I hosted an at-home summer camp day full of dino fun last month! We started the day by being palenotologists at a fossil dig and it was a super cool experience.
Two nights before dino camp I made a batch of sand and cornstarch fossils. I hadn’t made these in years so I kinda winged it and luckily it turned out fine.
How to Make Sand and Cornstarch Fossils:
Mix 1 cup of sand, 1/2 cup of cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar in a small pot.
Then add 1/2 cup of water and place on the stove over med-low heat.
Stir as you would play dough. (My husband was very worried about the sand in our non-stick saucepan, but we didn’t have an issue at all. Proceed at your own risk and if you have really fancy pots and pans buy one at the Dollar Store or Goodwill.)
Once a dough has formed place it on a wooden cutting board and let it cool a bit.
Once the fossil dough is cool break it into small chunks and hide your bones inside. We used plastic dinosaur skulls I got at Michael’s craft store.
Then let dry at least 36 hours until the fossil is no longer moist.
Then place in a large container and cover with sand and voila–you’re ready for a dino dig!
I was lucky enough to get to participate in an actual archeological dig when I was younger and explained how slow and carefully the scientists work so that they do not harm any of the bones or artifacts. The kids did an awesome job using the toothbrush to gently brush away the sand to find their fossils.
They gently cracked open the fossils and then used the other paleontology tools–paintbrush, toothbrush, etc.–to uncover the skulls.
And then repeat the process with another fossil!
When they were done they used the guide that came with the dinosaur skulls to identify which dinosaur they had discovered. Can you say tons of fun? I certainly had a great time and know the kids did too.
For more dinosaur fun check out:
Linking up to these fabulous blogs!
Jen Fischer says
I love this dinosaur fossil activity. We’ll definitely have to try it. It looks like so much fun and so much learning.
Thanks so much! I’m not going to lie to you, I had as much fun as the kids! Easy to set up and definitely worth trying if you have a chance!
JDaniel4's Mom says
This looks like so much fun! I think my guy would love this project.
Thanks! I was thrilled with how much it mimicked an actual dino dig. They’ve already asked to do it again! Hope you have fun with it!
What a fun idea! I will be featuring this post on my Kid’s Co-op roundup tomorrow at http://loveplayandlearn.com
Thanks Brittany! That is so exciting! Thanks for stopping by!
Ana Maria Weaver says
sounds like a great idea. My twin sons’ 5th birthday is coming up and they LOVE dinosaurs. If you don’t mind my asking, where did you get teh dinoasur skulls?
If would be tons of fun to do for a dinosaur birthday! We got our skulls at Michael’s craft store. They are the Toob brand by Safari Ltd–the ones who make the sets of little animals and things in the long clear tube with the rope handles. I’ve also seen them on Amazon. Have fun!
I just found your blog! So many cute ideas! I love your dinosaur activities and can’t wait to try them when we work on the Letter D in two weeks! Thanks! I would love to invite you to share you fabulous ideas on Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes. I know my readers will just adore your cute family and ideas! Have a great weekend!
Thanks so much Mackenzie! We had so much fun with all of our dino activities! I can’t wait to check out your link party! Thanks for stopping by!