Coffee Ground Fossils

Coffee Ground Fossil (taken from http://www.consrv.ca.gov/cgs/information/kids_geozone/)

Warning: This craft can be a little . . . gross. However, they turn out great!

This activity takes a little patience, but the finished product dries to look like a real fossil. A real fossil that can have anything pressed into it. Names. Flowers. Wimpy Kid drawings. Anything. Depending on how many kids you are expecting you will need to start gathering materials a few weeks in advance (this is where the gross part can come in. I kept our used coffee grounds in a sealed container. Big mistake. They got moldy. They still worked though.) Also, I read that coffee shops keep grounds for compost piles, and they will give them out for free. I am betting those won’t be moldy.

Oh big plus, this craft costs very little.

Here’s the recipe from http://crafts.kaboose.com/fossil.html/

What you’ll need:

  • 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

How to make it:

  1. Stir the together the coffee grounds, cold coffee, flour, and salt until well mixed.
  2. Knead the dough together and then flatten it out on the waxed paper.
  3. Use the can to cut out circles of the dough or use the dull knife to cut slabs large enough to fit your “fossil” objects.
  4. Press your objects firmly into the dough. When you take the object out, you have your “fossil”. If you want to hang the fossil, poke holes into the edge to hold the string.
  5. Let the fossil dry overnight (and up to two days) and then hang it if you wish. This is why it takes patience. It really does take awhile to dry. I recommend baking them if you have an oven. I don’t know how long it takes, but probably only about 10-20 minutes.

Tips:

  1. To cut the drying time, bake the fossils for a short time to get the “dough” to harden.
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