July 14, 2014

Fun with Dinosaurs {Make a Small Dinosaur World and Salt Dough Fossils}


Dinosaur week(s) has been lots of fun and the best part for me was the day Little One spent in the garden playing with a friend  - ALL DAY - digging for dino fossils. The fossils were some white shells we found on a walk on the beach a long time ago. I hid them in the ground, gave them each a spade and a paint brush, and I demonstrated how to be a Paleontologist (well best I could). After they got tired of looking for the seashell "fossils", they turned to the interesting bits of rock in the garden and then requested hammers, so that some hammering could happen too.

Perhaps it's too wet or cold where you are though to play outside, so I thought it would be fun to share and create a small indoor dinosaur world... for the indoor Paleontologists ;). 

I actually made this scene on my patio table, so technically it's still outdoors, but you can easily duplicate this indoors of course. 

(I must apologise for the very distracting table cloth.)

I used two cardboard boxes and connected them with a long piece of brown felt. I thought the sides of the boxes kept the scene fairly contained, which is helpful for tidying up purposes, and the sides also created a barrier for the dinosaurs to climb over. 

The following things were used to create the scene:

Pebbles/River stones collected from beach walks
White stones (can be purchased at a garden centre)
Small river stones (purchased from The Crazy Store for R20)
Shells that looked like fossils found at the beach
Blue felt to make a dam 
Home-made salt dough fossils (recipe below)
Egg boxes
Home-made volcano
Waterfall made from bubble wrap
Cave made from a tissue box

 I forgot to add greenery, but that's pretty simple, as all the greenery you need can be found in your garden. I added the big egg boxes, which Little One painted, to be the scary volcanic rocks around the erupting volcano. The dinosaurs had to tread rather carefully when crossing the perilous volcanic rock. :) The egg boxes also allowed me to create some height, as they are nice to stack on top of each other. 

The volcano was made from a foam cup, which I covered with brown felt as best I could. I then cut a red square and folded it over the top and glued it on. It took me a few minutes to make it. (A glue gun does come in very handy here.) 

The cave was created from a tissue box. I added some recycled biscuit box cardboard to the outside of it.

The recipe for our salt dough fossils is as follows:

2 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
1 cup of water
Mix it together and then roll it out to make a nice smooth dough.

Once you have made the fossils (or anything else for that matter), put it on a baking tray and bake for a few hours at 180 degrees Celsius.

Even though the children are very ready to move on to a new theme, I have decided to share one more dinosaur post, so hold on tight...it's a goodie.

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