles--expert Hank and imaginative Patrick. 

The bathtub has long been one of our favorite dinosaur playgrounds.  Dinosaur! by Peter Sis (Greenwillow Books, 2000) does a great job portraying a child's fantasy play in the bathtub -- and it does it without words.


Videos About Dinosaurs

When he was younger, Ethan's favorite dinosaur video was Land Before Time from Universal Home Video.  This Web site has information, games, and activities about the entire series:
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The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) entry for the first Land Before Time movie:
   <,+The+(1988) >
It includes plot summary and links to reviews.  The sequels went right to video, so they aren't listed in IMDb.  Older reviewers (and some young ones) generally aren't impressed with this movie -- but some younger reviewers either loved it or say that, as a child, it was one of their favorite movies.

Now, Ethan's favorite dinosaur videos are the Walking with Dinosaurs series by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).  I consider these videos to be dinosaur docudramas--fictionalized, but based on true stories.  They dramatize stories of individual dinosaurs (or other prehistoric animals) as they grow up, hunt for food, and try to raise families of their own.  Here's the Walking with Dinosaurs Web site:
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If you're an adult who likes fictional dinosaur films, be sure to check out Michael Delahoyde's exhaustive list:
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There are more than a hundred films and videos listed, from 1913 to the present.  Many are reviewed by the site's author.  The reviews can be pretty brutal.  (He doesn't like Land Before Time.)  You may also want to visit the author's home page:
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Computer Games About Dinosaurs

Ethan's favorite dinosaur computer game is still The Magic School Bus Dinosaurs from Microsoft™.

In this game, the Magic School Bus turns into a time machine, so kids can go back in time to explore seven important dinosaur sites from the Mesozoic era. Along the way, kids encounter dinosaurs in their native habitats and play dinosaur-related games. They visit Mongolia, Tanzania, Argentina, and Arizona to learn all about dinosaurs, as well as fossils, habitats, plant life and other reptiles.  Ethan's favorite part:  Printing out and collecting the dinosaur cards that are awarded as prizes for the many games included in the program.

We also enjoyed Dinosaur Adventure 3-D from Knowledge Adventure (which seems to have been absorbed by another company).  Ethan liked to play the many games and watch the dinosaur movies -- and he loved the printable workbook pages!

Dinosaur Activities on the Web

    Web sites with lots of things to print:  Ethan's favorite Web site!
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Here's how they describe themselves:  "Zoom Dinosaurs is a comprehensive on-line hypertext book about dinosaurs. It is designed for students of all ages and levels of comprehension. It has an easy-to-use structure that allows readers to start at a basic level on each topic, and then to progress to much more advanced information as desired, simply by clicking on links."  

Ethan prints out loads of information from this Website -- working by himself -- even though he was just beginning to read.  We punch holes in the pages, color the pictures, and save them in a loose-leaf notebook.

Dinosaur Data Files from the Natural History Museum in London, England.
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Printable cards with the basic facts about more than 25 dinosaurs.

Dino Directory, also from the Natural History Museum.
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This site
has information about even more dinosaurs, arranged according to the countries where they have been discovered.

    Web sites with online games:

DinoFun! Dinosaur Games page
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Includes Tic-Tac-aSaurus, Hang-a-Saurus, and more.  Also, go here for access to more online games:  < >

Discovery Room Online of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
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Includes a game about Dinosaur Imposters, a Dinosaur Jumble game, riddles about dinosaur names, and a game where you try to match skulls with skeletons. 

Land Before Time Great Valley of Fun from Universal Home Video.
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Five different online games, all related to the video series.  Requires a current version of the Shockwave Plugin.

    Web sites with other kinds of activities:

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Designs for easy-to-make paper dinosaurs. Ready to print, or download for later printing.

Dinosaur printable games
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Coloring pages and word searches.

Dinosaur Theme page from Jeannie B's In Home Daycare.
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Includes the words for dinosaur songs and ideas for dinosaur craft activities.

    Web sites with ideas for dinosaur birthday parties:

Our birthday-party themes always reflect Ethan's current interests.  Here are some Web sites we use to help plan our parties.

Dinosaur birthday cake. Ethan's third birthday, Grandma Dinah's (May, 1998).

BillyBear4Kids.Com Dinosaur Birthday Party Theme
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Includes lots of things to print:  Invitations, name tags, party hats, and games.

Amazing Moms Dino Dig Birthday Party
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Dig for bones, make rubbings, and eat mud!


Dinosaur Information on the Web

     Especially for Younger Kids

Dinosaur Dino-Kids Zone
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Dinosaur Facts, News and Events, Ask Dino-Man.


     For Older Kids and Adults

Dinosaurs:  Facts and Fiction.  From the United States Geological Survey.
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Includes answers to frequently asked questions regarding dinosaurs, and attempts to clear up popular misconceptions.

Discovery Channel Online:  Dinosaur Guide.
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Follow the links to some really cool stuff!

Dinosaur Interplanetary Gazette   
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Includes articles about recent fossil discoveries, other dinosaur news, and about the history of dinosaur movies.  Also includes a book and toy store.

Dinosaurs and Fossils from Australia's Museum Victoria.
From the home page: "This site presents a number of essays prepared by Museum Victoria scientists, together with education materials."

DinoRuss's Lair has loads of information about dinosaurs and other ancient vertebrates:
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Dino Russ works for the Geological Survey of our home state, Illinois.  His efforts to find the first dinosaur fossils from Illinois are described on this page:
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University of California Museum of Paleontology Dinosaur Links
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A great list of links, subdivided into many categories.

Web Sites about Toy Dinosaurs

Toy dinosaurs were at the center of Ethan's fantasy play when he was younger.

Here are some Web sites about toy plastic dinosaurs.

Dinosaur Collector Museum  Really incredible!  If you're serious about toy dinosaurs, then be sure to visit this site!
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This virtual museum includes pictures of scores of dioramas which use scale model toys of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures.  The dioramas are organized by time period and major environment, and contain basic information about the animals and their world.

Prehistoric Times
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Home page for a magazine for collectors of dinosaur art, toys, and paraphernalia.  (This link hasn't worked the last few times I tried it -- I hope they are still in business!)

The only existing photo of 3-year-old Ethan's dinosaur collection.  
(May, 1998)

Web Sites that Sell Dinosaur Toys and Other Dino Stuff

     From the United States:

The Dino Farm  That's the name of both the Website and of the "real world" store in South Pasadina, California.
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They sell books, toys, build-your-own dinos, party favors, and "dino decor" (including chairs and lamps).  The site includes photos of many of the major brands of plastic dinosaurs, including:  Billed as a "Prehistoric Giftshop," operated by the EXTINCTIONS Fossil Company in Walsenburg, Colorado. 
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They sell dinosaur fossils, books, replicas, toys, posters and fossil collecting equipment such as rock picks, chisels and pouches.  The site includes small pictures of all the Carnegie dinosaurs.

     From other countries:

Elements of  Canada.
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They call themselves a "Toy Store & More."  Click on the Carnegie Dinosaurs option to see large photos of the complete collection!


Growing Up





Copyright 2002-2003 Eric D. Gyllenhaal

Ethan's Dinosaurs is part of the Salt the Sandbox Web. 
For more information visit the Salt the Sandbox home page.

This page was created on August 17, 2002, and it was last updated on June 7, 2003.