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DIY Crafts: Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils

The magical world of dinosaurs

Dinosaurs hold a special place in the hearts of children (and adults!).  And it's no wonder, they're a fascinating, almost unimaginable species.  My boys are no exception.  So when we decided to do a dinosaur themed box (check them out here), it was a very small leap to making these super easy salt dough dinosaur fossils to go with our dinosaur reading.

These simple to make dinosaur fossils are a great addition to any child’s imaginative dinosaur play adventure. Be sure to involve your children in the making process, as there's lots of learning opportunities to be found in the kitchen.

Let them measure out the ingredients with you, giving them the opportunity to practice measurement and number recognition.  Getting them to mix the dough helps hand-eye coordination and patience. They’ll also love pressing their dinosaurs into the dough to form the fossil impressions, which is not only super fun but is great for exploring displacement and cause and effect!

Once you've made your fossils, there are so many ways to play with them:

  • hide them in the sand or dirt for a great dinosaur dig

  • use them to talk about what a fossil is and how they are formed over time

  • use them in a matching exercise with the toys used to create them

  • leave your kids to their own devices and see what they come up with 

And because these are hardened dry, they’ll last ages!

salt dough with two small dinosaur toys

What you'll need


  • 1 cup salt

  • 2 cups flour

  • 3/4 cup water

  • Small dinosaur toys 

How to make them


1.  Preheat the oven to 120C.

2.  Place the salt, flour and water in a bowl and mix until it forms a soft dough.

3.  Take a small handful of dough and flatten it into a small, round disc, similar to a cookie.

4.  Press a mini dinosaur firmly into the dough to form the fossil imprint.  Be sure to check your imprint, you may need to re-press parts of the dinosaur down to get a clearer impression.

Salt dough circle with orange dinosaur toy


5.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all the dough is used. Depending on how thick your fossils are, you should get between 6 and 12 discs.

6.  Bake in the oven until your fossils are dry. Thin, flat fossils need between 45 - 60 minutes, thicker fossils may need 2 or 3 hours.

Allow them to cool and then let the play begin, it's that simple.  These were a big hit last month when I made them with my older two, and have been brought out over and over again for lots of different play scenarios. 

Do you have a dinosaur lover who'd love to make some of these?  Tag us in at @inspirebookbox on Facebook and Instagram and show us how your kids play with these!

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