One of my first purchases when starting up Alfie’ Attic was of a variety of ‘Gifts in a Tin’ from Apples to Pears. I really like the idea of having all you need from a gift, contained within a quirky little tin. It doesn’t surprise me that I regularly see these products wherever I go. With ranges in the garden, home, craft and toy industries the gift ideas offered by Apples to Pears is excellent. Unfortunately they only sell to trade but you can find their products popping up all over the internet.

My personal favourite is a ‘Dig your own Dinosaur’ set, the recommended age being for age 6 and over, perfect to try out on Alfie.

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Alfie was so excited to be my expert toy reviewer that I didn’t even have the heart to make him change out of his school uniform.

In the tin we found a clay block, instructions and our wooden excavation tools – a hammer, a chisel type tool and a brush. The idea is to chip away at the clay block until you find a dinosaur relic. There are four to collect and each one is slightly different. You do need a small amount of patience to carefully chisel and brush away at the clay but I felt it encouraged Alfie to take less of a ‘bull at the gate’ attitude which he has in almost every task.

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We spent a good hour excavating the first two fossils. Alfie loved pretending he was a palaeontologist, talking me through his findings whilst chipping away at the clay. My knowledge of fossils is quite  limited so we searched the internet to find out some simple facts. Did you know…

  • The word fossil comes from the latin word Fossilis which means ‘dug up’
  • Fossils are the impressions, traces and sometimes the remains of animals and plants from the past

These are just two of many – I’ll leave you to your own investigations. We spent the whole afternoon finding out all about the different kinds of fossils and how they were formed. The product really inspired us to do our research and Alfie was absolutely fascinated.

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There was a fair amount of clay dust involved but it wipes off easily and it didn’t cause any stains on Alfies clothes. The fact it was a bit messy made Alfie all the more interested, of course.

So far we’ve found an imitation fossil, a cute little dinosaur hatching out of it’s egg and a plastic dinosaur skeleton. We’re yet to find the final relic but Alfie is keen to complete his excavation. The aluminium tin is perfect for reuse and is perhaps the perfect storage space for any future discoveries!

Here is a link to our ‘dig a dinosaur gift in a tin set‘, just in case you fancy a go.

Alfie highly recommends it!