One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that we have flexibility to when and what we study. We have a cirriculum that is awesome and covers all of the essentials, but still allows for use to study topics that are of interest to John at the time. Recently he’s been all about dinosaurs which is pretty par for the 4 year old interestes. I love hearing the kids playing in the living room with the AWESOME oversized toy dinosaurs John got for his birthday. Mary is perfecting her ROAR and it’s one of my favorite things currently. So while adding some of our favorite Dinosaur books to our library list this week is great we wanted to do something hands on. I remember all the fun salt dough projects we did as kids and it seemed like the perfect way to make DIY fossils. There are tons of imprints from leafs, shells and the occassionaly animal paws in all the driveaways in our neighborhood, John LOVES spotting them when we are out for family walks.
You can make your DIY Fossils with anything! Send the kids on a natural scavenger hunt for things to use in their fossils. We really wanted to make our dinosaur themed so we found these great small dinosaur toys that were just the right size for our ideal fossils. The great thing about salt dough is you can use it to make so many different projects, but more on that later. For today you need to gather a few things to get started.
Easy Salt Dough Recipe
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1/2 cup water
- Mixing Bowls (one for mixing, another for cutting out your circle if you want it exact)
Once you have everything gathered together you will:
- Mix the salt and flour in a large bowl
- Make a well in the salt/flour mixture and add the water
- Knead until smooth and shape into a ball
If you want to color your salt dough, simply mix in a few drops of food coloring while you are kneading it. We chose to leave it the natural color for a more “fossil” look per John’s request.
I rolled the dough into small balls about 1.5″ in diameter and then pressed them flat to the palm of my hands. They we got started pressing our dinosaur bodies and foot prints into them until we thought they were just right. I placed them on parchment paper while I cleaned up and then in the oven to speed up the drying process. I do NOT recommend microwaving to dry. You can let your DIY fossils air dry, but they can also be dried in the oven. Bake at 200 F until dry. The amount of time on the size and thickness of your fossils. We made ours about 1/4″ thick and they took about 3 hours in the oven to dry completely. Make sure you store any leftover dough in an airtight container or it will dry out.