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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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.
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.
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.
If your younger ones love the fossil ideas about they will probably go crazy about these dinosaur crafts and activities we have curated perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.