Coffee Ground Fossils

coffee ground fossils pin image

We’ve made a lot of projects using salt dough, but we wanted these homemade fossils to look more aged. With these coffee ground fossils, your kids can pretend they were on a real life dinosaur excavation! An easy kid’s craft that’s doable any time of the year!

baking tray with coffee ground fossils after drying

Why these fossils are so fun to make

Kids will love creating their own fossils by using old coffee grounds, some cold coffee for color, and of course, salt and flour. The coffee grounds make the finished fossils look more realistic, as if they are specked with rocks and dirt. The cold coffee adds a darker color, making them more earthy.

dinosaur shape in coffee ground salt dough

Crafting Tips

  • Mixing up the dough is a great sensory activity. Allow kids to knead the dough together with their hands to finish the mixing process.
  • Kids can try all sorts of objects to press into their fossil dough. We’ve used toy dinosaurs and a seashell. But honestly they can use whatever they want to create texture!
  • These work well as visual aids for science projects and make a fun Earth Day craft for kids.
  • For younger kids, you may want to measure out the ingredients ahead of time, but older kids will enjoy measuring.

child holding a coffee ground fossil ornament on a string

Supplies you’ll need for coffee ground fossils:

supplies you need to make coffee ground salt dough for fossils

Things you may find helpful:

salt dough fossils in the grass

How to make coffee ground fossils

Kids should ask a grown up to save some leftover coffee and the grounds for this activity! 

child holding bowl of coffee ground

  1. Get a grown up to brew a small amount of coffee (you’ll only need ½ cup for the activity) and save the grounds. Allow time for the coffee to cool.

child holding measuring cup of flour over coffee grounds in a bowl

  1. Stir together the coffee grounds, coffee, flour, and salt, until well mixed.

mixing bowl with coffee grounds, salt, flour, and coffee

  1. Knead the dough and then flatten it out onto the wax paper.

child's hand kneading dough

  1. Use the can to cut out circles (or the cookie cutters/knife to cut out fun shapes).

child pressing round cookie cutter into salt dough

  1. Press the small objects firmly into the dough, to leave an imprint. Remove the object, and there’s your fossil!

child pressing object into coffee ground salt dough

  1. You can use a toothpick to poke a small hole near the edge of the coffee ground fossils, if you want to hang it later.

child making hole in salt dough for a hanger

  1. Let the coffee ground fossils dry and harden overnight (depending on how thick you make them, it could take longer).

two photos side by side of coffee ground fossils before and after drying
You can hang your coffee ground fossils the next day, or use them in an archaeological dig!child digging in sand with shovel

More Science Themed Craft Ideas:

child looking at homemade fossil

salt dough fossil

Print Project

5 from 4 votes

Coffee Ground Fossils

Kids will love making these coffee ground fossils and pretending they are on an archeological dig! Make these fossils with coffee grounds, flour and more.

Prep Time10 mins

Crafting Time20 mins

Drying time1 d

Total Time1 d 30 mins

Age Group: Kids Crafts

Author: Amanda Formaro

Supplies

  • 1 cup of used coffee grounds
  • 1/2 cup of cold coffee
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • Wax paper
  • Mixing bowl
  • Some small objects to make impressions in the dough Shaped cookie cutters work well.
  • Empty can or a butter knife
  • Toothpicks optional
  • String to hang your fossil optional

Instructions

  • Get a grown up to brew a small amount of coffee (you’ll only need ½ cup for the activity) and save the grounds. Allow time for the coffee to cool. For younger kids, you may want to measure out the ingredients ahead of time, but older kids will enjoy measuring.

  • Stir together the coffee grounds, coffee, flour, and salt, until well mixed.

  • Knead the dough and then flatten it out onto the wax paper.

  • Use the can to cut out circles (or the cookie cutters/knife to cut out fun shapes).

  • Press the small objects firmly into the dough, to leave an imprint. Remove the object, and there’s your fossil! You can use a toothpick to poke a small hole near the edge of the fossil, if you want to hang it later.

  • Let the fossil dry and harden overnight (depending on how thick you make them, they could take longer).

Notes

  • Mixing up the dough is a great sensory activity. Allow kids to knead the dough together with their hands to finish the mixing process.
  • Kids can try all sorts of objects to press into their fossil dough. We’ve used toy dinosaurs and a seashell. But honestly they can use whatever they want to create texture!
  • These work well as visual aids for science projects and make a fun Earth Day craft for kids.
  • For younger kids, you may want to measure out the ingredients ahead of time, but older kids will enjoy measuring.

This post originally appeared on this blog on June 3, 2016 but has since been updated with new photos.

Coffee Ground Fossils using seashells, starfish, and anemones

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Source

Other Collections of Coffee Ground Fossils

Coffee ground fossils