Let’s Play “Be a Paleontologist”!
Create Your Own Dinosaur Fossils
Imagine you are walking slowly along a rocky path at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Montana. The sun is high and hot, and you are carrying a small shovel, a rock hammer, chisels and a few brushes with you as you look among the rocks and dirt for something that looks different, something that sticks out in the surroundings. You are a fossil hunter! A paleontologist! Searching for some fossil, some remnant or preserved remains, of a creature that lived long ago. Your greatest hope – to find a dinosaur fossil…
Wait! What is that rock there, the one sticking out from that rock wall, the one with the imprint of a footprint? Could that be from a dinosaur?!?
Our fantastic STEM teacher Coach Mariela wants to help you in your imaginative quest to find a dinosaur fossil. Here is her simple, fun, make-you-own-dinosaur-fossil activity to start you on your way.
Supplies & Ingredients:
- Medium size bowl
- Measuring cups
- Plate or cutting board
- Baking sheet
- 1 cup of salt
- 1 cup of flour
- ½ cup of water
- One spoon, metal or wooden
- Toy dinosaurs
Preheat your oven to 350°. Measure out 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of flour and combine these in a medium sized bowl. Add in ½ cup of water.
Using a spoon, blend the 3 ingredients together until the dough starts to form. With your hands now, knead the dough until it becomes well incorporated. Your dough should be soft, smooth and pliable.
Roll the dough between your hands and make small dough balls. The size of the dough ball will determine the size of your fossil. Once you’ve made the dough balls, place them on your plate or cutting board and flatten them gently with the palms of your hands. It is up to you how thick or thin to make them.
*Please Note* You may want to base the size of the dough ball and the thickness of it when you flatten it on the size of the toy dinosaurs you are using in the next step.
Press your toy dinosaurs into the flattened dough balls deep enough so that you see the outline and imprint in the dough, but not so deep that you cut through the bottom of the dough. If that happens, don’t worry, just re-roll the dough, flatten and try again. You can press the side of the toy dinosaur into the dough, or just the feet, just the head – whatever you like. Be creative! Then, carefully remove the toy dinosaur from the dough.
Place the flattened, imprinted dough on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 30-60 minutes. Cooking time will depend on how thick or thin the dough is. Bake until the outside of the dough starts to brown.
Let your fossils cool completely. Once cooled, they are ready to examine like a real fossil, and you are ready to play a serious game of scientist explorer! If you think your fossil should have some skeleton markings on it, you can take a pencil or marker and make lines inside the dried, cooled fossil to make it look like a rib cage or the bones of the dinosaur’s legs, arms, or wings.
We hope you had an awesome time making your own dinosaur fossils. Let us know how they came out. Leave a message below! Or share a photo of your budding paleontologist creating and examining their fossils on our social media. We can’t wait to see what your children came up with!