Despite being millions of years removed from human existence, dinosaurs have fascinated us since we first discovered their ancient remains. Is it their size and imposing stature that move us to awe? Or perhaps, is it the eventual end of their long dominance on Earth that reminds us of our own place in the planet's history?
Whatever it is that draws us to learn about dinosaurs, you can satisfy this curiosity by visiting the Mind Museum's latest traveling exhibition, titled Dino Play: Explore the Mind-Blowing World of Dinosaurs!
Launched this past June 29, Dino Play invites young dinosaur fans to come and explore the world of dinosaurs. Right up front is a customized Sarao Motors jeep that evokes Jurassic Park and a safari-like feel just before you enter the exhibition itself.
You are also greeted by a T. rex sculpture and giant dinosaur eggs, which provide opportunities for memorable photographs. The exhibition begins by introducing guests as to what dinosaurs actually are, and how they are related to the more familiar modern reptiles.
Leading you into the exhibition are footprints representing the massive impressions left when dinosaurs used to roam the Earth. You can leave your own impression and compare your tracks to dinosaurs such as the T. rex and the Velociraptor.
Dino Play is divided into four nests, beginning with Dino Dig. Here, guests use their Paleontologist Field Kits to reveal fossils hidden in the excavation sites.
Paleontologists, or scientists who study ancient life forms, regularly take to the field and dust off rocks to look for fossils and what their surroundings imply about the dead creature: its habitat, its likely diet, and sometimes, even possible behaviors. Fossils serve as natural snapshots of a world gone by.
Investigating fossils further will lead you into the Dino Lab, where you can examine actual fossil remains. You can look at dinosaur bones, petrified wood, ancient shelled creatures called ammonites, and even dinosaur poop that has since turned into stone!
Another thing we can learn about fossils is that, by studying the rocks around them, we can estimate when the creatures that left these fossil remains lived. And, by combining all this information, we can get a good idea about a timeline of the evolution of ancient animals.
In the Dino Fun area, you can go hands-on with a variety of activities: you can make your own fossils, play with the Dino Family Tree, and learn about a day in the life of a dinosaur.
After that, you can also climb the Dino Lookout Tower and spot any rogue dinosaurs that may be hiding in the vicinity.
Once you've well and fully immersed yourself in the world of dinosaurs, why not become one yourself in the Dino Den? In this activity area recommended for kids 2-8 years old, they can put on their dinosaur costumes and stomp around in a Jurassic land with their friends and classmates.
Each nest not only provides you and your family with fun activities to enjoy, but also with ample information on how dinosaurs lived and are studied. Adult Guides are also provided for parents and teachers; these are manuals that can be found in each nest, highlighting the activities and supplementary information they can use to engage their students and enhance their learning experience.
Even the outside areas provide interactive learning: you can measure your height and compare this to those of the dinosaurs!
Dino Play provides an excellent opportunity for kids and kids at heart to learn about some of the most intriguing creatures that have ever lived in our Earth's history.