Science proves it! Your toddler’s dinosaur obsession means they're SUPER-SMART!

Know any little T-Rex addict?

Editor / April 29 2019

If your little one has a full-blown dinosaur obsession and knows every fact about a T-Rex and a Jurassic Raptor - relax and enjoy!

Why? Well, your dino-lover tends to be of above-average intelligence already with an increased attention span, higher than average linguistic skills, and better skills at the processing of information. 

In short, kids who love dinosaurs make better learners and smarter kids, and that's according to three separate studies of kids with what researchers call, 'intense interests'.

Impressive stuff!

 

 

According to a 2007 study published in the journal Developmental Research, about one in three young children will develop an “intense interest" in a subject at some point - and one of the most popular of these is a dinosaur obsession.

Parents and researchers don't always know exactly what sparks this 'intense interest' but kids between the ages of 2 and 6 years old often can name more dinosaurs than their parents. 

Kelli Chen, a pediatric psychiatric occupational therapist at Johns Hopkins University says that these intense interests are also huge confidence boosters. But they're also showing how you can learn without knowing you're learning.

“Asking questions, finding answers, and gaining expertise is the learning process in general,” says Kelli. “Exploring a topic and mastering it, is beneficial because that’s how we form careers as adults.

"A kid’s primary occupation is play, so they’re going about their job of playing through the lens of this thing they’re interested in learning about," she adds.

But it's not just the dinosaurs that kids are obsessed with, they also love that they know more than their parents about a subject for the first time in their life.

“It makes them feel powerful," paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara tells CNN. “Their parent may be able to name three or four dinosaurs and the kid can name 20, and the kid seems like a real authority."

While the Developmental Research report found the intense interests of kids tended to burn out within six months to three years, what it says about them is still significant - a dinosaur-fanatic is going to be set up for life!

 

Frances Sheen has been a magazine and website journalist & editor for the last 20 years - both in Australia and the UK. She's appeared on countless TV and radio shows to discuss parenting and launched her own social media parenting brand. She's the mum of two little girls and juggles that with a busy working life.