Fossil Activities for Kids


Become a fossil finder with just an old toothbrush and a shovel.
Become a fossil finder with just an old toothbrush and a shovel.
2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Fossil activities for kids are a great way for kids to get a little dirty and learn something about the past. There might not be a lot of ancient dinosaur bones waiting to be dug up, but there are still quite a few fossils left to uncover.

Finding fossils is surprisingly easy; there might even be a few buried in the back yard. Just pick up a magnifying glass, grab some gloves, and start observing.

Follow the links below to learn about fossil activities for kids:

Fossil Finder

Head for the back yard and dig for dead bugs or plants that might turn into fossils.

City Fossil Hunt

Ordinary buildings can be a treasure trove of hidden fossils.

Can you dig it? Keep reading to learn how to find possible fossils right outside in the yard.

For more science crafts and activities for kids, check out:

Fossil Finder

Use an old toothbrush and a shovel to become a fossil finder.
Use an old toothbrush and a shovel to become a fossil finder.
2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Kids can become fossil finders by searching for fossils in the making. Best of all, they can look right in their own back yards.

What You'll Need:

  • Small garden shovel
  • Work gloves
  • Old toothbrush

How to Become a Fossil Finder:

Step 1: Make sure to give kids permission before they dig in any part of a landscaped yard. When they start digging, make sure they do so carefully with a small work shovel and gloves.

Step 2: Leaves or dead bugs will be embedded in the soil. When kids find one, they can use an old toothbrush to carefully remove excess dirt from the "fossil."

Step 3: See if it's possible to gently remove the bug or plant. Is there an impression left where the bug once was? Now imagine -- left undisturbed, that very bug might have been transformed into a fossil millions of years into the future. See how the future is connected to the past?

Find fossils hidden within building structures in the next section.

For more science crafts and activities for kids, check out:

City Fossil Hunt

Explore building structures to find fossils in the middle of the city.
Explore building structures to find fossils in the middle of the city.
2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Sometimes sedimentary and metamorphic rocks are used to make buildings. A city fossil hunt is a fun way for kids to find fossils right in the middle of the city.

What You'll Need:

  • Magnifying glass
  • Notebook
  • Pen or pencil

How to go on a City Fossil Hunt:

Step 1: Take a walk around the city and hunt for buildings built partly from rock. The rocks used most often are granite and marble. Granite was formed from hardened lava, so it won't have any fossils in it. It's rare to find fossils in metamorphic rock, but observe them closely anyway.

Step 2: There may be a few fossils of sea shells stretched and deformed along with the rock. Building that use sedimentary rocks are more likely to have fossils in them.

Step 3: Look carefully for the remains of ancient creatures. They may be small, so use a magnifying glass to hunt for tiny shells. Keep track of any findings.

For more science crafts and activities for kids, check out: