We do love everything about dinosaurs. From simple dinosaur crafts and activities to exploring some of the science behind these prehistoric creatures.

These easy dinosaur fossils are great to make with kids and use one of our favourite materials salt dough.

For young children it’s “just” a fun activity for older kids there is actually some science behind it and the process is similar to how to trace fossils are made.

Read on for how to make salt dough fossils with kids.

easy fossil craft for kids

Dinosaur Fossils

Dinosaur died out a long time ago and the only way that we know that they roamed the earth is through the fossil records.

From fossil bones to trace fossils and more recently fossilised dinosaur tails found in amber, we can see what these great beasts looked like.

Fossils are fascinating and an easy theme to explore with your kids whatever age they are.

You can take a visit to a Natural History Museum and see real fossils, read books about fossils and dinosaurs and then come home and create your own.

Or why not try making some of these other fantastic fun hands-on fossil activities for kids.

Salt Dough Fossils to Make with Kids

These are really easy to make.

salt dough and toy dinosaurs easy to make fossils with the kids

We prefer to use our classic salt dough recipe rather than our microwave salt dough recipe so you will need to set aside a few hours to dry in the oven or air dry over a couple of days.

Once dry we painted them to look more like stones and actual fossils but you can, of course, keep them salt dough coloured if you wish.

finished painted salt dough fossils made with toy dinosaurs
mold fossil activity for kids
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Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils

Easy to make with kids salt dough Dinosaur Fossil Craft.
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time30 mins
Drying Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 35 mins
Keyword: Dinosaur Activities, Dinosaur Crafts, Fossils, Salt Dough
Yield: 8 small dinosaur fossils
Author: Cerys Parker

Equipment

  • Toy Dinosaurs
  • Paint Brushes
  • Bowl
  • Rolling Pin
  • Baking Tray

Materials

Instructions

  • When you have made your salt dough split it into 8 similar sized clumps give out to the children.

    Making Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils
  • Roll the salt dough to approximately 2cm (3/4 inch thick.
  • Into the flat surface carefully press a small toy dinosaur.
    Creating Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils
  • To dry the salt dough before painting place on a baking tray and into an oven on the lowest setting for approximately 2hours.
  • Once dry – then paint your salt dough fossils to make them look like rocks.
    Creating Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils
  • Leave to dry and if you wish to seal them then apply a coat of mod podge to the dry painted fossil.
    Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils
Printable Dinosaur Games and Activities Now Available in the Rainy Day Mum Store
salt dough dinosaur fossils ready to paint

Fossil Resources to Extend this Activity Further

earth science, rocks and fossil books for kids collage

Encourage more reading and investigation into fossils, rocks and earth science with our favourite earth science books to read to and for kids of all ages.

I’ve found that following the lead with your child’s interest can lead to amazing discoveries for both of you. Throughout this activity I have added further activity suggestions you can find here on Rainy Day Mum however, we are limited as there are only so many hours in the day so these resources from supplies we use and recommend can be used to extend this even further.

The Study of Fossil Kit from Amazon that would make an ideal extension of this salt dough fossil activity with kids.
Dinosaurs themed craft and activity kid for kids perfect for continuing exploring dinosaurs
National Geography Mega Fossil Mine Dig Kit to dig out your own fossils with kids

There is nothing better than getting hands-on holding real fossils in your hands and although the local natural history museum is a good place to start it’s possible to purchase a fossil set that gives information about the fossils and real samples of them.

If your children are fans of dinosaurs this Dinosaur Discovery kit from Green Kids Crafts is a great way to encourage the topic with 5 projects for science and arts and crafts it is a hit in our house.

We are big fans of National Geographic and their kid’s resources here and have brought this Fossil Mine Dig Kit a couple of times now one for each child and it’s gone down a hit. Unlike some of the other versions that contain a plastic dinosaur to piece together, this contains real fossils a big bonus with my kids holding prehistory in their hands.

salt dough fossils to make with the kids
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.

14 Comments

    1. I have made these before with Preschool Summer Camps. You can air dry them but they take a long time to dry…………. especially the extra thick ones………..lol

  1. I am excited to use with my 23 first graders! I was wondering if you could tell me how many this recipe made. I plan on at least doubling — was just hoping to have a guideline so I won’t have an overabundance or not enough! Thank you so much for sharing! I am sure they will LOVE this!

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