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DIY Dinosaur Fossils

Materials You'll Need:

  • Plastic tablecloth
  • Flour (you will need 2 parts flour to 1 part salt, so for example, 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of salt)
  • Salt (you will need 2 parts flour to 1 part salt, so for example, 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of salt)
  • Large bowl
  • Water
  • Dinosaur toys or figurines
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cookie sheet
  • Paint (optional)
  • Paint brushes (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Lay down a plastic tablecloth to cover your work space.
  2. In a large bowl, create a mixture that is two parts flour and one part salt (i.e. a 2:1 ratio of flour to salt).
  3. Slowly pour in a little bit of water at a time and mix. Keep doing this until the mixture reaches a doughy consistency.
  4. Knead the dough to fully combine it.
  5. Take a piece of kneaded dough and flatten it out a little.
  6. Push your dinosaur of choice into the dough to make an imprint. Repeat this step using different dinosaurs until all of the dough is used up.
  7. Once the impression is made you can bake the dough to harden it. On a greased cookie sheet bake them at 100 degrees Celsius (or about 210 degrees Fahrenheit) for a couple of hours or until the dough is hard.
  8. Once the dough is hard, remove from the oven and let cool.
  9. Once the dough has cooled, it is time to examine them! Do you recognize what each “fossil” is? Can you identify them all?
  10. This step is optional but adds to the fun – next, paint your fossils! Show them off inside, or they also make great garden decorations outside!

The STEM Behind the Fun

How do archaeologists to identify dinosaur bones?

Archaeologists study the shapes of fossils and bones to learn more about the chemical compounds they are made up of. This helps the archeologists to identify which dinosaur they are.

Why are fossils so important?

Fossils tell scientists about the past. They can reveal a lot about the kinds of plants and animals that once roamed the earth.

How do fossils form?

After a bone or shell is buried in sediment, water moves through the sediment. The water deposits minerals around the empty spaces of the bone or shell which produces a fossil.

Did You Know:

Sedimentary rock is the kind of rock that best preserves fossils.

Did You Know:

Fossils are impressions left from millions of years ago that fossilize over time, whereas bones are an actual part of the dinosaur.

Did You Know:

The oldest known fossils are cyanobacteria found in western Australia, dated 3.5 billion years old!

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