Want to learn how to make fossil playdough? We did because it wouldn’t be a complete fossil unit of study if we didn’t make dinosaur fossils with clay! We created fossil bone dough with a twist on the classic salt dough recipe – just add in some sand and you are ready to go with this homemade dinosaur fossil project!
In the fossil unit, we learn about different types of fossils. There are four types of fossils that are perfect for using the dinosaur bone salt dough: mold fossils, cast fossils, trace fossils, and petrified fossils.
You can use this recipe to create mold fossils by searching your house for cool dinosaur or bug toys to press into the dough before letting it dry, creating a mold. We searched our yard for bones and were lucky enough to find some. If you wanted to use real bones to make the fossil mold I would suggest getting a whole chicken for dinner, boiling the meat off the bones, and drying them overnight. To make a cast fossil you need to make a mold fossil first, let it dry, then press and release the dough from the mold fossil to make a cast fossil.
Trace fossils are fossils of things like footprints or scat (also known as poop). Trace fossils are just like mold fossils but they are of traces of the animal, not the animal itself. We used our favorite baby doll to make a trace fossil footprint in our dough. Look at those adorable little piggies!
How do you make dinosaur fossil playdough?
It’s pretty simple. You need a cup of sand, and 1.5 cups each of flour and salt. Get everything blended together and add 1 cup of hot water, stirring until it forms a dough. I needed to add a few extra drops to make the salt dough come together. If you add too much water you can always add a pinch of flour to dry it out a little bit. After you create your fossils you can let them air dry overnight or bake them in the oven at the lowest setting for about an hour. Now you have homemade dinosaur fossils!