Stomp! Make your own fossil.



What you need: 

  • Dinosaurumpus, by Tony Mitton (optional) 
  • Plaster of paris 
  • Water 
  • Plastic mixing bowl 
  • Aluminum pie tin or large plastic container 

Reading tips:

  1. In this book, find out what happens when dinosaurs get together and dance! Encourage your child to identify the dinosaurs she recognizes.
  2. As you read the book together, point out the rhyming words to your child. Challenge her to think of other words that rhyme with those in the book.
  3. You might also want to invite your child to repeat the Dinosaurumpus refrain with you: "Shake, shake, shudder. . ."

To extend the reading:

  1. Does your child know what a fossil is? Explain to her that when dinosaurs roamed the land, sometimes they left footprints in the muddy ground. Sometimes these footprints hardened and then were preserved. Millions of years later, scientists found these fossils and could use them to find clues about dinosaurs. 
  2. To make your own dinosaur fossil, mix a small amount of plaster of paris with water in a plastic bowl. It should be creamy and a bit stiff (not runny).
  3. Pour the plaster into the pie tin or plastic container. Invite your child to step in the plaster to make a footprint. (If there is not enough room, a handprint would work just fine.) How does the plaster feel?
  4. The plaster can be removed from the container after about 30 minutes, but will take approximately one day to dry completely. Encourage your child to check on the plaster periodically to observe it as it hardens.
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