We attend the museum every other month and Bug wanted to make her own fossils. We used air dry modeling clay for this activity you can find it here on Amazon.com however, play dough works just as well. We took about 4 oz of air dry clay and used our dollar store dinosaurs.
First lay down a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. The reason we are doing this is so the modeling clay or play dough doesn't stick to the surface you are working on. If your child is especially excited about squishing the clay or dough flat then it will stick to the surface you are working on and make a gummy sticky mess.
Tape wax paper down so it stays in place.
Now take the modeling clay and flatten it out into a 1/2 inch thick layer.
Using a plastic dinosaur gently lay the dinosaur down and apply pressure. Do not push too hard or the clay may squish out from under the dinosaur and ruin the impression you are trying to make.
You can also use the feet to show how foot prints are made!
Let your clay dry in a warm spot, we use a window sill in the kitchen because our cat would sit on it and then it would be a Dino/cat fossil.
Fossil Layer Pie
This activity will help your little ones understand how sediment layers and creates fossils.
You will need sprinkles, graham crackers, butter, sugar, instant pudding, milk, whipped cream or whipped topping. You can purchase all these items here on Amazon Fresh!
First make a pie crust:
1 package of graham crackers
2 table spoons butter
1 table spoon sugar
Crust graham crackers, add sugar and mix. Add butter and mix. Press into a pie pan
If you are pressed for time you can buy a pre-made graham cracker pie crust.
Next mix a box of your favorite instant pudding according to the directions on the box.
Take the graham cracker pie crust and let your little scientist pour sprinkles on it.
Explain that the sprinkles represent the matter that is trapped in the fossil layers. I.E. leaves, sticks, animals etc.
Now pour the pudding on top of the sprinkles.
This represents mud and sediment.
Now cover the top with whipped cream/ whipped topping. (adding the final layer of sediment)
Let the pie chill and then serve for dessert, as they get ready to eat it point out the layers of the pie and discuss how over time they harden to form rock and that is how we get fossils.
Plaster Cast Fossil Molds
Our last activity is to create a plaster cast of a dinosaur impression.
You will need plaster powder, a small plastic bowl, disposable cup, craft stick, small dinosaur toy, sand and water.
First place sand in your bowl, we are using a small bowl so we only needed 2 table spoons of sand.
Add 1/2 tablespoon water, and mix so sand is wet and clumpy.
Flatten sand out using your finger.
Place dinosaur toy into bowl and press down into sand to create an impression of the toy.
Gently lift the dinosaur out of the sand so the impression stays intact. Now mix your plaster using your craft stick and disposable cup, mix 2 tablespoons to 1/2 tablespoon of water or 2 to 1/2 ratio.
Pour the plaster into the sand mold.
Let stand until firm, you may need to pour excess water off of the mold.
These three activities are definite crowd pleasers, you can also include dinosaur facts and a matching game to deepen your little one's understanding and knowledge base.
What kind of Dino themed activities do you like?
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