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Easy Salt Dough Fossils For A Dinosaur Sensory Bin

If your kids love anything dinosaur-themed, then you have to make these easy salt dough fossils!

They’re made with a simple salt dough recipe and can be shaped into any dinosaur fossil you (or your child!) want. We hid ours in a sensory tray filled with sand and then had a blast digging them out like we were on a real dinosaur excavation.

The best thing about this activity is that it’s not only fun but also educational! Your child will work their fine motor skills while shaping the dough and then use their imagination to create each fossil. They’ll also develop their creativity and problem-solving skills as they figure out how to ‘excavate’ the fossils from the sand.

Just follow our simple step-by-step instructions below and get ready to unearth some prehistoric fun!

Once your kids are finished playing with their salt dough dinosaur fossils, be sure to check out our other awesome dinosaur activities for kids here.

DIY Dinosaur Bones

DIY Dinosaur Fossils From Salt Dough | Kids will love making these dinosaur bones and using them in a dinosaur fossil sensory bin. It's a great homemade activity kids love! #preschool #dinosaurs #kidsactivities #kidscrafts #craftsforkids #kidsandparenting

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There are a couple different ways you can go about using these dinosaur bones with your kids.

You can make the dinosaur fossils yourself, then add them to an excavation sensory bin like we did or you can have your child make their own fossils and have two activities in one!

You can also add some plastic dinosaurs, ‘dinosaur eggs’ (bouncy balls work great!), paintbrushes, and any other excavation tools you can find to make this activity even more exciting.

If you want to add more of an educational spin on this dinosaur activity, read your child a book like this one on archeology for kids or this one all about fossils and discuss what you learned.


How To Make Dinosaur Bones

Grab a large mixing bowl and let’s create the base for our dinosaur bones. Combine 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of salt. Then, pour in 1 cup of water to the dry ingredients and stir them together.

Homemade Dinosaur Bones from salt dough

Now, it’s time for some hands-on action! Knead the dough for about 2 minutes or until it feels just right—firm and ready to take on any shape.

This is where the real fun begins. Encourage your kids to roll the dough into small balls to start. Then, using their imagination, they can shape these into their own dinosaur bones.

Want to take it a step further? Guide them to create a few fossils like the ones below or any dinosaur they’re fascinated by.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and carefully place your crafted bones on a baking sheet. These dinosaur remains need to bake for about 30 minutes per inch of thickness. Remember, thicker fossils need more time to turn into perfect prehistoric relics.

Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils

After baking, let the bones cool completely. This anticipation feels just like a real archaeological dig waiting to uncover something incredible.

Place the cooled dinosaur bones into an activity tray and cover them with sand. Now, your kids have their very own excavation site right at home. Equip them with brushes (paintbrushes or old toothbrushes work great) and let them gently uncover their dinosaur bones.

Salt Dough Dinosaur Bones | Dinosaur excavation sensory bin
Dinosaur Fossils For Kids | Dinosaur sensory bin

Just give your kids a paintbrush and let them excavate their homemade fossils!

dinosaur fossil sensory bin

That’s all there is to it. For more fun be sure to check out our other sensory play ideas for kids!

Dinosaur Ideas

It’s no wonder kids of all ages love dinosaurs – they’re big, mysterious, and fascinating creatures! And the best part is, there are endless ways to bring them into your child’s life.

From educational activities to fun crafts and books, here are some dinosaur ideas that will keep your little paleontologists entertained for hours.

Dinosaur Books For Kids

Never Let A Dinosaur Scribble! – A little boy heard people say, “Never let a dinosaur scribble!” but he just couldn’t help himself. He gives his dinosaur a crayon and lets the dinosaur go. What will happen?! Kids will be waiting on pins and needles to see the ending.

How To Catch A Dinosaur – If your kids are into STEAM activities, they’ll love this book that has the same group of kids trying to create crazy contraptions to catch a dinosaur!

Tiny T. Rex And The Impossible Hug – Not only does this book have adorable illustrations, but it’s also a great book to help kids learn kindness!

