Why the fascination with dinosaurs?

May 18, 2017

Our dinosaur pin boards are some of the more popular in our entire range and that's probably due to our business name right? When we were fleshing out our business plan (over 12 years ago now!) - we decided that dinosaurs were great identities for us. A concept that offers both fact and fantasy,  wow factor, strength,  educational value, diversity within the species and a sense of wonder that only comes from something that's extinct!

 

Most kids go through a “dinosaur phase,” when he or she eats, sleeps and breathes dinosaurs. Sometimes this happens as young as two or three, but usually it occurs around the age of six or seven, when kids are just starting to come to grips with scientific concepts and can extrapolate the appearance and behavior of dinosaurs from the wildlife they see at the zoo. Sometimes, a  child will carry his love of dinosaurs all the way through adolescence and adulthood; some of these lucky individuals go on to become biologists and paleontologists. But why, exactly, do kids love dinosaurs so much? Let's find out;

 

1: DINOSAURS ARE BIG, SCARY & EXTINCT

The most likely explanation for why kids love dinosaurs is that these huge, dangerous reptiles went extinct over 65 million years ago . The fact is, most kids don't worship at the altar of lions, tigers or timber wolves, probably because these fierce carnivores can easily be seen (either at the zoo or on TV. Children have vivid imaginations and it's a short step from witnessing a hyena demolishing a wildebeest to picturing themselves on the lunch menu.

That's why dinosaurs have such enormous appeal: the average grade-schooler may have only a vague idea when dinosaurs went extinct, but they know that they're no longer around. A full-grown Tyrannosaurus Rex, no matter how huge and hungry, is therefore completely harmless, since there's no chance of accidentally running into one during an excursion. Interesting idea eh?

 

2: DINOSAURS GET TO DO WHAT THEY WANT

No one tells a full-grown Apatosaurus that he has to go to bed at 7 o'clock or to finish his peas before he can have dessert. I feel that dinosaurs represent, in kids' minds: when they want something, they go out and get it, and nothing had better stand in their way! Growl!

This, no surprise, is the side of dinosaurs most often portrayed in children's books. The reason parents don't mind when their kid pretends to be a fierce dinosaur is that this kind of “disobedience” allows the toddler to harmlessly blow off steam; it's better to deal with a pesky, hyperactive dinosaur than an entirely human kid having an ugly tantrum. 

 

3: DINOSAURS HAVE REALLY AMAZING SKELETONS

Believe it or not, until 20 years ago, most kids learned about dinosaurs from mounted skeletons in museums, and not computer-animated documentaries. Because they're so big and so unfamiliar, dinosaur skeletons are somehow less creepy than the skeletons left by modern wolves or big cats or especially humans right? 

Finally, and most important, dinosaurs are really, really cool. Enough said!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Little Dinosaur is proudly an Australian family business

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