Prehistoric Dirt Playdough

When we decided to make some fun playdough recipes to add to the site and keep the littles busy, my oldest went nuts for these dinosaurs, I wasn’t impressed as they were just some simple plastic cheap dinos. Still, when we were taking photos, I fell in love with the green one and his over dramatic cry he has when you look at him from eye level.

We decided to do a dinosaur play dough to give the younger kids a chance to make fossils just like the older kids did with the coffee salt dough years ago. To switch things up, we decided to switch things up for this activity and use sand mixed into a classic homemade playdough to make moldable dirt perfect for our prehistoric adventure.

Ways to use this play dough

Playdough is a great way to teach kids about fossils. You can use toy dinosaurs to make prints of the feet and even the entire side of a toy dinosaur. For an even more realistic fossil, you can use a dinosaur skeleton toy to may the imprint to show fossils that have formed around bones that take much longer to break down.

This activity is a great opportunity to talk to your child about how dinosaurs have broken down and became the oil we use today for everything from running our cars to making plastics like the plastic dinosaur toys your child is playing with.

For older kids, this is a great opportunity to talk to your child about how there were only so many dinsours, and there for we will run out of this limited recourse if we do not conserve it. What are some ways we can use less to help make what dinosaurs left behind last longer?

Valcano experiment

The next project on our list is a homemade volcano project and we plan to use this play dough to build the body of the volcano.

How to make prehistoric dirt playdough

This homemade playdough is easy to make and can be done in about 5 minutes with a few simple everyday ingredients and a bit of sand.


:: 1.5 cups flour

:: 1/2 cup sand

:: 1 cup water

:: 2 tsp cream of tarter

:: 1/5 cup salt

:: 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

:: Brown food coloring

To make this work we removed some of the flour from the recipe and droped the water content to help make up for that lessoned flour that soaks up the water. If your dough comes out too dry simply add a bit more water to make it work.

Directions for making homemade playdough with sand

Start by measuring everything out so you are ready to go. This is a great way to make it easy to do this with kids that may get impatient. For older kids, you can have them measure out the ingredients for a bit of fun math practice.

Mix together the dry ingredients. Mix well to ensure the sand is well blended with the rest. along with the cream of tarter that acts as a preservative to prevent the playdough from molding.

Mix the food coloring into the water for the best results. We used one big scoop of Wilton Brown Paste Food Coloring on the end or a popsicle stick to get this shade.

Easy ways to mix it up

Glitter – In a house full of girls we always seem to have glitter running around. Some nice chunky gold glitter would be a fun addition to make it sparkle.

Make more than one shade – You can make this more realistic by making a couple of batches i8n a verity of brown shades to and use to show the layers found in the ground or in rocks for a great homeschool lesson.

Add coffee grounds – Coffee grounds are a dark brown and add a unique soil-like texture to the playdough. Dry out used coffee grounds for this project.

Ways to have fun with this play dough

Playdough is a versatile and entertaining material that can be used for a wide range of activities. Here are some fun and creative things you can do with playdough:

Sculpting: Use playdough to create sculptures of animals, people, objects, or imaginative creatures. This can be a great way to develop fine motor skills and creativity.

Playdough Puzzles: Create shapes or objects and then cut them into pieces. Challenge kids to put the pieces back together like a puzzle.

Playdough Pizza Parlor: Roll out the playdough and let kids make their own pizzas with various toppings. This is a great activity for imaginative play.

Letter and Number Formation: Use playdough to shape letters and numbers. This helps with early literacy and numeracy skills.

Imprint Nature Objects: Go on a nature walk and collect leaves, twigs, and other small items. Press them into the playdough to create unique textures and designs.

Playdough Animals: Shape playdough into different animal forms. Add details like eyes, ears, and tails to make them come to life.

Mini Playdough Worlds: Create small scenes or worlds using playdough. This could be a beach scene with shells and sea creatures, or a miniature garden with flowers and bugs.

Playdough Monsters: Encourage kids to create their own unique monsters with different shapes, colors, and features.

Playdough Color Mixing: Provide different colored playdough and let kids experiment with mixing them to create new colors.

Playdough Beads: Roll small pieces of playdough into beads and string them onto a piece of yarn or dental floss to make a bracelet or necklace.

Playdough Stamps: Press stamps or textured objects into the playdough to create interesting patterns and shapes.

Playdough Mosaics: Roll out flat sheets of playdough and use small pieces to create mosaic-style designs or pictures.

Playdough Pretend Cooking: Mold playdough into different food shapes and arrange them to create a playdough meal.

Playdough Aliens or Robots: Challenge kids to make imaginative extraterrestrial beings or futuristic robots.

Fingerprint Art: Press fingers or thumbs into the playdough to create patterns or make little characters.

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