How to make your own dinosaur digging kit

If you have a budding palaeontologist at home, activities that fuel their interest can be both fun and educational. Whether it’s dinosaur colouring, making T-Rex shaped cookies or searching ‘family theatre near me’ and booking tickets to the smash hit Dinosaur World Live show at your local venue, there are plenty of ways to encourage their love of these prehistoric beasts.


One way to give them a taste of what it’s like to be a real scientist on a dig is by creating your own fossil kit and letting them ‘dig’ for bones. Here’s how:



The best thing about this activity is that you’ve probably got everything that’s required at home already, so there’s no need to go shopping. You’ll need:


  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Sand or soil
  • Paint brush
  • Small tray



Now you can create your fossils.


Step one: Mix together 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of water.

Step two: Knead the dough until it’s firm.

Step three: Create dinosaur bones from the dough. You can use a bone shaped cookie cutter or find some images of dino bones and have fun recreating them freehand.

Step four: Bake the bones for 30 minutes at 160 degrees/140 degrees fan. Then remove from the oven and leave to cool.


When your dinosaur bones have cooled, simply pop them in a small, shallow tray and cover them with sand or soil. Give your children a paint brush and let them ‘discover’ the bones, carefully sweeping away the sand just as a real palaeontologist would.


Documenting the find

Of course, the efforts of a dinosaur scientist don’t end when the fossils are found. Once the dig is complete, your kids can measure the bones and write up their very own report, deciding which species the dinosaur is and how old the bones are, and detailing where the bones were found, and their measurements.


Big dig discussions

Not only is a dinosaur dig a fun activity for children to get involved in, it can also introduce some interesting discussions. Depending on how old your kids are and how far their knowledge already extends, you can chat about how fossils are formed. A book or the Natural History Museum website can help explain what circumstances enable bones to be preserved.


Another topic for discussion could be how palaeontologists can tell how old a fossil is. This complex process involves dating the layers of rock surrounding the bones, and requires scientists to measure the chemical structure of certain atoms - the building blocks from which everything is made. 


You can also chat to your children about the subjects they might need to take at school to become a palaeontologist. Biology and chemistry are, of course, very important and while maths isn’t essential, it can be helpful to take. Suggested degrees include biology, zoology or geology, after which you can specialise in palaeontology.


Fuel your little scientists’ passion for dinosaurs by taking them to Dinosaur World Live, the critically acclaimed family theatre show. With annual UK tours and a stint at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre this summer, this is a family show near me that’s made for kids.