Dinosaur Fossils

 Dinosaur FossilsWe’re kicking off our thematic unit on digging up Dinosaurs by making fossils using recycled coffee grounds.  Besides being fun to make, these will be going in the sensory tub for the next week or two!

 Dinosaur Fossils

Here’s what you’ll need to make your very own dinosaur fossils.  I significantly tweaked the instructions I found here.
1 cup used coffee grounds
1/2 cup cold coffee
1/2 cup salt
1 cup flour

1.  Have your little one help you mix the coffee grounds, coffee, salt, and flour together in a mixing bowl.

 Dinosaur Fossils

 Dinosaur Fossils

2.  Take a small handful of the mixture and place it on a cookie sheet.  Press down with the heel of your hand to make a flat, circular shape about 1/2″ thick.  Continue until all the mixture is gone or you have no room left on your cookie sheet.

 Dinosaur Fossils

3.  Use plastic dinosaurs to make footprints on the fossils.  You can also use leaves and bones from a cooked chicken (scrubbed and clean, of course) to add to your fossils.  (You might notice that in our pictures, he is making impressions on circles cut out from a large rolled out dough.  I’m telling you to do it differently because that is eventually what we had to do after our first attempts.  We couldn’t get the dough on the cookie sheet without it falling apart or stretching out, so we eventually did the method described above and it worked much better).

 Dinosaur Fossils

4.  Once all the impressions have been made, put your cookie sheet in the oven on 200 degrees for 30 minutes.

 Dinosaur Fossils
 Dinosaur Fossils

5.  Once 30 minutes is up, take the fossils out of the oven and carefully use a spatula to remove them from the cookie sheet.  Once they are cooled, turn them over and let the bottoms dry out overnight.

 Dinosaur Fossils

There you have it!  Enjoy making these with your little dinosaur lover!

 Dinosaur Fossils
 Dinosaur Fossils
Literature Link:
 Dinosaur Fossils
Dinosaurs by Grace Maccarone Dinosaur Fossils
This book is a compilation of 4 dinosaur stories.  The first is a very simple non-fiction story about dinosaurs, perfect for young children.  The rhyming words make it even more attractive for a preschooler.  Your little one might even recognize some sight words while reading this simple story!
ABCGraphics Page003 Dinosaur Fossils

Comments

  1. Katie's Nesting Spot says

    Wow this is so cool! I had never heard of this one before and can't believe you found something to do with USED coffee grounds.

  2. Anonymous says

    Thanks for posting this. My son is a dinosaur fanatic, only fanatic is not a strong enough word. This will be a great activity for his birthday party next month:)

  3. Rachel says

    Can this be done without baking them? Does it work with air drying? I want to do it as a class project but don’t want to have to take it home to bake it. So cool!

    • Joelle says

      No need to bake, you can make a simple dough from flour, water and salt and add in the coffee grounds for a rock/dirt effect (or leave it white and paint when complete) The dough can be baked or left to air dry. You’ll need to adjust the amounts for the size of your class but 1 part flour, 1 part water and 1/4 part salt should do the trick.

  4. Katelyn says

    I am having trouble making a pin for this dinosaur activity. Could you maybe post it onto one of your boards! It looks like an amazing activity to do with my pre-kers!

  5. Mary says

    But why wouldn’t you make edible ones? Use a basic biscut recipe and split dough. In to one doug badge shake coacoa and lightly knead to make marble effect. In to the other use cinnamon. Choclate and almond was tasty vanilla and cinnamon worked well too.

  6. Kelly says

    I used this idea in my VPK class and the kiddos loved it. We did have to add more salt and flour (perhaps because of the left over moisture in the coffee grounds?), but a success in the end. They looked like granite rocks! Thanks so much for the idea.

  7. Nikki says

    I did this for a :and Before Time birthday party for my daughter, only I made them into eggs. I wrapped the “dough” around tiny dines and had the kids “excavate”. I also added some green food coloring.

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