‘Age of the Dinosaur’ Natural History Museum

This post also features on www.reallykidfriendly.com here’s the linky:http://www.reallykidfriendly.com/dinosaur-exhibition-london-nhm/

Dinosaurs and young children go together like peanut butter and jelly – and enduring duo. My son is no exception and having been to the Natural History Museum on three or four different occasions, I wondered whether the appeal of another dino-show would be enough to capture his imagination. We were not disappointed.

The ‘Age of the Dinosaur’ exhibition adds another dimension to the museum’s dinosaur pedigree. This show is small and intimate as you move into a darkened, narrow walkway there are dinosaur sights and sounds on either side; up close and personal!

One of the many fossils on display.

The animatronics didn’t disappoint either, but for me what made it captivating was how close you were to them! It was thrilling. The five-year old I had with me asked nervously whether they were real 🙂

The fossil and other displays were well-spaced out with lots of detail for the children to gaze at. The interactive ‘touch’ screens were also a real hit with the three children I took – boy, 5, boy 6 & girl 7 –  I had to practically drag them away from the screens. It was good to see how enthusiastic they were about the highly educational content.  The five-year old was able to follow the instructions easily, whilst enjoying the sense of challenge and excitement.

Online scrapbook

The online scrapbook towards the exit of the exhibition was a real treat and a great way to end the show. This clever idea uses simple ‘drag and drop’ technology where the children select themed items they have seen at the museum and ‘paste’ them into a virtual scrapbook which they can access at home online. It’s great way for them to continue their learning.

Invisible dinosaur!

We almost missed the ‘invisible dinosaur’ (just before you get to the inevitable gift shop) which is an illusion created by projecting white dino-footprints onto the black flooring which disappear after a few seconds when the children try to stand on them! A simple and effective trick, but a nice interactive touch which wowed the little group I was with.

Ten out of ten for creativity in bringing the learning experience to life!

Can we come again please?

I wonder whether the narrowness of the walkway, which is great for getting up close and personal with the moving creatures, would get too crowded on a busy day or a squeeze with buggies? A handout of the dinosaur’s names at the beginning of the exhibition would be great for the slightly older children who are keen on coding and naming.

All in all, a dino-tastic and educational exhibition!

Fact File:
 Admission: adult £10*, child and concession £6*, family £28*Free for Members, Patrons and children under four.Dates and times: 22 April – 4 September 2011, 10.00–17.50 (last admission 17.15).Visitor enquiries: 020 7942 5000 Monday–Friday, 020 7942 5011 Saturday–Sunday. Website: www.nhm.ac.uk/dinosaur-age* These prices include an optional donation to the Museum. www.facebook.com/naturalhistorymuseumTwitter @NHM_London and #nhmdino

Suzy Rigg


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