Since the dawn of time, kids have been fascinated with dinosaurs. This is just as true for girls (I know because I have two) as it is for boys. A few years ago, I spotted a dinosaur excavation kit. I thought the idea was really neat because kids got to practice a few techniques in archaeology while discovering a fun surprise on the inside of the dinosaur egg. I decided to investigate how to create my own dinosaur egg at home. Surprisingly, it is quite easy to make.
- Age Guideline: 4 Years and Up
- Time Required: 30 to 40 minutes (plus 4 days of drying time)
The age and time guidelines listed above are estimates. This dinosaur egg craft can be modified to suit other ages and may take a little more time if you alter the craft to fit your needs.
- Miniature plastic dinosaurs
- 2 cups of dirt
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 cups of sand
- 1 cup of salt
- 3/4 cup of water
- Old t-shirt
Ask your kids to go put on an old t-shirt so that they don't get their good clothes dirty. An apron or art smock would also work well.
Lay a few newspaper sheets or old supermarket flyers over your workspace area to make clean-up a breeze.
Tell your children to measure and pour 2 cups of dirt, 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of sand, and 1 cup of salt in a large mixing bowl. Give these ingredients a little stir before continuing.
Now your kids need to add the water to the mixing bowl. Once the water is added, the kids need to work the dough with their hands until it is moldable. This recipe creates enough dough for a small group of children to make a few dinosaur eggs. Of course, the bigger the kids make their eggs, the less number of eggs you will get out of the dough.
Each child will need to select one miniature plastic dinosaur to live in the center of their egg.
Place some of the dough around the plastic dinosaur until you can no longer see the dinosaur. Then add enough dough to form the shape of an egg.
Set the dinosaur eggs aside for four days so that they have time to completely dry out. I know some people go ahead and bake their dinosaur eggs on a low temperature until they are dried out, but I prefer to do it the old fashioned way.
Give your kids a few paints and a paintbrush and allow them to paint their dinosaur eggs. This is certainly optional, but it can be fun to allow kids to add spots or some other design to their eggs.
Set the eggs aside until the paint drys.
Play with the dinosaur eggs until you are ready to excavate the dinosaur from the egg.
Excavation can be accomplished with a spoon, small hammer, or by using a screwdriver as a chisel-type device. Younger children may need the assistance of a parent or older sibling for this step.
You can substitute coffee grinds for the dirt if you'd rather not dig up your yard.
Feel free to use this recipe to conceal a special toy or gift for one of your children. You don't have to mold it into the shape of an egg. It can just be a fun way to retrieve a birthday or special occasion gift.