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Make Your Own Fossils

3.6 based on 67 ratings
Updated on Sep 7, 2010

Fossils are created when something is preserved over many years resulting in an impression or outline in or on a rock. Some fossils are over a million years old! In this fun activity, kids learn how to make fossils of their own, and get lots measurement and fine motor skills practice along the way.

What You Need:

  • 1 cup used coffee grounds
  • ½ cup cold coffee
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Small objects such as shells and plastic play animals

What You Do:

  1. Help your child measure the ingredients and begin mixing them together in a bowl. Start with only 1 cup of the flour and add more if the dough is too sticky to work with.
  2. Have him knead the dough together with his hands, then roll small circles, about 3 inches in diameter.
  3. Now, have him flatten the rounds using the palm of his hand. Then, encourage him to find an item to press into the fossil dough. Things like leaves, the side of a shell, or feet of plastic play animals leave interesting fossil impressions.
  4. Allow the dough to dry overnight, and you have your very own set of fossils!

When the fossils are all done, bury them in a sandbox and have your child search for them. The dig area can be roped off, and he can use shovels and brushes to unearth the fossil just like a real paleontologist!

Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.
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