Salt Dough Fossils

Thinking & Engaging
Thinking & Engaging

Through a simple craft, children will understand the context behind the existence and non-existence of dinosaurs and how the preservation of nature can tells us a lot about our history.


  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 and a half cups of water
  • Bowl
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Dinosaur toys
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Oven


Dinosaurs seem like made-up creatures; huge reptiles that make roaring screeching sounds. Why do we even think they ever existed? It’s because of the bones we find and the imprints of those bones in rocks and stones.


  1. Mix the indgredients above in a bowl until a dough forms. Add extra water a little bit at a time as needed if the dough is too dry.
  2. Roll the dough flat with the rolling pin.
  3. Press a dinosaur toy into the dough and then remove to see the imprint, or fossil, left behind.
  4. Place the salt dough fossil onto the parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, paint the finished fossil.


  • Consider making plant fossils. Take your group out for a walk, collect some leaves, and press one into the salt dough.
  • Your participants could also press their own hands, or feet, into the dough. This could be an excellent way to see how much they grow if you repeated it each year they returned to programs.


  • Supervision around the oven is imperative. Either ensure that your group is old enough to manage it themselves or do it for them completely.


Dinosaurs lasted existed 65 million years ago; their extinction likely brought on by a meteorite, disease, volcanoes, or a food drought, though the real answer is still a mystery.  When they died, their skin and organs but their bones stuck around for so long that they get buried deep with the ground, beneath ocean floors, or within cooled lava. Over millions of years, the bones get put under a lot of heat and pressure. Compressed dirt and debris turns into rock, and the bone makes an impression into the rock. We know dinosaurs exist because sometimes people find these bones or fossils from many years ago. A specific type of scientist, called a paleontologist, has the specific job of looking for fossils.

Submitted by Caldwell Family Centre.

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