Dinosaurs are very popular with preschoolers and this dinosaur fossil excavation activity is an exciting way to teach them about dinosaur fossils and the paleontologists who excavate them.
I have been anxiously awaiting this week because Evan LOVES dinosaurs. If I integrate dinosaurs with any subject, Evan is so much more enthusiastic about it. I knew he would thoroughly enjoy the activities I had planned and I could hardly wait to do them! This activity puts a spin a popular recipe that many people use to make “dinosaur eggs.” Instead of hiding a tiny toy dino inside of an egg, I decided to use the same recipe to make big chunks of “rock” and put toy dinosaur skeletons inside. This way Evan could pretend he was really excavating a dinosaur skeleton from the earth’s crust.
This activity teaches young children about dinosaurs, and more specifically, their bones and the fossils that have been found. These ideas come to life when your child has the chance to practice them in the playful, hands-on way this activity provides.
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Dirt – 1 and 1/4 cups
Flour – 1 and 1/4 cups
Sand – 1/2 cup
Salt – 3/4 cup
Water – slowly add it until you reach a clay-like consistency
Toy tools or other gadgets to dig out the dinosaur.
Before starting the excavation, we read two books on the topic. The first is Dinosaur Bones by Bob Barner and the second is Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones by Byron Barton. They are perfect for preschoolers because of their simplicity, rhythm and illustrations. However, both books are great for all ages. They were an excellent introduction to what fossils are and what paleontologists do. Evan and I highly recommend them!