So how do we know that the dinosaurs were on the planet? I remember my preschooler asking just that question. The answer of course FOSSILS! And so began our love with fossil activities. From simple creations to understanding the different types of fossils there lots of fun you can have with them. So here we go our favourite fossil activities for kids of all ages.

pinterest image for easy and fun fossil activities. Collage of 4 different simple  activitiees make trace, cast, mould and dinosaur eggs to excavate

Fossil Activities for Preschoolers

Let’s start off simple and get creative with some simple fossil activities that even the youngest of your family can do.

2 preschoolers sitting at a colourful table rolling salt dough with a pile of dinosaur toys in the middle getting ready to create salt dough fossils

The easiest fossil to make is from a dough – whether you use salt dough like we did to create our salt dough fossils or good cookie dough to create the same effect see a recipe to make them here.

child making trace fossils in a taste safe mud with a plastic tub

As well as the fossils that look like the living things trace fossils are found – these are things like footprints in rock. Your preschool and older kids can have lots of fun making trace fossils with our taste safe “mud rock” recipe.

child pointing to the dinosaur toy that they have excavated using vinegar from a baking soda egg fossil

Preschoolers will love playing Palaeontologist with this simple fossil excavation activity with fizzy fossil eggs that they can find hidden dinosaur and other prehistoric creatures inside.

Dig for dinosaurs whilst reading The Berenstain Bears' Dinosaur Dig a simple and easy to set up play for young kids

Younger preschoolers may like to be fossil hunters with our fossil hunting sensory bin which is quick and easy to set up and using brushes they can quickly and easily excavate the dinosaurs’ skeletons.

Why not combine the fossil activities with some reading – here’s our pick of the best dinosaur books for toddlers and preschoolers.

Fossil Activities for Older Kids

Although your older kids will love the activities that the younger kids enjoy (salt dough fossils are fantastic for creating Mould Fossil) and why not use a clay to create the trace fossils instead of the taste safe mud. There are 2 other forms of fossils that are better to create with older kids.

2 shell plaster of paris cast fossil models made by kids learning about how fossils are made

The first is cast fossils – these are fun to make and although as you can see in the image above we made ours with shells you can easily make them with dinosaur skeletons, even bones that you may find on nature walks for more authentic fossil creation. Check out how to make cast fossils with kids here for full instructions.

Looking for books for older kids then check out our fantastic selection of Dinosaur Fiction Books for School Kids.

Books About Fossils for Kids

We have included affiliate links to some of the products and resources as an associate we may earn from qualifying purchases.

As well as the 2 links above in the purple boxes that take you to our fantastic picks of the best dinosaur books we have selected some books specifically about fossils that you and your kids will love check them out below.

One of our favourite Fossils Books which we have featured here on Rainy Day Mum twice creating some fizzy fossil eggs and fossils from modeling clay Digging up Dinosaurs by Aliki is a factual story about the work of a Paleontologist and covers how some of the fossils that are dug up are formed.

Aimed at young children Curious about Fossils provides a great introduction to fossils including information about their Victorian discovery and doesn’t just cover fossils being dinosaurs so looks at plant fossils, sea creatures and even common fossils like sharks teeth.

Packed full of more information than you can think of about fossils DK Eyewitness Fossil non-fiction book covers everything from the types of fossils, how they are formed and then examples and details about the fossils including an interesting section about fossils of the future. We do like the Eyewitness books as they have great images which can be used with younger children but the information is fantastic to a high school level.

More Activities to Connect with the Fossils

Why not try some of these other activities that connect and extend the fossil formation activities here.

Hands on Learning Geological Timescale

Create a geological timeline to scale so your kids can see what a short period of time animals that formed fossils actually lived in the planet. The model above is ideal for older kids, younger kids you may want to create our prehistoric time dial which is ready to print, cut and learn with.

Help your children understand the formation of the different types of rocks with this simple edible sedimentary rock activity that they can make and eat.
Edible science experiment to make Slow Cooker Walnut and Cranberry Fudge as an example of Metamorphic Rocks
Help your children understand the formation of the different types of rocks with this simple edible igneous rock activity that they can make and eat.

Look more in depth at rocks and create edible models that demonstrate sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rock creation. Edible Sedimentary Rock Recipe, Edible Metamorphic Rock recipe, and edible igneous rock recipe.

Pinnable image from Rainy Day Mum for Hands-on Fossil Fun for kids from preschool up showing a collage of different fossil creation activities kids can do at home
Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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