Whether your child is fascinated with Indiana Jones or just likes to get his hands dirty, fossils are a great introduction to science. They help us learn about dinosaurs (a preschool favorite) and just about everything else, from leaves to sea creatures. Let your child play scientist in this activity, where he'll get to make his own fossils! Sure, they're not authentic but they're a lot of fun to make and look great hanging on the wall!
What You Need:
- Plaster of Paris
- Paper bowl
- Plastic spoon
- Paper plate
What You Do:
- Mix 2 parts Plaster of Paris to one part water. (For example, if you use 1 cup of plaster, add 1/2 a cup of water into it.) Let your child stir it until it's completely mixed.
- Pour the mixture into the paper plate and let it thicken. When you can poke it with your finger and leave an impression, it's ready.
- Invite your child to press seashells into the mixture and remove them, leaving an imprint. If you have different kinds of shells, experiment with them and see what you end up with!
- Press the straw all the way through the mixture at the top, and leave it in as the entire mixture dries overnight.
- Remove the straw and peel the plate off the back of the plaster.
- To make it look like a real artifact, gently use the hammer to chip away at the edges!
- Tie a loop of ribbon through the hole in the "fossil" and hang it on the wall. It makes a great show-and-tell piece and will surely get your child interested in science!
Hannah Boyd is a freelance writer and editor, and the mother of two young children. She lives in New Hampshire.