I host a science club for K-2nd graders once a month called Mad Scientist Club. This month was focused on fossils! For this program I usually do an experiment/craft and then watch an education short film to put the concept visually for the kids.
I had two student volunteers that help me with the rowdy K-2nd graders right after school which is a huge help! 🙂
Our craft this month was to make our own fossils!! I researched this project online and it WORKED! Let me show you how I did mine because there were many different options online that I tried and not all worked.
1.) Get two paper 8 oz cups.
2.) Put 1/2 C of Plaster Paris in one of the cups and add 6 T of water to this mixture. Add water tablespoon by tablespoon until it is a powder-less mixture. You do not want it watery AT ALL. You want it to be pliable but still a little difficult to stir fully.
3.) Then you want to get a 2 inch ball of clay that you can push out into a disc that is about 1/4 inch tall. Use your empty cup’s bottom to cut into this clay to make the same size shape as the bottom of the cup.
4.) Use a mini action figure, keys, shells, etc. to press a design into this cut out clay disc.
5.) Insert designed cut out disc of clay into the empty cup. You want it to lay flat on bottom of the cup with the design fully see able.
6.) Pour in the mixture of plaster paris and water you made and smooth it down. Use all of the mixture.
7.) VERY IMPORTANT: You want to leave this mixture undisturbed for 24 hours. It may seem hard and finished but it is not. Wait 24 hours and then rip off the paper cup and dispose of clay and voila you have your very own homemade fossil 🙂
The kids loved this craft. It just require help from adults to help with mixing with the young ones. I would recommend having a few volunteers with you if possible but really it could be done with one adult.
Then we watched a Bill Nye episode all about fossils 🙂