Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils

By far the biggest hit of my Dinosaur theme Science class are the salt dough fossils.  So easy to make the dough and the kids love playing with it like playdough.  And best of all?  You can bake them, paint them and save them or give them as gifts!  With the holidays right around the corner, you have to try this!

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • toy animals, dinosaurs, anything that can leave a fun imprint!

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Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.  Add about 1 cup lukewarm water and knead until you have a nice dough.  If it gets too sticky, add more flour.  That’s it!

Break off the dough and flatten it to about 1/2 inch thick.

IMG_2315We used a bunch of dinosaur skeletons and toy dinosaurs to make imprints of their feet and their skeletons.

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When your fossils are done, bake them in the oven at 200°F for about 3 hours.  They should be fairly hard by the time they cool.

IMG_0328You can paint your fossils and spray them with acrylic spray to save them as keepsakes.

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Extension:

A fun way to play with these fossils is to have the kids make them with their favorite toy animal prints and then later try to match the footprints with the animals.  A different twist to a matching game for little superheroes and a fabulous way to build their reasoning skills.

Click on the link to see where I got the idea from and for more details:

http://www.loveplayandlearn.com/2013/02/salt-dough-recipe.html

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Rainbow Celery

Ever wonder how plants “drink” water if they have no mouth?  This simple colorful experiment demonstrates how celery “drink” water and explores the concept of “capillary motion” (without the long scientific term of course)

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • 6 Celery stalks with the leaves
  • 6 clear jars or cups
  • Water
  • Some food coloring (we used red, yellow and blue to create 6 rainbow colors)IMG_1416

Fill all of the glasses halfway with water and add a few drops of food coloring to each to get the following 6 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.  Add one celery to each different glass.

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At this point, I ask my superheroes to guess what they think will happen over time.  This is a good time for them to draw/color in their observations.

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We checked on the jars 2 days later and this is what we saw:

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The darker colored water showed the most dramatic changes in the color of the leaves.  The superheroes thought the colors of the celery leaves were very cool.  They also noticed that the yellow appeared to have no changes in leaf color.  We talked about why this might be the case.

For more Plant Science activities, try the following:

The Science behind the Activity:

This is an example of ‘capillary motion’, the process by which plants pull water from their roots and bring it up against the force of gravity.    I have also seen this done with white carnations and daisies where the flower petals turn different colors.  Pretty neat, huh?

Follow this link to see where I got the idea from and more details about the experiment: http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/celery-science-experiment-kids/