Making Fossils – Part I

Looking for a fun, clean activity to do with your child? Making fossil molds fit the bill and it is educational, too. This project took us about 10 minutes, including gathering our supplies.



Supplies You Will Need
– Clay
– Rolling pin
– Small item for molding (ideas: small plastic toy dinosaur or bug, seashell, leaf, etc.)


Instructions
1. Knead your clay. Knead your clay until it has reached a pliable state. It will be easier for the following steps.
2. Roll your clay. Roll your clay until it is about 1/2 the depth of the item that you will be molding for your fossil. This makes the best mold. We used a rolling pin from our Play-Doh set. You could also use a drinking glass or other item to roll your clay.

3. Mold your fossil. Mold your fossil by firmly pressing the item that you are molding for your fossil into the clay. Do not press to far into the clay or you will puncture all the way through the clay. We had that issue in one spot. Also, it may be helpful to help younger children with this part
so make sure there is now movement of the item during the molding process.

You are done with Part 1. Can you believe it? Isn’t this the simplest part of a project you have done? We were thrilled at how quick, clean, and entertaining. We created about five casts today. Now, we are letting our molds dry to a firm state.

Tomorrow, we will create casts using plaster of paris, vaseline, and our molds. This should take about 30 minutes.
Vocabulary Words

– Fossil
– Mold
– Cast
– Sediment

Reading Selection

Please let us know if you try this fun project. We would love to hear about what fossils you have made. Please send us a link to your site where you have uploaded pictures of your fossil masterpiece. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have. Check back with us tomorrow for Part II.

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