After reading a book about dinosaurs, we found ourselves faced with explaining how fossils were made to our young daughter. So we decided it would be much easier if she was able to help us make our own version of fossils instead! Our toddler daughter loved every step of this craft - from making the salt dough, to rolling it out, to deciding what type of fossil to make. You can make a salt dough fossil by pressing your dinosaur toys into the dough, by pressing your own hands and feet into the dough, or by making your handprint look like a dinosaur footprint! The possibilities with this salt dough fossil craft are endless, so encourage your child to use their imagaination and have fun!

What you'll need:

  • Salt Dough (click on the link for the recipe)
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Dinosaur toys
  • Cookie sheet
  • Rolling pin
  • Clear varnish spray (optional)
How to make your salt dough fossils:
  • Make salt dough according to the recipe in the link above. Roll the dough flat with a rolling pin.
  • Make one of the fossil ideas listed below, or come up with one of your own!. Bake your fossil at 350 degrees for one hour.
  • Once it is cool, you can paint the finished fossil. To preserve it, you'll need to spray it with polyurethane or clear varnish spray.

Fossil Ideas:

#1: Press a dinosaur toy into the dough. Remove the toy to see the imprint or "fossil" left behind.

#2: Press the foot of a dinosaur into the dough to create a fossil.

#3: Have your own child press their foot into the dough to make their own fossil! This is a great way to preserve how little they are now!

#4: Press your child's hand into the dough so that their hands mimic a three-toed dinosaur footprint. See the photograph at right.

Dinosaur Shape Craft

Dinosaur Shape Craft
Step One: Press dinosaur toy into dough
Dinosaur Shape Craft
Step Two: Remove toy to show imprint behind
Dinosaur Shape Craft
Step Three: Paint your baked fossil
Other ideas: multiple different dinosaur toys, just the footprint of a dinosaur toy, the footprint of your child, your child's hand pressed into dough to mimic a dinosaur footprint.