Dinosaur activities - Episode 1


All this week, in honor of the many lockdowns and quarantines around the world, My Moppet Shop will be sharing dinosaur and STEAM related activities that can be done at home with your kids. Look for a new one every day from Monday to Saturday.

Dinosaur "Fossil" Medallions

You will need:

  • Small dinosaur figures, preferably skeletons
  • A small container of sand
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Water
  • An oven or microwave
  • Access to a computer and printer (optional)

This activity will take a little prep - possibly the night before, but is very easy to do.  You can adapt this activity for kids from early preschool age to early school age.  You can also add variations to make this more complex.

  1. Make a salt dough.  

To make a salt dough, mix salt and all-purpose flour together in a bowl until well blended.  Slowly add water to make a dough, mixing first with a spoon then with your hands to create a smooth dough.  
How much of each should you use?  Some salt dough recipes call for equal amounts of salt and flour.  Others call for half the salt to flour.  If you have made salt dough before, use your favorite recipe.  If not, try the 1:1 recipe and experiment.  This is a fun dough to use as modeling clay and to make crafts, and it is completely non-toxic and fun for kids.  Making the dough and trying different recipes can be an activity for kids all by itself, so you don't have to worry too much about "wasting dough."  The amount of water is just enough to make a firm, even stiff dough, but this will vary depending on how much salt you use and the humidity where you live.  This, as well as to prevent the formation of lumps, is why water is added gradually and should be incorporated well before adding more water.
For each medallion you will need about half a cup of flour - so 1 cup for 2, 2 cups for 4 and so on. Knead the dough until smooth.  This may take several minutes.  If you have competent juvenile labor, this might be a good place to employ it.  Once you have a smooth dough, form it into balls (see picture), then flatten like a coin. 
Take a small dinosaur figure like the XXX or YYY and press one side into the salt dough creating an impression.  Use a different dinosaur figure for each medallion.  Your medallions should look like this: