Digging for Dinosaur Fossils

Bite-Science Activities feature bite-sized science concepts that allow you to explore STEM concepts with your children through hands-on activities. Besides having a trove of child-friendly STEM activities, Bite-Science Activities also includes relevant STEM concepts and questioning techniques to better equip you on your STEM expeditions.

By Ang Shi Min

Can’t get enough of these majestic creatures after DinoQuest? Recreate a dinosaur dig site with your children and get them to explore what lies beneath!

Illustration: Science Centre Singapore

What You Will Need

  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of corn starch
  • Dinosaur toy fossils
  • Excavation tools

How To Do It

  1. Pour water into corn starch and stir the mixture consistently to make oobleck.
  2. Bury some dinosaur fossils in it – the dinosaurs should preferably be easily separable into different body parts.
  3. Leave the mixture out to dry for a few hours to get a semi-wet consistency. You can also wait till the oobleck hardens completely.
  4. Arm the children with tools like brushes and spades. Let them have fun excavating the fossils and piecing the fossils to guess the dinosaurs’ identities!

Questions To Explore

  • Why did dinosaurs only leave their bones behind after they went extinct?
  • Get your children to explore nature outdoors and observe the fallen leaves. How do dead organisms break down into simpler pieces over time?

Science Concepts Involved

  • Decomposition happens to all dead matter that was once alive. It happens as the dead matter breaks down into smaller and simpler pieces.
  • Bones take a longer time to decompose due to the minerals found in them. This is why after a long period of time, dinosaur bones still remain intact and can be found by paleontologists today.

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