4 How To Make Salt Dough Dinosaurs and Fossils Ideas

4 How To Make Salt Dough Dinosaurs and Fossils Ideas


If you've never experimented with salt dough, then you're totally missing out. I literally love playing with this stuff. Salt dough is inexpensive, very easy to make, and can be used for all kinds of fun and educational crafts and activities for kids.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you 4 different ways to use salt dough to make dinosaurs and fossils. 
We will start with showing you how to make salt dough dinosaur bones that you bake it the oven to hardened. Next, we will make awesome no bake salt dough fossils. Then we will discuss how to tweak the no bake recipe for classrooms, birthdays, and large groups of kids. Finally, we will make a salt dough volcano that we will use as a centerpiece to create a dinosaur playset any child would love!
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How to Make Salt Dough Dinosaur and Fossil Idea #1: Salt Dough Dinosaur Bones


As I mentioned before, salt dough is super easy to make and you probably already have all of the ingredients in your cupboard. We will use the following salt dough recipe for all of our dinosaur and fossil ideas, but will we simply discuss different ways of utilizing this awesome mixture to create our dinosaur and fossil themed goodies.

In this first activity, we are going to be making salt dough dinosaur bones. Feel free to do this activity with your children, or you can make a batch of fake dinosaur bones that can be used for all kinds of fun digging and excavating activities. You can hide the bones in a bin of sand for a fun fossil find, or you can bury them in a sandbox to create a realistic fossil bed. 


Pro tip: Dinosaur shaped cookie cutters are a great addition to salt dough play. Children can cut out awesome dinosaur shapes that you can dry and keep for a very long time. You can even use a straw to poke a hole in the top of the salt dough dinosaur shape. Once dried, you can tie a loop of string or yarn through the hole to create hanging dinosaur decorations. 



  • Water 
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Sand
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Cookie sheet
  • Tray or bin
  • Brush
  • Optional - Brown water color paint


Pro Tip: Use a brush and paint your salt dough dinosaur bones with brown water color paint. The brown water color gives the dinosaur bones a cool and realistic fossil style look. 


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  1. Preheat you oven to 325 degrees. 
  2. Mix 2 cups of flour with 1 cup of salt in the mixing bowl.
  3. Mix in 1 cup of water.
  4. Knead the dough for a minute or so until the dough becomes firm. 
  5. Shape the dough into dinosaur bone shapes. Feel free to make all kinds of different sizes and shapes of dino bones. Don't worry if they do not look perfect as the kids will enjoy them anyway!
  6. Place the salt dough dinosaur bones on the cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes for each inch of thickness. 
  7. Optional - Once you bones have been removed from the oven and cooled, paint them with the brown water color paint. 
  8. Add the bones to the tray or bin and cover with sand.
  9. Provide your young Excavating Adventurer with a brush, let them dig into the salt dough dinosaur bones, and become paleontologists for the day!


Pro tip: Make salt dough dinosaur tracks. These are super easy to do and a lot of fun. Just follow the instructions above to make a batch of salt dough. Then flatten a piece out until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Now use a toy dinosaur to make a set of tracks in the salt dough. Once dry, you have a cool set of salt dough dinosaur tracks. 


If you love making salt dough dinosaurs and fossils, then you should check out our fun and easy post DIY Real Fossil Dig Kit and learn how to make your own dino digs filled with real fossils to find and enjoy. 


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How to Make Salt Dough Dinosaur and Fossil Idea #2: No Bake Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils


This salt dough activity is going to be focused on fossils. Sometimes we don't have an oven available, so in this tutorial we are going to discuss an extremely simple no bake salt dough method to make our dinosaur fossils.

We will be using the same supplies from above, but we are going to alter the instructions a little bit. Instead of making dinosaur bones, we are going to create some awesome little dinosaur fossils. These no bake dinosaur fossils turn out super cool, and are a great activity to include in any dinosaur focused lesson.

The only thing you will need in addition to the supplies above are some little plastic dinosaurs. We will be pressing the dinosaurs into the salt dough to make our fossils. You can also use shells, real fossils, or pretty much anything that will make a cool shape you would like to fossilize.

Now, all you do is make a batch of salt dough. Once your dough is prepared, use your hands to roll up some balls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Then press the dough into a flat round cookie shaped that is about 1/2 inch thick. Next, press your dinosaur into the dough and carefully remove it while trying not to mess up the imprinted image. 

That's it! You have made awesome no bake salt dough fossils.


All you have to do now is let them dry for two to six days at room temperature. You can speed up the drying time by placing the salt dough fossils in front of a fan. 


Pro tip: For a whole lot of extra salt dough fossil fun, hide the fossils in some sand like we did with dinosaur bones above. 


Continue your awesome exploration of dinosaurs and fossils by learning how to make dinosaur egg dig kits. These fun and simple to make DIY dinosaur egg ideas are easy to do at home, inexpensive, and are always a hit with kids!


How to Make Salt Dough Dinosaur and Fossil Idea #3: No Bake Salt Dough Fossils for the Classroom


We are now going to discuss how to make fossils in the classroom without baking. If you haven't realized yet, this stuff is super easy to work with and can be utilized for a lot of different dinosaur and fossil themed activities. For the classroom, simple scale up the recipe and make a big batch of salt dough.

First, pass out a paper plate to each student and instruct them to write their name on the plate. This will avoid any confusion over who's fossil is who's once they are dried and ready to take home.

Pass out a ball of dough and a dinosaur to each student. Instruct them to flatten the ball of dough on their paper plate. Then have the students use the dinosaur to make an image in the dough. 

Now, place the salt dough dinosaur fossils on a table or windowsill for several days until they are completely dry. This is a great way to make dinosaur fossils in the classroom without baking. 

Once the fossils have dried, you can use them during a lesson on fossils and dinosaurs. If you have water colors available, you can even allow the students to decorate their fossils. 

This is a very budget friendly classroom activity. Parents may even be willing to donate the supplies, so be sure to keep no bake salt dough fossils in mind as you plan your next dino themed lesson. 


Pro tip: Check out our post about how to go gem mining in your own backyard. But instead of gems, add fossils to the buckets for some real dinosaur discovery and fossil fun. 


How to Make Salt Dough Dinosaur and Fossil Idea #4: Make a Salt Dough Volcano Dinosaur Playset


Last but certainly not least, we are going to show you how to make a salt dough volcano.


I love salt dough volcanoes because not only can we use them to make a super awesome dinosaur playset, we can actually make our volcano in a way that it will actually erupt. This DIY dinosaur playset is not only super fun to use in imaginative play, but can also be used as an educational tool to teach about chemical reactions. 

First, get a piece of cardboard to be the base for your volcano. Two feet by two feet is a good size. Next, cover the cardboard with aluminum foil. Now make a big batch of salt dough and mold it into a volcano shape. 

Once the volcano is formed, make a crater at the top. Push a small plastic cup down into the crater. The cup will hold our eruption mixture... more on that in a moment. 

Now let your salt dough volcano dry for several days. I highly recommend you place it in front of a fan to speed up the drying time. 

After the volcano is dry, you can paint it and add dinosaurs around its base. 

Once the DIY dinosaur playset has been enjoyed, get ready for an eruption. 

Fill the cup in the crater of the volcano with a tablespoon or two of baking soda.


Now, take a cup of white vinegar and add a couple drops of red food coloring. Once you are ready for the eruption, quickly pour the vinegar into the cup of baking soda. Your volcano will bubble and fizz as the foamy red lava flows down the side of your super cool salt dough volcano. 


Pro Tip: Feel free to add real fossils to salt dough and make fun little salt dough fossil dig kits. We also have excavations for purchase with real dinosaur bones inside for your Excavating Adventurer to discover and collect!

Pro tip: Any of these four salt dough dinosaur and fossils ideas are a super fun addition to lessons or discussions involving fossils, dinosaurs, paleontology and more!

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I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and had fun creating dinosaur bones, fossils, and even a volcano with salt dough. 

Journey into the Mesozoic Era: Unearthing the Secrets of Dinosaurs and Paleontology


Here's a list of fun facts about dinosaurs and paleontology for kids:

  1. Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago and were the largest land animals that ever existed.
  2. Paleontology is the study of dinosaurs and other ancient life forms through the examination of fossils.
  3. The word "dinosaur" means "terrible lizard," but dinosaurs were not actually lizards.
  4. Paleontologists are scientists who study dinosaurs and fossils to learn about Earth's history.
  5. The largest dinosaur ever discovered is called Argentinosaurus, and it was as long as three school buses.
  6. Birds are considered modern-day dinosaurs because they share a common ancestor with dinosaurs.
  7. Some dinosaurs were herbivores, meaning they only ate plants, while others were carnivores and ate meat.
  8. The first dinosaur fossil was discovered in the early 1800s in England.
  9. T-Rex, short for Tyrannosaurus Rex, was one of the most famous dinosaurs and had a huge head with sharp teeth.
  10. Some dinosaurs, like Stegosaurus, had plates on their backs that helped regulate their body temperature.
  11. Triceratops had three large horns on its face and a bony frill at the back of its head.
  12. Dinosaurs laid eggs, just like birds and reptiles do today.
  13. The study of dinosaur footprints is called ichnology and helps scientists understand how dinosaurs moved and interacted.
  14. Many dinosaurs had feathers, which may have been used for insulation or display.
  15. The meteor impact that occurred about 65 million years ago is believed to have caused the extinction of most dinosaurs.
  16. Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of ancient organisms, and they can be bones, footprints, or even dung!
  17. The study of fossils can help us understand how life on Earth has changed over time.
  18. Some paleontologists specialize in studying specific types of dinosaurs, such as T-Rex or Triceratops.
  19. The discovery of fossils and dinosaur bones can give us clues about the Earth's climate and environments in the past.
  20. There are still many mysteries and new discoveries to be made in the field of paleontology!

Remember, these fun facts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dinosaurs and paleontology. There's so much more to explore and learn about these fascinating creatures!


If you love rocks, geology, and excavating as much as we do, be sure to check out our Excavating Adventures monthly subscription by clicking the link below and get an awesome new excavation delivered each month loaded with rocks, minerals, gemstones, fossils, and more!

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