Any parent who has ever watched their living room slowly become engulfed in kids’ toys knows that the absolute best toys are the ones that are big enough to bring hours of fun and creative play, but then break down compactly when playtime is over. The Animal Planet Wooden Dino Playland is my favorite pick in this category of building toys, and something that is sure to make your little adventurer’s day.
The Dinosaur Playland is created by sliding the painted interlocking wooden sections into each other to create three tiers of fun dinosaur play. The really great thing about the Wooden Dinosaur Playland is that building the playset is almost as fun as actually playing with the completed habitat. The instructions were easy to follow and the pieces were easy to fit together, but it should be noted that it does have 9 pieces in addition to a fold out mat to set up, so the little ones will need a bit of help.
The set comes with two plastic dinosaur figures so it’s all ready for play as soon as you put it together. I had thought that my daughter would most likely repurpose the Dino Playland for use with her large collection of pink and girly figures, but was really surprised by how much she loved the two dinosaurs that came with the set. In fact, she made everyone give the dinosaurs kisses when she found them in the box and amused us all night by snuggling with the hard plastic dinosaurs as if they were plush. I guess the reaction was good enough, because now I catch her giving the dinos kisses and hugs all the time when she’s playing with them.
If she does decide she’s not into dinosaurs, or if someone someday breaks her heart and tells her dinosaurs aren’t really big on kisses, the Dino Playland could easily be used with just about any figures or animals in the toy box. The graphics on the wooden habitat pieces are designed to look like a prehistoric jungle with rock walls, caves, trees, vines and other vegetation, but aren’t overtly dinosaur specific with the exception of a few small dinos painted into the design. A little imagination could make the Dinosaur Playland a lion’s den or perhaps a modern day jungle scene and I don’t think anyone would call foul. However, if you want to expand your dinosaur world, Animal Planet makes numerous other prehistoric sets and dinosaurs to add to the Jurassic Jungle.
One of my favorite features of the Dinosaur Playland is open-ended aspect and the fact that all the pieces can be configured in multiple different ways. By piecing the set together based on shape alone, I was able to create over 3 completely different habitats in just a few minutes by disregarding the instructions. In all fairness, my habitat creations were probably nowhere near as cool as the intended configuration, but that’s never bothered me a bit. I imagine that a creative kiddo could come up with numerous other designs by either using all the pieces or just utilizing some and could be entertained for hours.
After we saw the Dino Playland and realized what a great idea it was, we started noticing other wooden playsets in stores and were shocked at their prices. Even sets that were made of lesser quality wood and thinner pieces were up to three times more expensive. These other sets were also not nearly as sturdy as the Dinosaur Playland when assembled, and most didn’t come with any figures at all. Ease of storing, learning while building, quality components and great opportunities for creative play all combine to make the Animal Planet Wooden Dino Playland one of our top picks for 2009.
Dimensions: 16”L x 13” W x 21.5” H assembled.
Price: $35 ARV, but is on sale for a limited time at Toys R Us for $25
This Giveaway is closed. Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to Jamie who has won the Wooden Dino Playset!A big thank you to Animal Planet for offering their Dinosaur Playland to be reviewed along with this fabulous giveaway to our readers. No type of monetary compensation was received in exchange for this Rave Review.