Revell X-ray Anatomy Models

Observing my little ones totally engaged by ideas that are new to them is extremely satisfying. Watching them concentrate so intently is enthralling and always leaves me with a sense of wonder. Garden Lass is trying to crawl and the determination she puts into her efforts is just astounding, but Garden Girl has always seemed to have a strong attention span. She has a great capacity to learn, requesting that I teach her things and asking me questions I have no hope of being able to answer. And she concentrates on things, with a little frown that shows the intent with which she is learning. And one of the areas in which she has always had a strong interest is bones.

We are members of our local zoo and make frequent trips to visit the animals and Garden Girl’s favourite animal to visit is the giraffe. This is not because she loves watching these magnificent creatures stretching their tall necks up to the trees to munch on leaves. It is because the zoo keepers are often there with a table of giraffe bones for us to look at. She hurries over there with eyes gleaming to look at the huge neck bones and the giraffe skull. This interest might stem from her knowledge that I used to do archaeology or it might be the numerous museum trips where we look at ancient skeletons. But wherever the interest came from, it pleases me because I do, for the most part have the answers to her questions.

Verbal explanations however don’t always work very well with young children. Visual guides are often much more effective at helping them put together all those pieces, so when I was asked to review the new Revell X-Ray range I thought it would be a brilliant learning tool for Garden Girl. They sent us a horse model to look at and from the moment it arrived Garden Girl was jumping up and down with eagerness to look at all the pieces. And she has insisted we get it out to look at, pull apart, talk about and piece together every day since.

The Revell X-Ray models are authentic anatomy models of animals which include horse, crocodile, frog, tarantula and white shark and they are fascinating. All the internal organs and skeletal bones can be removed and we had to figure out where they all fit in the horses body. The pieces clip inside the horses body which is then sealed with a clear plastic cover so that the internal organs can still be viewed, but turn the model around and you can display a beautiful model of a horse. All the pieces can be taken out and put back together as many times as you want and there is a lot of opportunity for discussion and questions during the process of fitting the pieces together. The model comes with a booklet that tells you a little bit about each internal organ as well some interesting facts about the animal.

Garden Girl is only 4 and so for her this is a ‘supervised play only’ toy and is appropriate because the interest is there. If you have a youngster with a particular interest in how the body works or if they really like one of the animals (I can imagine that the scarier animals and frog will hold huge appeal to young boys) then don’t worry too much about the age 8+ recommendation. If you are willing to sit with your child and explain things in simple terms such as how a lung is like a balloon, then you will be able to share a truly interesting activity with them. There are very small parts though so it isn’t something I would leave for young children to access without supervision.

For older children, and especially boys who like nature and science, this will be a brilliant educational toy. There is a challenge in the booklet to see how fast you can figure out how to put the model together. The time to aim for shortens from beginner to expert and I can imagine older boys setting their stop watches to see if they can beat their own best time. These models are the closest to a real dissection we are likely to allow our children to carry out in the house and unless they are a little squeamish I think older boys will delight in putting these models together. They are also very good quality and are display items in their own right. If you are looking for something a bit different and educational for your 8 year old plus then I urge you take a look at the Revell website and view the full range of X-Ray models.

My only criticism of this range is that there is not a human skeleton as well. Making a comparison of the animal models with a human model would add an extra dimension to the learning experience and I would definitely buy one of these to use with the animal models if it were available. But for the moment I think over time we might very well end up with the whole range in our house (although I will resist the tarantula as long as I can!).

The X-Ray Anatomy Models retail from £16.99 and are available from numerous toy retailers. If you want to find a local stockist visit the Revell website here.