Dinosaurs are among the first animal toys that capture the attention and curiosity of children. Most children learn the names of dinosaurs species even before they are able to learn about other animals. Why do children still love dinosaurs, which vanished from the planet centuries ago? Kids’ intense fascination with dinosaurs may reflect the stage of their development as well as how their brain works at that time. According to CNN, Dr. Arthur Lavin, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on the Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, children between the ages of 3 and 4 experience hyper fixation. During this age, children practice imagination-based play, according to Lavin, in which they become extremely interested in subjects such as fairies, monsters, or dinosaurs in some cases.
Children’s obsessions with such creatures are part of developing their sense of self. Lavin told CNN that one way children create an identity for themselves is by making up stuff about the world they have created. Growing up, children created a fantastical world with dinosaurs as one of the perfect creatures. Since dinosaurs are extinct, they fit the description of fantastical creatures like fairies and unicorns. There may even be some children who can recite complex dinosaur names and facts from memory due to their fascination with this make-believe world.
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According to a 2008 study, dinosaur obsession can benefit children’s cognitive brain development. Children who sustain intense interests in a conceptual field like dinosaurs are more likely to gain knowledge and persistence, as well as better attention spans, and better information processing skills. As children grow up, however, they lose interest in dinosaurs and let reality dictate their imagination. But as they get older, they become more concerned with constructing their sense of self and their immediate family, but that as they get older, they become more concerned with how to interact with others.
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