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Dramatic Play Paleontologist

Dramatic play paleontologist with DIY bone fossils.

A wonderful way to engage children in education is by making it hands on, bonus points if it is a game. 

This activity can be adjusted according to age/ability. Younger children may enjoy making their own dinosaur eggs or simple bones whereas older children may enjoy the challenge of creating a full skull and applying more detail.

You can download our free printable bone template for reference. 

Click here for the PDF

You can follow the salt dough recipe or use clay if you would prefer. 

Basic Salt Dough recipe

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • Warm water


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 120c
  2. Create your salt dough by combining the flour and salt. Slowly add warm water as you are mixing, until your dough forms a playdough-like consistency and knead for a few minutes.
  3. Create your dinosaur bones.
  4. Pop into the oven for 1-1.5 hours depending on the thickness until they are ready. Allow to cool.

Once the bones are ready, choose either sand or dirt and cover your bones. Provide brushes, a wooden and magnifying glasses for your children to become paleontologists and uncover their dinosaur fossils.

Further ideas
  • For older children, you can study the anatomy of the dinosaur/s chosen as well as which time period they lived in.  
  • Add layers of dirt, rocks and sand to your fossil dig to explain how fossils form over time.
  • If you don't have a big area to create a dig site, make a miniature version using a deep baking tin.
  • If you want to increase the role play experience add a wooden chisel into supplied tools as well as sticks and twine to create a dig site parameter.
  • Get your child to draw or paint a picture of themselves on a paleontology adventure and write about their discoveries.


 Recommended Books
-Dictionary of Dinosaurs by Dieter Braun and Dr Matthew G. Baron

-Dinosaurium by Chris Wormell and Lily Murray
-Fossil by Claire Ewart

-The Little Dinosaur by Catriona Hoy and Andrew Plant

Dig In To Paleontology
Mary Anning - Princess of Paleontology
How does a dinosaur become a fossil?
Why don't all skeletons become fossils?

This can cover science, math, technology, history, English and art.