Make Your Own Dinosaur Fossils

The Boy loves dinosaurs. You know how when they are little they go through phases where they are completely obsessed with things about know absolutely everything about them? Well, we had Thomas the Tank Engine, Toy Story (400times a day…but only ever the first one!) and then Dinosaurs. While Star Wars, Pokémon and now Power Rangers have all followed, he still loves dinosaurs. This meant he was really excited to make our own dinosaur fossils.

As a 3 years old The Boy could tell you an unbelievable amount about dinosaurs. He knew all their names, what they ate, what continents they lived on and much more. While we were painting our dinosaur fossils, I realised that as he’s got older, his knowledge has continued to grow. He launched into stories about where he had found the fossils and what they meant. How the spaces between their footprints would help him to find out how big they were and how fast they could run and how he could use the head fossils to figure out what they ate from the shapes are their jaws.

toy dinosaurs

It was like having a mini palaeontologist. He might only six but he already knows so much and remembers everything he’s ever heard. (will be the 9000393 hours we’ve spent watching Walking with Dinosaurs…not the film, that was awful!)

While making these it became really clear that he’s changed a lot in the last few months. Not that long ago he required constant help and supervision. But, now, he gets on with things on his own much more. I did the salt dough, he helped with the printing and then painted them on his own. It was nice, I was making a cake, he was painting and telling me all about Dinosaur fossils, letting his imagination run wild. It made for a lovely afternoon.

You Will Need

  • 1 Cup plain flour
  • 0.5 Cup water
  • 0.5 Cup salt
  • Toy Dinosaurs
  • Paints

dinosaur fossils supplies


This isn’t the salt dough recipe I normally use. But, I didn’t have enough salt left. It seems to have worked out alright though, perhaps even slightly smoother without as much salt.salt dough

Mix together the flour, salt and water in a large mixing bowl. When it starts to come together, tip it out on to a surface and knead with your hands until it’s a nice smooth ball. If it seems too wet, add a little more flour and if it’s crumbly, add a bit more water. A little makes a big difference though so only add bits at a time.

salt dough

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until its around 3mm thick. I separate it into two balls first as I find smaller balls easier to work with.

rolling salt dough

Once rolled out, for feet and head fossils, I used a small beaker to press out circles, before gently pressing the toy dinosaur into the dough. Depending on the shape of the dinosaur, you have to kind of tilt and bend them to make sure it all presses in a little.

printing fossils

For the full body ones, I pressed the dinosaur into a large piece of dough and then cut around it with a knife. But, to be honest I find the feet and head ones work better. Tails would be good too.

salt dough fossils

Once ready, gently lift your fossils and place them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and place in the oven.

Bake at 100 degrees for about 2 hours. I turn mine over half way through. Whatever you do, do not let your child near the oven (which obviously, none of us does anyway!!) she will turn it up to 200 degrees and burn them all!!

finished fossils

Once dried out, leave on the side to cool for a few hours before painting. We went for greens and browns but you could really do anything you wanted. If you’ve got a sandpit, it would be great to paint them white or cream and throw them in ready for an excavation!

painting fossils

painted fossils

dinosaur fossil guide


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