Today we made dinosaur fossil tracks out of plaster of paris. Little one used cookie cutters, balls, and buttons to explore the various textures and prints. We sorted and counted the buttons. I think the buttons are going be part of his next sensory bin ;). He really enjoyed playing with them and was really creative. Here are the steps for this activity (pictures are posted below).
1. We got a tray and put oil on it. Little one used a basting brush to "paint" the tray in oil. The oil is to help with removing the dried plaster of paris from the tray.
2. We mixed the plaster of paris with the water to a pancake batter-like consistency and poured the mixture onto the tray.
3. We waited a few minutes for the plaster of paris to dry.
4. Little one used dinosaur shaped cookie cutters to press dino shapes unto the tray.
5. Little one then used various small balls to roll "dino tracks" and then he used buttons to make fossilized eggs and rocks.
6. And, as any toddler boy would do next, he got his dinosaur toys out to play with his creation :)
7. Little one decided to use paint and his toy dinosaurs to make more tracks once his plaster of paris had dried.
This activity does require a lot of washing afterwards. ;). We had to rinse dinosaurs, buttons, balls, brushes, trays, etc. But it was totally worth the learning :)
This idea sprung from a dinosaur train pbs lesson.