You can make your own fossil dig using oobleck and some small dinosaur toys.
Choose a container that your dinosaur can fit into.
To make oobleck, you will need some cornflour and water. You will need twice as much cornflour as water, so if you use a measuring cup, just use one cup of water for two cups of water until you have made enough oobleck to cover your dinosaur.
Push your dinosaur into the oobleck gently and leave the mixture somewhere warm to dry. This might take 2 or 3 days. You will know when it is ready because it will get very hard and cracks will appear on the surface.
You can work like a real palaeontologist to uncover your dinosaur. Use tools and paintbrushes to gently expose your fossil without damaging it!
Why not try making these fossil dig biscuits.
Fossil Dig Biscuits
You will need these ingredients and this equipment.
This activity demonstrates how imprints from footprints, leaves and plants would have been preserved in soft ground that was subsequently baked hard by the Sun’s heat.
- Preheat an oven to 160°C.
- Mix together the flour and sugar.
- Add the butter (in chunks) and rub together to create a crumb.
- Knead the crumb in a lightly floured bowl or against a work surface until it forms a dough.
- Roll the dough into a thick sausage shape and cut into slices about 1cm thick.
- Use plastic cutlery to create dinosaur footprints or leaf shapes in the dough.
- Place the biscuits on an oven tray covered in greaseproof paper and bake for 25–30 minutes until just brown on the underside.
- Remove the biscuits from the oven tray and allow them to cool.
- Place the cooled biscuits in the bottom of the second tray. These will represent fossils.
- Now it’s time to create the sediment that will cover the fossils. Place a handful of the shop-bought biscuits in a sandwich bag. Bash repeatedly with a rolling pin until the biscuits become crumbs.
- Pour the crumbs over the fossil biscuits until these are completely hidden (the quantity required will depend on the number of fossils to be covered and the size of the tray). Pat the crumbs down tightly.
- Explain to the children that over time, and with the addition of more layers, the pressure would form further sedimentary rock over the top (but this will not be represented in this demonstration as it would make the fossils too difficult to extract).
- Finally, add a loose layer of chocolate biscuit crumb over the top. This will represent the soil that often covers sedimentary rock.
- Now you can carefully begin the dig for the biscuit fossils.