How to Make a Fossil

on September 5, 2006

Make a fossil using a few household items.

When you find fossils, you don’t usually know how old they are—after all, they don’t come with tags that say, “I’m millions of years old.” And if we believe the Bible’s record of history, we know fossils can’t be that old anyway since the earth was created only about 6,000 years ago.

Fossils can be fun to make. With the help of a parent, you can make one by following the simple instructions below.

What You Need:

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Objects for making prints: twigs, seashells, pine cones, chicken bones (boiled clean) or your own hand.
  • Old baking pan

Steps to make a Fossil:

  1. Spread some petroleum jelly on the object(s) you are going to use to make an imprint into the plaster of Paris.
  2. Following the instructions on mixing the plaster of Paris, mix enough plaster to put about an inch (2.5 cm) of the mixture into an old baking pan.
  3. Gently press the object, or your hand, into the plaster until you have made a dent into the surface of the plaster of Paris mixture.
    • Warning: Be careful not to push your hand or the object all the way into the plaster. It might get stuck.
    • Note: When plaster starts to cure (or set), expect the pan to get warm.
  4. Lift out the object or your hand after making an imprint in the mixture.
  5. After the mixture dries, take the fossil out of the baking pan and enjoy!

Idea: Bury your new fossils in sand or dirt, invite a friend over and have an expedition to dig them up like a paleontologist (a scientist who studies fossils).

Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Each issue of Answers magazine includes an outstanding Kids Answers section that highlights the wonders of God’s creation with kid-friendly information, images and games. This issue of Kids Answers explores the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, teaches children how to “make” a fossil, includes a pull-out dinosaur poster and more!

Browse Kids Issue