Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? From an early age, most children are enthralled with the idea of enormous lizards stalking over the surface of the planet, eventually becoming fossils to discover later. Dinosaurs as a play concept combines both fantastic and practical imagination, as kids can pretend to inhabit a world where dinosaurs still exist, while also considering the scientific classifications.
Dinosaur toys range from simple plastic figurines to involved interactive playsets to toys that are really just loosely-dino-themed. Not every toy is meant to be exactly accurate, so choose based on the type of child — young or old — you’re buying for. There are so many options, you’re sure to find something for every sort of dinosaur lover. Don’t worry, this isn’t all for kids, either. We’ve included a couple of items for dinosaur-loving adults at the bottom of this post to make sure you’re covered.
If you don’t see anything you love on this list, you can always peruse more dinosaur toys and games here.
For the tiny archaeologist and Jurassic Park fans alike, here are the top twenty best dinosaur gifts.
1. Prextex Plastic Assorted Dinosaur Figures
Where else to begin but with good ol’ fashioned plastic dinosaur figurines? These are often the first thing people think of when it comes to dinosaur toys. This particular set features 12 dinos that measure up to seven inches, in various unrealistic colors. Good for a starter set for younger kids. It comes with a dinosaur book to help encourage learning more about them.
If you wanted something slightly more detailed, you could opt for the Learning Resources Jumbo Dinosaurs set, which includes five pieces that measure up to 12 inches. Prextex also has a similarly sized set in perhaps more accurate colors.
Here are a few more options you could consider for plastic dinosaurs:
- Toysmith Soft Dinosaur Set
- Animal Planet’s Big Tub of Dinosaurs
- Fun Express Vinyl Mini Dinosaurs
- Schleich dinosaur figures
2. Neat-Oh! ZipBin 160 Dinosaur Collector Toy Box & Playset
Once you’ve acquired any number of dinosaur figures, you’ll need some place to store them when not in use. This soft-sided collector toy box will hold up to 160 dinosaurs. When unzipped, it becomes a playmat with a dinosaur island illustration on the inside. It’s an all-in-one carry and go container. It even comes with two dinosaurs.
Price: $26.49 (12 percent off MSRP)
3. Silli Me Large Dinosaur Rubber Backed Children’s Play Mat
If you’ve already got a storage box but you want a larger mat, consider this option. This mat measures roughly 54 inches by 45 inches and features a prehistoric volcano scene with train tracks coursing through it like a rustic Jurassic Park. The Dinoland theme allows your child to combine two interests, if they happen to be into trains, too. The playmat is made of mouse pad material, complete with non-slip rubber backing.
4. National Geographic Ultimate Dinosaur Play Sand
Combining fun, colorful, plastic dinos with some introductory scientific discovery, this Nat Geo set is built around permanently wet-feeling sand. The sand is mixed with a special polymer that makes it feel like freshly-dug sand all the time, which also has the advantage of sticking more to itself than to hands or clothes. Also included in the set are six dino figures, six dino molds, and a real dinosaur poop fossil. A great kit for learning to explore and excavate.
5. Laser Pegs National Geographic Dinosaurs Building Kit
Laser Pegs are a type of construction block similar to — and totally compatible with — Legos. This set allows you to construct four different dinosaurs — tyrannosaurus rex, styracosaur, huayangosaur, and graciliceratops. Once completed, the model stands on a plastic base that lights up the Laser Pegs and is sound activated. The two required AA batteries are not included.
Price: $34.99 (50 percent off MSRP)
6. Meccano Meccasaur
Speaking of building things, this kit allows kids to build their own programmable t-rex as a buddy and guard. Once complete, the Meccasaur will respond to being petted, answer yes or no questions, and be able to stand guard over possessions. With 715 pieces, this is a challenging build, but once complete, the robot dino will measure three feet long. Give this to a child for whom building is as much a part of the fun as actually playing with it. Again, the necessary C batteries are not included.
Price: $57.99 (42 percent off MSRP)
7. Melissa & Doug Wooden Stamp Set: Dinosaurs
For a much simpler approach that kids of every age can enjoy, consider this wooden stamp set. Featuring eight different stamps of seven dinosaurs and a volcano, this kit will allow kids to create their own prehistoric scene. Also included in the wooden storage box is a set of colored pencils and a two-color ink pad. You could opt for the bundle pack that includes a vehicles themed stamp box, as well. All you’re missing is the paper.
Price: $8.79 (12 percent off MSRP)
8. Toymail Talkie: Hank a Dino
Half cartoon dinosaur plush, half communication device, this little green dino allows kids to send and receive voice messages from a trusted circle of friends and adults. Using the buttons on the back, kids cycle through their contacts and send their voice message. The idea is to limit screen time while staying connected in a modern way, ensuring kids are safe and happy. There are options to expand functionality with nighttime mode, different voices, and other play styles. The Toymail app is free and works on iOS, Android, and Kindle.
9. ‘The Land Before Time: The Complete Collection’
If the child you’re buying for happens to still be too young for the Jurassic Park trilogy, there’s another film collection featuring dinosaurs they might like. This is the entire The Land Before Time series, all 14 movies. Did you even know they made 14 movies? I didn’t. But if the child on your list love dinosaurs and cartoons, this will keep them occupied for a long time. This could be a gift for your nostalgic older children, too. You could also toss in a copy of The Good Dinosaur to keep it fresh. If they’re going to be watching that many movies, you might consider giving them their own portable DVD player, complete with matching headphones.
