How to make salt dough dinosaur fossils

Dinosaurs have captivated kids’ imaginations for generations. Their presence in books, films, TV shows and even theatre proves how fascinating they are to us, whether it’s the tiny microraptor or the gigantic T-rex. Indeed, if you’re looking online for ‘family theatre near me’, you’ll find that the hit production, Dinosaur World Live, is playing at a venue local to you. Aimed at families, it’s a great introduction to the world of theatre - and of course, the world of prehistoric creatures.


Making salt dough

If you need a way to entertain dino-mad kids for the afternoon in the meantime, making salt dough fossils is a fun activity that allows little ones to get messy and learn a little in the process. Here’s what you’ll need:

1. 250g plain flour

2. 125g table salt

3. 125ml water

  • 4. Scoopful of coffee grounds (optional)


To make the dough, simply mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. If you want to make the dough more textured and rock-like, add a scoop of coffee grounds at this point too. Then add the water a little at a time until it comes together into a ball and knead it well.


Create the fossils

Divide your dough into small balls and flatten them slightly. Then press a plastic dinosaur firmly in and lift it out to make an imprint. You can experiment with different dinosaur toys or create footprints by using a larger toy and stamping the foot into the dough.

If you want to get really creative, you can set some dough aside to make dinosaur bones. Simply pull up an image of real dino bones on Google and sculpt your dough to look like them. Once they’re baked you can hide them in the sand pit for your little ones to ‘discover’.

When you’ve made your fossils, pop them on a baking tray and bake at around 100°C for two to three hours until fully hardened. Then leave them to cool.


Paint your fossils

This step is optional for children who like their creations to be colourful! Once your fossils are cooled, you can let your kids loose with paints and brushes. If your child likes things to look realistic, they can paint bones a neutral brown or yellow colour, while those who simply want their fossils to look pretty can go wild with blues, greens, purples and oranges.


Discover dinosaurs near you

Kids can learn more about both their favourite dinos as well as the lesser known ones at the Dinosaur World Live family theatre show. Touring the UK between August and November 2024, this stunning production uses puppetry to educate children about some of the most interesting dinosaurs. Google ‘family show near me’ to find out where your nearest performance is. Aimed at kids aged three and up, the show is just 50 minutes long with no interval, and features a special meet and greet at the end. Book your tickets today!