How do you teach kids about fossils?

How do you teach kids about fossils?

Learn about how fossils are made, Mary Anning, and organise a fossil hunt!

How are fossils made?

Some animals many years ago were buried quickly after their death, in substances like sand, volcanic ash or mud. Usually, the soft parts like the muscle rot away, leaving the hard parts like the skeleton behind. Then overtime more layers of sediment cover the remains, as more layers of sediment build up on top, the sediment around the skeleton begins to compact and turn to rock. The bones then start to be dissolved by water seeping through the rock. Minerals in the water replace the bone, leaving a rock replica of the original bone called a fossil.

💡 Fossils are only found in sedimentary rocks.
💡 Bones, teeth, shells, and other hard body parts can be fairly easily preserved as fossils.

Who was Mary Anning? 

In this BBC bitesize video on historical people. Mary Anning tells us about her upbringing with her father and brother and her amazing fossil discoveries.

Making fossils

Fossils are so much fun to make and are a great addition for any fossil theme learning experience. Follow these simple steps to make your own pretend fossils!

You will need:

Roll your sleeves up, put all the dry ingredients into a bowl, and mix them. Pour in the liquid and continue to mix. Turn the dough out on to a dry surface and knead for three to four minutes. Now for the exciting part! Time to make some imprints... Pinch off small fistfuls of dough and shape into flattened rounds, similar to the size of a biscuit. Press your dinosaur toy into the dough and then peel it off very, very gently. Bake at 200 degrees until your fossil is dry or leave to dry for one to two days.   

Organise a fossil hunt

After your fossils have cooled, bury them in the garden, or hide them around the house, and invite your little paleontologists to hunt for fossils!

Fossil collection

If your kids enjoyed learning about fossils, they’ll LOVE this fossil collection! It features 9 hand-picked specimens, a full-colour identification chart and activity guide.