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Dinosaur Fossils Crafts & Activities for Preschoolers

Our dinosaur theme from Experience Curriculum started out with everything paleontology-related content – paleontologists, excavation sites, fossils, bones, and the biggest dinosaur Tyrannosaurus Rex. “Paleontologist” is a big word but my kids loved learning it and pretending to be little paleontologists! Young children have wonderful imaginations and a dinosaur study unit is a great way to capture their attention. Check out the dinosaur fossils crafts & activities for preschoolers for fun dinosaur activity ideas to extend your daily lesson plans in a creative way.

Dinosaur Fossils Crafts & Activities for Preschoolers - Salt dough fossils

Dinosaur Fossils Crafts & Activities for Preschoolers

You can make your own dinosaur fossils with a variety of materials. This is our collection that I’ve saved over the years. The top and bottom fossils were made by my son in elementary school with shells and Plaster of Paris. The middle fossil was made with a dinosaur fossil clay recipe from Experience Early Learning that includes coffee to give it a dark color. This year we made salt dough fossils. If you are looking for a quick hands-on activity, use play dough instead of salt dough and make fossils in all different colors. Play dough may also be easier for little hands to manipulate. Either way, they will have fun learning about prehistoric creatures.

Dinosaur Fossils Crafts & Activities for Preschoolers

Salt Dough Fossils

One of our STEAM Stations this month explores fossils a bit further with a hands-on experience of making our own fossils.

Making salt dough fossils in preschool Dinosaur Fossils Crafts & Activities for Preschoolers

Salt dough fossils are super easy to make and require just a few ingredients to create a simple salt dough recipe.

dinosaur spelled with letter rocks Dinosaur Fossils Crafts & Activities for Preschoolers

We used the fossils skeleton toys shown below to create our fossils but you can use anything – small plastic dinosaurs or other toys, shells, rocks, beads, etc. Find the salt dough recipe for making dinosaur fossils below.

Salt Dough Recipe

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1/2 cup of warm water (you will need more – add small amounts slowly)
Salt dough fossils STEAM Station Dinosaur Fossils Crafts & Activities for Preschoolers

To set up this activity, I cut small pieces of parchment paper into squares and labeled each one with a child’s name. I divided the dough into equal amounts.

making fossils with salt dough Dinosaur Fossils Crafts & Activities for Preschoolers

The children flattened their fossil salt dough on a tray (to contain the mess) and chose dinosaur bones to press into the dough and create a fossil. You can also use plastic dinosaur toys to make dinosaur footprints. This is a great summer time activity that appeals to kids of all ages.

When done, we put their dough on labeled parchment paper in order to keep track of whose were whose. I always think I’ll remember but then don’t necessarily!

Dinosaur Fossils Crafts & Activities for Preschoolers

We baked the fossils in the oven for 1-2 hours (may need longer) at 250 degrees to dry out the dough and make it hard.

play dough fossils

I sent everyone’s fossils home in a plastic bag.

Salt dough fossils are very easy and fun to make!

fossils Experience Preschool lessons Dinosaur Fossils Crafts & Activities for Preschoolers

I imagine you could also make fossil cookies out of sugar cookie dough – how fun would that be! I haven’t tried it.

salt dough fossils STEAM Station activity from Experience Early Learning

Fossil Stamp Creative Art

Lesson 3 of our dinosaur theme included the Fossil Stamp Invitation to Create. First the chidlren looked at the Inspiration Photo and talked about what they saw. What do you notice about the fossil photo? What shapes do you see? How will you make your fossil stamp?

Fossil stamp art

They created a stamp with a paper lid and some foam stickers.

Fossil Stamp Art

Using brown and metallic gold tempera paint, we stamped fossil shapes.

With this art activity, we can observe how the child created a stamp and use it to make marks on the paper.

Excavation Dig Creative Art

The Excavation Dig Creative Art experience involved a couple of steps and many skills. First, everyone needed to cut apart their dinosaur skeletons. Cutting can be hard and a lot of work! It’s important we give children time to work on their scissor skills on their own.

Excavation dig art

They will let you know if they need help and are becoming frustrated. It’s equally important to let them be successful in cutting even if it means chopping apart all the pieces and the art doesn’t “look like much”. It’s about developing their skills!

Excavation dig art

After cutting apart the dinosaur skeleton pieces, they decided how to arrange them (or not) and glue them down to their paper. Then they squeezed on glue, poured on the sand and brushed it around on their dinosaur skeleton.

We talked about how paleontologists use brushes to clean off bones they find in order to protect them.

Excavation dig art

This fun creative art project is more than art – it’s an exploration of spatial awareness, fine motor skills, natural and earth since and history and sense of time.

Excavation dig art

Dinosaur Eggs

Looking for dinosaur egg activities? Read Dinosaur Eggs Preschool Activities for sensory play with toy dinosaurs and kinetic sand and math skills games and so much fun with a preschool dinosaur theme. 

Rock Letters

Incorporate literacy activities using  Rock Letters for free play and creating words with a dinosaur book. We used the I Can Read Book from Experience Curriculum, “Go Away”.

The I Can Read books this month featured three sight words “go,” “away,” and “big.”

rock letters

The I Can Read books this month featured three sight words “go,” “away,” and “big.”

Pretend to be a Dinosaur

Make your own dramatic play props including a construction paper headband with teeth, a tail and dinosaur feet to do the “dinosaur stomp”, perfect for incorporating gross motor activities for your little dinosaur lover.

How Do Dinosaur Fossils Form?

Wondering how fossils form? Watch this video from the Natural History Museum for an animated explanation for children. It’s good for adults too!

Take a Field Trip

Check out dinosaurs at a natural history museum and learn how dinosaurs lived a million years ago. Try a virtual field Google Field Trip: Dinosaur Fossils at the Museum

More Dinosaur Activities

Looking for more Dinosaur Fossils Crafts & Activities for Preschoolers?

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I received curriculum from Experience Early Learning for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences using the curriculum. As a user of Experience Preschool for many years, I am pleased to share quality educational experiences. #sponsored #ExperienceEarlyLearning