Have you ever had one of your children receive a really odd gift? I'm sure we all have, and in my son's Christmas stocking this year, from my Mom, was a Hatch-N-Grow Dinosaur Egg. No, he's not really into dinosaurs at the age of 7 (not that he has anything against them); she just thought it would make a cute and not too pricey stocking stuff gift.
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Turns out we got a lot of family discussions going about this particular gift.
I think she said she paid around $3 - $4 for it, and it was on one of those displays at a book store where you go to check out. The Hatch-N-Grow Dinosaur Egg comes housed in a cardboard box that holds the egg safely and also contains the instructions. There are various "types" of dinosaurs that can hatch, each with a different look.
The directions state to simply submerge the entire egg (once you take if out of the packaging of course!) in water. We decided to place the egg in room temperature water in a small pot we had. Though totally submerged, the egg seemed to want to happily stay at the bottom most days and, well, just sort of lay there.
The directions stated that the dinosuar would begin to "hatch" after 12 hours. My son knew that was half a day, and so he eagerly checked his baby dinosaur the next morning. In the morning the egg sort of just still layed there, and the shell looked a little "crumbly". Okay. At dinner time we checked again, and saw the same.
Really it took about 2 days before we saw the egg start to "crack" and the shell start to flake away. We saw a very cute snout start to peek out the shell. The directions say at 24 hours the dinosaur should start to emerge - we had to wait double that time then. They also state that at around 36 hours the dinosaur should be mostly hatched ... but ours only hatched due to the good graces of Momma ... me.
That's right. When my darling son wasn't looking I'd go over and peel some of the shell away. If I didn't I was afraid it would have months before our new baby "hatched" and frankly I was tired of all the times we had to go and look at it, just to see no change. My son (true to form) became obsessed with it being born though, and he was thrilled with the process the whole time. Though I know he did comment on why it was taking so long, he was totally into the whole thing.
Once our beloved hatched, it was still pretty small. Over the next day or so "he" slowly grew. I say grew in that, though not sponge like to touch, the dinosaur almost seemed to inflate the more it sat in the water. In reality the material is probably some kind of substance that slowly holds water and allows the object to "grow".
Of course the new addition to the family had to have a name ... and he called him "Skyler", after his best friend. When Skyler was full grown my son proudly displayed him on his bedroom dresser. The material didn't seem to leak any water - but rather the dinosaur slowly seemed to dry out and "shrink" day by day, until a week later it was half it's full size again (so about the size that could have fit inside the egg).
This made my son upset, and quickly he exclaimed that we had to, "Quick put Skyler in the water and make him grow!" ... to which I did. And so began the cycle of Skyler's re-birth. It is now March, and we are still keeping Skyler on the dresser and re-growing him back to full size each week. My son never forgets, and Skyler has become almost a beloved pet.
I mean he totally gets that it's not real, and that it's just absorbing water. But (maybe it's the little kid part of him) really wants Skyler to "grow", and I don't have the heart to say no.
So I'd say overall this toy was a huge hit.
I don't think Skyler the dinosaur is going anywhere soon, and I am already thinking of which other "Hatch -N- Grow" critters I can purchase for his Easter basket.
I'd say that our Hatch-N-Grow Dinosaur Egg is a big hit!
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Amount Paid (US$): gift
Type of Toy: Other
Age Range of Child: 6 to 8 Years