Monday, March 5, 2012

Creating Fossils...

I saw a post on pinterest that led me to another site with kid ideas...she has TONS of great ideas, and I love how she embraces messy ideas for kids.  Inspired me to let Jonas do more crafty things!!

Check her out here:, you can click the post title as well to get there!!  Awesome resource for moms and teachers!

The basic directions included used coffee grounds, salt, sand, flour and water.

What you Need:
She mentioned doing this recipe x4, so that is what I did.  Here's what my "mudpies" looked like:
 The pan ready for baking...I was rushing it a bit...too excited! :)
 The mini dinos that I put inside the fossils...
 What they looked like post baked...I let them dry the rest of the week in the air, so they ended up all the lighter gray/brown color.  Not wet in the center.  :)  My brother asked if they were cookies (gross!), I on the other hand thought they resembled dark rocks, or maybe cow  Who'd want to eat that? 

For a smaller batch, use:
    •1 cup flour
    •1 cup used coffee grinds (got mine from starbucks!)
•1/2 cup salt
•1/4 cup sand
•3/4 cup water
•mixing bowl
•small plastic toy dinosaurs or other treasures
She suggested letting the coffee grounds dry out.  That might make it work better, or smell less like coffee, but I did not do this.  I figured if you're adding water to the mix, why set it out to dry?  So I didn't. In fact, my sand was from our sandbox, that was wet from the lid not being replaced, so wet coffee grounds + wet sand = I didn't add much water...
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
2. Slowly add the water and knead with your hands until the mixture is like bread dough.
(I did not dry anything out, so I just mixed it all and added more water slowly.)

3. Once you have moldable dough, press it around your dinosaur or whatever treasure you are putting inside.  I used mini dinosaurs. 

4. You can air dry these for several days OR bake them on a cookie sheet at 150 degrees for about 15-20 or until you poke them and they arent soft anymore.
(My dino eggs were fairly large, so I baked them for about 45 minutes, AND my oven did not go as low as her directions said, so I baked them at 170, the lowest setting I had.  I think mine baked for over an hour.  Surprisingly the toys were fine.  I worried they'd melt.)
 I pretty much just put these down the center of my tables where people ate.  Once the games started, the kids were able to open a few and keep their prizes.  It was a hit! :)


  1. You amaze me! I <3 your creativity and frugleness! Jonah and Jaxon are blessed to have you as mom! Love you!

  2. I'll have to try this for our childen. I'm sure they will enjoy it.

    Thanks for sharing!