Fun Dinosaur Crafts

Stegosaurus Handprint – This easy and mess-free craft is perfect for younger children! You only need a few simple supplies and our free printable template to start. Your kids will have so much fun turning their handprints into a stegosaurus and you’ll have a keepsake to treasure forever!

Dinosaur Paper Plate Craft – We love paper plate crafts, and this one is perfect for little hands. Little ones can paint their dinosaur any color they want, which also helps develop their color recognition skills. Your kids won’t believe how roar-some their dino creations turn out! 

collage of fun dinosaur crafts

Dinosaur Toilet Paper Roll Craft – This fun activity is not only budget-friendly, but also a great way to reuse materials. As your kids cut, glue, and decorate their dinosaurs, they’ll also be developing their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Then, they can use their new dinosaur friend for imaginative play.

Dinosaur Headband Craft – Let your child’s creativity run wild with this dinosaur headband craft! It’s the perfect activity for a dinosaur-themed birthday party or playdate. Will your child pretend to be a ferocious or gentle dinosaur? Print out the free template and find out!

Dinosaur Kids Activities

If your kids love coloring, then these dinosaur color by numbers are sure to be a hit! Not only will they have fun coloring in their favorite dinosaurs, but they’ll also practice number recognition skills. You can print as many copies as you like for endless hours of fun!

These dinosaur do a dots are perfect for pre-schoolers through to kindergarten. We’ve included a coloring page, a dot the number activity, a Dd for the dinosaur letter puzzle, and a fine motor practice activity. Your kiddos will have so much fun they won’t even realize they’re learning!

collage of dinosaur kids activities

Try out our dinosaur cutting worksheets for a roaring good time! Learning how to properly use scissors is a vital skill for little ones and these worksheets provide the perfect opportunity to practice. Kids will use their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills as they cut along the dotted lines on each page.

Do your kids love getting hands-on and messy? This dinosaur mud sight word writing tray couldn’t be more perfect for them!

With mud made from chocolate pudding and dinosaur sight word cards, your child will have so much fun practicing these simple words. It’s a great sensory activity that also helps with reading and writing skills!

Share With Us

Did you make this craft with your kids or students? We’d love to feature them on our social media!

For a chance to have your child’s craft featured, simply snap a picture of the completed project and post it to our Facebook page, email it to us directly by clicking here, or use #simpleeverydaymom on your social media!

Ideas For Kids

Salt Dough Fossils | Dinosaur Sensory Bin

Easy Salt Dough Fossils For A Dinosaur Excavation Sensory Bin

Active Time: 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

They’re made with a simple salt dough recipe and can be shaped into any dinosaur fossil you (or your child!) want.


  • All Purpose Flour
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Sand
  • Paint Brush
  • Activity Trays


  1. Mix 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of salt together in a large mixing bowl. Then, add 1 cup of water to the dry ingredients and combine.
  2. Knead the dough for 2 minutes or until it has a firm, dough-like consistency.
  3. Create your own dinosaur bones with the dough. Roll them into small balls and then use your imagination to create your own fossil shapes. You can also use the guide below to create a few T Rex fossils.
  4. Bake the dinosaur bones on a baking sheet at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes per inch of thickness (thicker fossils will take longer to bake).
  5. Allow bones to cool completely.
  6. Add the dinosaur bones to an activity tray and cover with sand.

Did you make this craft?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Salt Dough Dinosaur Bones Template

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Monday 22nd of May 2023

Hi! When I baked mine they puffed up. Does that mean they were in too long?


Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

My guess is that they got too hot. Maybe your oven runs warm? You could try again at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time to try to keep it from getting puffy. I would try it much lower, like 200-250, just to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Kat Carpio

Friday 19th of March 2021

hello theres, i loved this idea... but i have a question can the bones that are made be painted and stored or is like a one time thing? Thank you for sharing this lovely activity , your blog is the best! Have a lovely day and stay safe!

Sam T

Saturday 20th of March 2021

Hmmm, I'm not quite sure. It's meant to be a one time thing, but it's possible since it's made with so much salt that it would last for quite a while. I know we had it for about a month and it was still good as new.

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