Make Dinosaur Fossils with Preschoolers
Let your preschoolers explore the world of dinosaurs by becoming a paleontologist and creating DIY fossils with items you can find around the house. A dinosaur preschool theme is always fascinating to preschoolers as they learn about the different types and study the dinosaur names. Fossils bring a new level of fascination, and it's even cooler when we give preschoolers the opportunity to make their very own fossils! Follow along as we teach you how to make your own fossils!
This fun activity is one of 200 hands on preschool activities featured in our Pre-K Play Ideas eBook! Purchase our eBook to have all of these activity pages at your fingertips.
Teacher tip: Invite preschoolers to help you measure the ingredients. Send preschoolers on a scavenger hunt to find the plastic dinosaurs, gather different types and different colors to create variety for the fossils, this is an excellent time to talk about dinosaur feet and get children thinking about what type of impressions they will make in the fossil.
Ready to make your fossils? Start by mixing coffee grounds, coffee, flour and salt in a large bowl until all ingredients are well combined.
As you are mixing the ingredients talk to your preschoolers about fossils and what they actually are. Most preschoolers assume that fossils are simply dinosaur bones, this is a great opportunity to explain fossils more extensively. Use this opportunity to teach about body fossils and trace fossils. Body fossils are the remains of plants or animals that were once living. The most common examples are dinosaur bones. Trace fossils are signs of once-living organisms like a footprint.
Once the dough is mixed, you will knead the dough (add more flour if too sticky) and place on wax paper. This is a great step to include preschoolers and typically each child wants a turn which is great because the more kneading the better!
Take small pieces of varying sizes and flatten them out in any shape. You can customize the fossils by making bigger and smaller pieces.
Press the dinosaurs, feet, claws, etc. into the shapes to make the fossil.
After the impression encourage your preschooler to inspect it and reshape if needed. They might find that some dinosaurs make better tracks than others.
Give your fossils enough time to try before using them, we recommend overnight.
After they have dried, feel free to explore and have fun.
DIY Fossils make excellent companions for a dino dig in a sensory table or as an exploration center in your science area. Your budding paleontologists may enjoy a scavenger hunt to find all their newly created fossils. There are so many ways to expand play with these easy DIY fossils, which make them perfect for adding in rotation during a dinosaur themed unit. If your preschoolers enjoyed this tutorial be sure to check out the tutorial to make a dinosaur track necklace, too!
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Save time planning your hands on preschool activities! Find detailed directions for this activity + 199 more in our Pre-K Play Ideas eBook! Print each activity page, or access them digitally!
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