One of the things my kids love to do at every single dinosaur museum we have been to is dig for dinosaur bones. Whether outside in the dirt or inside at a table, they can spend literally hours unearthing bones, covering them up again, finding them again, etc. So why not bring that kind of fun home?
We made our fossils and then took them to the sandbox at the park and spent hours playing paleontologist. I have a feeling those fossils will be a regular addition to our sand toys 🙂
If you have a sensory table or a large box of something like rice or beans you can bury your fossils in there. It’s just a matter of personal preference and convenience 🙂
Total Time: It took about 45 minutes for us to make our fossils. They have to cook for about 2 hours after that.
Safety Concerns: None on this one, except be careful with handling hot things right out of the oven.
Materials You Need:
Mixing bowl and spoon
4 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
2 cups of water
Rolling pin (optional)
Wide-mouth mason jar or large circular cookie cutter
Plastic dinosaur toys
- Mix together flour, salt, and water. I mixed as much as possible with a spoon and then dumped it out on the counter to mix by hand.
- Roll out the dough so it is flat. Or just flatten it by hand. You want it to be about 1/2 inch thick. (It doesn’t have to be perfect.)
- Using a mason jar or cookie cutter, cut out circular shapes and places these on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Grab your plastic dinosaurs and press them into your rounds to make impressions. We laid some of them on their side to get a full body image. For some of them we used the dinosaur’s feet to make footprints! Get creative and do whatever you want!
- Place in the oven at 350 for about 2 hours. Ours were a little thin and I’m afraid I overcooked them 🙂
- Optional: If you want to, go ahead and paint your fossils after they have cooled down. We used acrylic paint on some of them and left some of them bare. Either way is totally fine.
- Go outside and bury your fossils in the dirt or sand and have a great time digging them up together!
Remember, this is your child’s craft and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Many of ours didn’t turn out looking anything like dinosaur impressions, but that is totally fine because that wasn’t really the point for us. We had a ton of great conversation about dinosaurs, how fossils are made, and what paleontologists do. I made sure to have our Dinosaur Encyclopedia handy so we could look up the names of the dinosaurs and some interesting facts about them as we worked to make our fossils.