Make your own fossils!

Calling all aspiring Paleontologists! In this activity litlscientists get a peek into what fossils are and how they are formed while using their own creativity.  This is sure to be a hit with any dino-crazed kid.

Here is what you will need:

Ingredients:

1 cup of flour

½ cup salt

½ cup sand (optional, but we like it because it gives the fossils a more realistic appearance)

½ cup water

(Please note that you may have to add more flour or more water to get your dough to the desired consistency)

 

Materials:

Large bowl

Objects to stamp your fossils with (Ex:  shells, plastic dinosaurs, leaves…)

Waxed paper or something similar to line your work area with

Spoon

 

Phase 1:

Get your fossil dough ready!  (I like to do this part before I get the kids involved.)

Steps:

Mix flour, salt and sand together in a large bowl.  Gradually add the water until the dough reaches the desired consistency.

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Phase 2:

Create your fossils.

Steps:

Place a ball of dough onto a sheet of waxed paper.

Using either your hands or a rolling pin, flatten the dough so that it’s about ½ inch thick.  We divided our dough in half and created 2 large fossil groupings (one for each kid), but you could create a bunch of smaller individual fossils too!

Once the dough is evenly flattened, use objects to stamp the dough.  You can remove the object and leave its impression behind, or you can press the object into the dough and leave it there (if you aren’t going to need it back).  We left the creative decisions up to our litlscientists.

Vocabulary you could introduce:

Fossil – clues about a living thing, usually hardened in rock

Impression- mark left by something

Paleontologist- person who studies fossils

Questions you could ask:

What is a fossil?

What do you think someone could learn by looking at your fossil?

What story does your fossil tell?

What do you think Paleontologists could learn by looking at fossils?

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Phase 3:

Place your fossils on a lined cookie sheet and allow them to dry and harden.  This usually takes about 2 days.  However, if you are too eager to wait, you can place them in an oven on the lowest temperature setting for about two hours, providing you didn’t leave any “fossils” in the dough of course!

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This video and post is for entertainment purposes only.

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