Dinosaur Fossil Dig Activity

A thematic study of dinosaurs is such an exciting topic for preschoolers, and they will love this dinosaur fossil dig science activity! Children will use scientific thinking and fine motor skills while they make the fossils and then use tools to excavate them to see what dinosaur is hidden inside.

Children can record their findings on a printable recording sheet, designed especially for preschoolers.

Dinosaur Fossil Excavation Science Activity with printable preschool kindergarten

Making Dinosaur Fossils with Kids

Begin with making the dinosaur fossils. This is a wonderful opportunity for children to engage in a tactile experience, measuring and mixing their own fossil dough. This recipe is portioned for individual children to make the fossil on their own. Be sure to make the fossils a few days in advance of doing the excavation activity as they take awhile to dry — you might even want to make them the previous week.

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1/4 cup of fine sand (art sand is a great choice)
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons of water (or 1.5 tablespoons as an alternative)
  • Disposable* bowl and spoon for mixing
  • A small toy dinosaur for each child

*Disposables are optional, but this is an easy and inexpensive way to supply a whole class.


  1. Mix the Dry Ingredients: In the bowl, combine the sand and flour thoroughly.
  2. Add the Wet Ingredients: Stir in the water, mixing until the dough begins to form. Once mixed as much as possible with the spoon, let children knead the dough with their hands to a moldable consistency.
  3. Create the Fossil: Have the children make an indentation in their dough, place the dinosaur toy inside, and then fold the dough around the dinosaur until it is completely covered.
  4. Dry the Fossils: Leave the fossils to air dry completely, ideally for a few days prior to the excavation activity. Set them on a baker’s cooling rack so that air gets to all sides of the fossil.

Excavating the Dinosaur

Once the fossils are dry, it’s time for the excavation! You may want to give children a different dinosaur than the fossil they actually made so that it will be a surprise when they excavate it. Be sure to let them know in advance that the fossil they make is for a class friend.

Excavation Tools Needed:

  • A wooden craft stick (to use as a chisel)
  • A clean paintbrush for dusting off sand
  • A magnifying glass for detailed observation
Dinosaur Dig Activity for Kids with printable sheet

Dinosaur Fossil Dig– What To Do:

Give each child a fossil, the recording sheet, and the excavation tools.

  1. Excavate: Using the craft stick, children gently chip away at the sand to reveal their dinosaur. The brush helps remove any remaining sand, while the magnifying glass can be sued for a close-up examination of their find.
  2. Document the Discovery: Each young paleontologist receives a dinosaur dig recording sheet. Here, they draw their dinosaur and note the tools used during the excavation by coloring the checkmarks beside each tool.
  3. Explore Dinosaur Features: The sheet prompts children to identify specific characteristics of their dinosaur. Here they will color or circle any features of their dinosaur, such as wings, spikes, tail, claws, or horns.
  4. Identify the Dinosaur: The last item on the sheet says “What type of dinosaur did you find?” Here, children will color or circle the type of dinosaur they have.
Dinosaur Dig Activity for Kids with printable sheet

There is also an alternative sheet provided that instead of asking for the type of dinosaur, asks what color dinosaur they found, and children can color in the circle. This alternative sheet was provided in case your toy dinosaurs don’t match up with the ones on the sheet, or if you think it will be easier for your students.

Download the Printable

This is a free printable, just click to download.

Download: Printable Dino Recording Sheet

Dinosaur Fossil Excavation Science Activity with printable preschool kindergarten

This dinosaur fossil dig activity is not just about the excitement of digging up and discovering; it’s an educational activity that touches upon science, history, and even art.

I hope this dinosaur excavation activity brings a roar of excitement to your classroom, transforming your little ones into eager scientists. Happy digging!

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Dinosaur Math & Literacy Activities

16 Printables

Includes: Writing, Listening Skills, Letter Recognition, Letter Sounds, Rhyming, Syllables, Sorting, Measuring, Counting, Patterns, Shapes, More/Less.

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