10. Fisher-Price Imaginext Ultra T-Rex
More a complete playset than just a dinosaur toy, this t-rex is like a whole battle-ready caravan. Three different activation buttons trigger actions on this toy. By turning the Power Pad behind the tail, the t-rex will walk forward four steps. Turning the Power Pad above the left hip causes it to stand at a full height of 2.5 feet. Finally, the third Power Pad will cause the mouth to open and close and fire projectiles. A separate button fires boulders from his chest. Sound effects and lights accompany all of these movements. If you want to get two for pitched battles, there’s also the Imaginext Ultra T-Rex Ice version.
Price: $69.97 (30 percent off MSRP)
11. Melissa & Doug T-Rex Dinosaur Plush
For a kinder, gentler t-rex that is still over two feet tall, another Melissa & Doug toy might fit the bill. This plush dino stands 27 inches tall and 32 inches long. It will stand freely on its own two feet. If you feel like it could use a friend, BigPlush sells a brontosaurus that stands three feet tall.
Price: $25.59 (36 percent off MSRP)
12. Smithsonian Diggin’ Up Dinosaurs T-Rex
Combining the Nat Geo sand set with construction kits, this science-based gift allows kids to dig up and assemble their own t-rex. Using the included mallet and chisel, kids can free the plastic bones of their t-rex. The completed model measures 2.5 inches wide by 5.5 inches long by 5.5 inches high.
As with the plastic figurines, you have several options when it comes to dinosaur excavation kits. Here are a few more to consider:
- National Geographic Mega Dinosaur Dig
- Ultimate Dinosaur Science Kit
- NW Active Kids Large Dinosaur Excavation Kit
- Ultimate Fossil Science Kit
13. 100 Piece Dinosaur and Cave Man Prehistoric Playset with Play Mat and Storage Container by Imagination Generation
If the play set and dinosaurs at the top of this post still weren’t quite enough for you, you could either go for this one or combine this with another mat for a very large, exciting play area. This is great as a starter set for kids who only have one or two dines right now. The mat area is 23 inches by 19 inches and includes the volcano, two wooden bridges, trees, cavemen, and other structures in addition to 40 dinosaurs. If you want to get started right away on Christmas morning, this is the one to go with.
Buy the 100 Piece Dinosaur and Cave Man Prehistoric Playset with Play Mat and Storage Container by Imagination Generation here.
14. Plush Dinosaur House with Dinosaurs
Good for younger children or just kids who prefer their toys soft and cuddly, this plush toy combines dinosaurs themselves and a cute carrying case. The carrying case features five windows for each of the five dinosaurs to poke their heads out while traveling. These washable plushes are of the bean bag style.
15. Jet Creations Inflatable Brachiosaurus Dinosaur, 48″ Long
Inflatable toys can be just as fun as hard plastic or plush toys. This huge brachiosaurus measures 48 inches long and about 36 inches high. It comes with a repair kit in case a hole develops while playing. Makes a good toy or display, especially for parties. Also available are the stegosaurus, spinosaurus, tyrannosaurus, and triceratops.
Price: $13.75 (14 percent off MSRP)
16. WolVol Take-A-Part Toy Dinosaur with Lights and Sounds
If the 715-piece Meccasaur would intimidate the child on your Christmas list, but building is still important, try this brightly-colored toy dino that comes apart. Each of the pieces are held on with large red screws which can be removed with the included philips and flathead screwdrievers. Once assembled, switch it on to hear the sounds and see the lights.
17. Nature’s Darling Handmade Dinosaur Soap
Fun soaps make bath time more interesting for kids and adults. These bars are cut to be kid-friendly, but will work for just about anyone, adorned on the top with a colorful plastic dino. The soap is made primarily from olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter, as well as kaolin clay and ground oatmeal for extra nourishment.
18. Crazy Dog T-Shirts Running Motivation Raptor Hoodie
Since you spend more time telling your kids not to run than trying to get them to run, this gift is definitely more for the adults among us. Running is hard, and some of us don’t do it nearly enough. A little motivation, in the form of a velociraptor, is sometimes required. Here’s a hoodie that says just that, made from a preshrunk cotton/polyester blend and printed in the U.S.
Price: $26.99 – $28.99
19. Creature Cups Triceratops Cup
Available in 15 ounce size, these mugs have creatures in the bottom of them that are revealed as you drink. This one reveals the head of a triceratops as the holder drinks. There are several others, if dinosaurs are not a requirement for the morning beverage holder.
20. Wall Mounted T-rex Dinosaur Head
Let the person on your list pretend they invented time travel and captured themselves a small t-rex only to return to the present to hang its head on the wall. Good as a conversation starter or just to scare children now and again, this t-rex head measures 14 inches by 14 inches, but is light enough to hang with a picture hanger. Why not?
Need more options for your gift shopping? Check out our Gifts page for gift guides from our whole team. If you have a serious bundle of cash burning a hole in your wallet, take a look at our millionaire’s Christmas gift guide.