Homemade Play Dough Part 2: Making Fossils

Excellent, now you’ve got a nice mound of home-made play dough. You’ve extruded it into a myriad of shapes with your Fun Factory. You’ve tweezed pinch pots ‘til you can’t pinch no more. Now what? Make fossils. Kids love fossils. Everybody loves fossils. And again, it couldn’t be easier.

Plastic animals with finished product

You’ll need:

  • An assortment of plastic animals – small sea animals seem to work best.
  • Uncolored play dough
  • Watercolors and a brush

This is a two-part project. For the first part, choose a variety of plastic animals. Next take a bit of your play dough, roll it into a ball, then flatten and mold it into a shape appropriate for the particular animal you have selected. Press the animal into the dough, and remove. Part one is done.

Place your fossil on a sunny windowsill or other spot where it won’t be disturbed. Wait a couple of days, then turn it over so the other side can dry. Or for faster results, place it on a cooling rack. In about a week, your fossil is ready for phase two.

   Using your watercolors, paint around the impression you have made, using black and brown to make it rock-like, or bright colors to make it fanciful.  Then, use a darker or contrasting color to carefully paint the impression of your animal. Let dry a few minutes, and there you have it, a perfectly preserved fossil ready for display.

Two things make this a perfect project for your homemade play dough.  One, the uncolored dough is great for painting. Two, you don’t mind sacrificing some because it is so inexpensive to make. If you get even more ambitious, use a whole batch to make an impression of a plastic dinosaur skeleton, then dry and paint in the usual way. They’re cheap, look great, and are a ton of fun to make.

5 thoughts on “Homemade Play Dough Part 2: Making Fossils

  1. If your play dough fossil sets up hard enough, try pressing fresh dough into your impression to make a relief fossil with the same design. You can fit the two halves together into a whole, much the way you find real fossils.


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