Dinosaur Fossils Craft with Coffee Grounds

We’re kicking off our thematic unit on “Digging up Dinosaurs” by making this Dinosaur Fossils Craft 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 Craft


Here’s what you’ll need to make your very own dinosaur fossils. I significantly tweaked the instructions I found here.


Recipe for Dinosaur Fossils using Coffee Grounds

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.



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.

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).

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


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.

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

Literature Link:
Reader Collection: Dinosaurs (Scholastic Reader Collection Level 1)
Dinosaurs by Grace Maccarone
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!
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Originally posted on August 30, 2010


  1. 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. 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. 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!

    1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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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