How to Make Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils

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Like most 3 year olds, Max is really into dinosaurs, so I thought it would be fun to have a dinosaur themed week, with lots of dinosaur craft and activity posts, as well as a room tour of Max’s new dinosaur themed bedroom. I’m kicking off today with an activity we did last week, making our own dinosaur fossils.

I loved this as a way to teach Max about dinosaurs, when they lived, and how we know that they existed. He ate up every word, and was so excited to create his own fossils!

We used salt dough, which I have to admit I’ve never found a recipe that I’m quite happy with (this time we used this one), as I tend to find them quite dry and they often crack for me on baking. I was given some great advice afterwards though, which was to use white clay instead, which is a bit more reliable, as well as drying to a nice white / grey colour, which means no painting for fossils – genius!

 

You Will Need:

500g Flour

500g salt

250ml water

Toy dinosaur figures

Baking Tray

 

How To Make

To make the dough, you simply mix your flour, salt, and water together, adding the water gradually. You can use a mixer if you have one available, sadly we don’t! Once the ingredients have come together into a dough, take it onto a floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes, until it’s smooth.

To make your fossils, simply take a small ball of dough, roll it between your hands into a ball, and then squish between your palms to make a flattish circle shape. Because they’re meant to be rocks, there’s no need to be too precise – a bit of irregularity is more authentic!

 

Little boy pressing dinosaur figures into salt dough to make fossils

 

Once you’ve made all your rocks, it’s time to press your toy dinosaurs into your ‘stones’. We used a combination of toy dinosaurs, and skeleton dinosaurs, to create lots of different shapes in our stones. Max absolutely loved this, and I have to confess I had to stop myself from wading in to ‘help’ him make them look better. He loved using all of the different parts of the dinosaurs to make impressions – their footprints, wings, as well as the side on impressions I’d envisaged us doing.

 

How to make salt dough dinosaur fossils

Close up of little boy's hands making salt dough dinosaur fossils

Close up of imprint of dinosaur on salt dough

 

Once you’re happy with all of your imprints, bake in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for around an hour.

 

Close up of imprints of dinosaurs on salt dough, ready to be baked

 

We painted ours grey, but in all honesty, they looked better before painting, as the paint covered over a lot of the detail that the imprints had left. Another reason why I think they white clay would work much better next time.

Tune in tomorrow to find out how we used our fossils once we’d made them!

 

Close up of toy dinosaur figure