It’s no big secret that Monkey loves dinosaurs, they feature heavily in his TV viewing, book reading and play time! I recently discovered a range from Great Gizmos which I knew would go down an absolute storm. If I’m honest, I was quite interested in seeing it for myself. The 4M Tyrannosaurus T-Rex Dinosaur DNA kit is a dinosaur dig like no other!
The 4M Tyrannosaurus T-Rex Dinosaur DNA set is really 3 activities in one kit. There’s a dinosaur dig to complete, a glow in the dark dinosaur to construct and then to add a little twist, there’s an Augmented Reality (AR) treat at the end which works using the free DinoCodes app.
I should point out that this set is aimed at children aged 8 years and over, but I knew a 6 and half year old Monkey, would be fine as long as I was around to supervise proceedings.
The set contains a plaster block, digging tools and a brush, a wax square, 2 x AR play mats and an instruction sheet.
Our first mission was to uncover the T-Rex dinosaur bones and find the capsule containing some DNA fragment stickers (to use with the AR activity). Previous experience with this sort of dig has shown that the digging can be quite hard going, so the top tip to have a water spray on hand, was noted immediately.
I would also suggest ‘containing’ the dig as these activities generate a lot of plaster dust. I have a cardboard box lid that works brilliantly and Monkey was instructed to get out of his school uniform before starting his excavations!
My resident paleontologist was soon hard at work, with minimal assistance from me. Although we did use our own water spray, we found this plaster block much easier to work with than others we’ve dug previously. Monkey could certainly have conducted a solo excavation this time round, which really pleased him and kept him focussed.
It wasn’t long before he’d hit ‘something’ and used his brush to investigate further. Mummy it’s a bone!
Cue frantic digging and more bones began to appear. Monkey’s excitement levels mounted and he was determined to complete the dig in one afternoon.
Bit by bit the T-Rex started to emerge.
Then we spotted the DNA capsule. I hadn’t told Monkey about the AR aspect of the 4M Tyrannosaurus T-Rex Dinosaur DNA kit, so told him all would become clear once he’d completed the dig.
Once he’d uncovered all of the dinosaur bones and the capsule, I gave the pieces a quick scrub under the tap to clear the final plaster remnants away so that Monkey could piece the bones together.
Mummy I don’t need your help. Well maybe just to attach the skull to the body!
Once constructed it would appear that our T-Rex was rather hungry, although Monkey didn’t seem to mind! You can use the wax square to help hold the T-Rex joints in place, but we’ve not needed it so far.
First challenge completed. The dinosaur stands approx 15 cms and balances fairly well.
How would it stack up as far as glowing in the dark was concerned? Monkey was pretty impressed.
To be frank, Monkey would have been happy at this point. £14.95 would be well spent on this alone really. But I had another treat in store for him.
We’re not that clued up on AR, I am after all the techno dinosaur of the modern age. But even I could work this out. It was time to explain the process to Monkey. What was the DNA capsule all about?
Firstly I downloaded the free DinoCodes app to my iPad mini (it also available for Android users on Google Play). We placed the 2 x AR play mats on the floor and Monkey opened the capsule to discover the DNA stickers.
Place one DNA sticker over the ? box on each card border (there are 4 supplied on the strip and I’m not sure what the remaining 2 are for) and you are ready for some AR fun.
When you open the app you let your device scan the AR card and then your dinosaur comes to life before your eyes. Monkey was fascinated. The app lets your store photos and video evidence.
Monkey was fascinated, and it wasn’t long before Daddy P met the newest house guest.
You tilt your device and the dinosaur moves with you. Monkey needs to work on his acting skills but this gives you a little idea of what the app can do.
In each kit you receive a mystery AR card – our’s turned out to be an erupting volcano!
Which looks mighty impressive, but maybe not something you’d want to discover in your living room!
We’ve got lots to learn about the app still. You can add frames and backgrounds to your videos, anything from a space theme to a rainforest. It’s also easy to share videos and photos directly from the app on social media and via email. The fun has only just begun.
As well as the T-Rex kit we received, Great Gizmos offer the AR Dino Digging Kits with a Triceratops or Stegosaurus. You can find out more on their website. I can see us adding to our collection in the months ahead.
I’ve been really impressed with everything this item has to offer, and the AR aspect gives it a real longevity as Monkey’s movie making skills improve. It’s been a big hit here already.
disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review. I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate link for your reference below.