At any age, learning new things about nature can be deeply¬†rewarding. When this knowledge comes though play and interactivity, it’s all the more fun.

For children in particular, play is very valuable tool for learning and growth. Rather than giving a random toy this year, however, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you were able to share a gift that is equal parts activity, experience and education?

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If you’ve been raised on a diet of Jurassic Park and Dinosaur Train, this will blow your mind.

As you know, dinosaurs are reptiles; like present-day lizards, snakes and tortoises. Most reptiles possess scales that are made out of keratin – the same substance that is used to create rigid feathers in birds.

You have probably heard of a handful of dinosaurs that were known to be feathered, such as archaeopteryx (often considered the “missing link” between dinosaurs and birds). You’ve likely also discovered that fossils of some of the popular theropods, such as deinonychus and velociraptor, have been found with distinct evidence of feathery coatings.

As time has passed, more and more species of dinosaur have been found to have had feathers or proto-feathers on their bodies at some point in their lifespan. At least forty (40) non-avian dinosaurs have been connected to evidence of feathers and some scientists now claim that all or most theropods (including the mighty tyrannosaurus rex) possessed feathers.

Given how closely related dinos are to birds, with this finding the latest icing on the cake, you’ll never look at a Christmas turkey in quite the same light again.

There are plenty of cool Science experiments that can be found on YouTube these days. Many, however, are arguably too dangerous to carry out yourself unless you wear appropriate protective clothing. The collection in the following clip, however, are safe for children to do with basic parental supervision, and they look super fun.

If you’re looking for some affordable entertainment during this holiday season, this could be a great place to start: