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What you need: 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 cup water, plastic dinosaurs (from your crate), red/blue/yellow food coloring (optional)

What you do:

  1. Mix the flour and salt together in a large container.
  2. If you'd like to have brown dough, add several drops of red, yellow and blue food coloring to your water.
  3. Gradually add water, stirring as you go, until you have a dough-like consistency. Note: you don't want the dough too wet, so you may not need all the water.
  4. Form the dough into a ball, dust it with flour, and knead it for at least five minutes. The longer you knead it, the smoother it will be. If your dough gets too sticky, add more flour to the dough, to your hands or to your kneading surface.
  5. Roll your dough out to about 1/2" to 1/4" thick. Cut circles out using a cookie cutter or a glass.
  6. Press your dinosaurs into the dough and then carefully remove.
  7. You can let your Dinosaur Fossils air dry, but for best results, bake them at 200 F for 2-3 hours. You can increase the temperature up to 350 F but your fossils may get more brown on the top, just check them and cover if needed.

Questions to explore:

  • After you remove your dinosaurs, can you tell which fossil they came from?
  • Fossils are like super-old footprints from long, long ago. Do you ever see footprints left in the mud from animals around your house? Can you tell what animals left them?
  • Salt dough is a great medium for creating stuff. You can make fossils of all kinds of things: fairies, cars, shells -- what else can you think of?

Why it works (or Other Variations to try)

  • You can also create ornaments from salt dough. After rolling the dough out, create shapes or cut out shapes using cookie cutters, punch a hole (for the hanger), then bake and paint with acrylic paint. You can seal them with varnish or polyurethane spray, if you like.