You can’t talk about dinosaurs, without talking about fossils. Those prehistoric beasts sure get a lot of attention in books and on TV. While fossils of plants aren’t quite as impressive, they are just as important, giving scientists clues about what life was like millions of years ago.
|our clay leaf imprints|
To help my son understand fossils, we hit the nature trail. He collected leaves that had dropped from the trees. He was amazed at how many different kinds there were!
When the rain clouds moved in, we headed home with our bag of leaves. I grabbed a big box of white Sculpey clay. We rolled it into eight balls a little smaller than golf balls.
Then he smashed and rolled it between two sheets of waxed paper.
Next, he peeled off the top layer of waxed paper, added a leaf atop the clay, and then using a rolling pin, pressed the leaf into the clay.
Lastly, he peeled off the leaf and poked a hole using a drinking straw.
Now the only thing left to do was bake the leaf impressions, per the Sculpey instructions.
While they were hardening in the oven, we read about how fossils are formed in a book by Megan Lappi.
It’s true, we didn’t really make fossils; afterall, this activity took about an hour, not thousands of years it takes for fossils to form. But it sure was fun to preserve our leaves for future enjoyment!
Credit: These clay leaf imprints weren't my idea and despite combing my Pinterest boards, I can't find the original source to credit. If you've seen these online elsewhere, let me know so I can give proper credit.