Found: A Dinosaur Sticker Activity Book—and a Fun-for-Free Activity to Go with It

Child-led learning has brought us to dinosaur town, which seems to be an essential phase of childhood. What is it about these reptilian giants that kids find so alluring and irresistible? The funny-sounding names? Their strange and varied forms? This is the kind of conversations we're having at home these days:
"Mom, this is a monto-saurus"
"A brontosaurus?"
"No, a monto-saurus. It's a dinosaur mixed with a cat and a leaf."
It is often challenging not to laugh, but let's just go with it, okay?

I, too, was a bit of a dinosaur nut as a kid because of Land Before Time and those collectible sticker books that were all the rage when I was growing up (showing my age here; raise your hand if you remember these). Now I happily get to pass on my limited knowledge to E. It's not in-depth, but I can tell a stegosaurus from a triceratops. So when I spotted the two (super) sticker activity books, pictured above, at National Bookstore, I was happy to feed her interest.

(Note: This post contains affiliate links, however, all book recommendations are my own and are for books we personally own and love. Thanks for your support!)

We brought these activity books, Super Sticker Activity: Dinos and Super Sticker Activity: Things that Go, for a fancy lunch out with the church pastoral team, which would have usually made E restless, but she happily did the activities and sticker pages while waiting for the food and for everyone to finish talking, chatting animatedly with me the whole time. . Other themes include Baby Animals and Farm, which I hope I find locally before our farm field trip. These also happen to be from Make Believe Ideas, the publisher of the B is for Breakdancing Bear Alphabet Sticker Activity Book I reviewed a few weeks ago.

Yay, a dot-to-dot that doesn't make her "draw rough to erase it" out of frustration.

There is enough variety in the activities to keep kids busy. The activities include these:
  • Find the differences
  • Dot-to-dot
  • Coloring pages
  • I spy 
  • Color by number 
  • Complete the picture
Most activities are preschool-level but still challenging. E ended up just choosing the ones she liked and then freehand drawing over them after. I think our lunch mates were a bit appalled but also amused that she was not doing the activities "correctly." That's E for you; not following instructions, as usual, haha. 

"Mommy, I gave them all bones because they were also hungry."

The stickers that come with the book are puffy stickers, which are easier for preschoolers to remove by themselves compared to flat stickers. Both books have reward stars the child can stick on the page after they complete an activity, but E used hers to make "a night sky" in the "create a scene" page because "these dinosaurs are nocturnal." It's a good thing I took some photos of the pages before I gave her the book. 

I like the handy pocket at the back of the front cover where you can keep the unused stickers between activities. If there are any unused stickers left, that is. We went through this book in just three outings because she wanted to do one page after another. After we'd finished all the activities, she removed all the stickers and "put them to sleep" in the pocket, so maybe we'll get a few more uses out of them.

Oh, and bonus points for having a girl and a boy archeologist! I'm glad these "boy-themed" books weren't marketed as being for boys. The girl wasn't wearing a pink explorer outfit and assisting the boy. When Ella saw the characters, she immediately exclaimed, "That's me!" then asked, "Mommy, can boys be archeologists and explorers, too?" Oh, if only that was the question being asked in the scientific community.

From Page to Park

This was initially supposed to be a review of these two books, but then the British Festival happened at Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, last weekend and—what do you know—there were dinosaurs! What a fun, interactive, experiential way to extend the conversation! 

E has a fear-fascination relationship with dinosaurs. She is at once scared of them and drawn to them, alternating between wanting to have a dinosaur toy then changing her mind when we ask her to choose one at the toy store. Maybe she thinks it will come alive in her sleep. When she saw these dinos, her first question was whether or not they moved or made sounds. Luckily, they did not. So she got up the courage to approach, engage, and finally, conquer. 

Nessie! We talked about Loch Ness and Scotland. She asked why the dinosaur had an angry face and wished she could cheer it up. "It is a mommy Loch Ness monster? Maybe it's sad because it misses its babies." Maybe.

She loved the dinosaur skull display because she has a thing for bones and skeletons. We talked about which dinosaurs ate meat and which ate plants based on what their teeth looked like. She decided that the ones with sharp teeth were "animal-cookie-vores." Whatever helps you sleep at night, kid. 

The brontosaurus gave her a lot of gross motor playtime. That long green back and tail were like a giant green invitation to slide, so she climbed and slid, climbed and slid about fifty times. It takes so little to make her happy. 

I'm glad we were able to give her this fun-for-free experience, even just an afternoon. We know it's a successful day when she keeps talking about what she did (or makes up stories about what she'd do "if she were a grown-up, like her imaginary friend"). Thanks, Bonifacio Global City; keep 'em coming! Baguio Dinosaurs Island, we're coming for you.