Saturday, February 12, 2011

Treasure Stones

Encourage your budding Paleontologist with these cool fossil stones!
 You will need:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup used coffee grounds (set out overnight to dry)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sand
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Small toys (We used small, plastic dinosaurs.)
  • "Tools" to break open stones. (We used toothbrushes and wooden craft spoons.)
Recipe makes 4 stones.

How to:
  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Slowly add water, stirring until the mixture forms a dough.
  2. Roll a piece of the dough into a ball about the size of a baseball. Use your finger to bore a hole to the center, push in small toy, then seal hole back up with more dough.
  3. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Place stones on baking sheet and cook for 40 minutes at 170 degrees. Let cool before breaking open.

Assembly line of dinosaur hunters

I found this craft in Family Fun magazine and it was one of the crafts from Elliott's 3rd birthday. (Dinosaur party.) I ended up making several batches of it because I wanted each child to have two stones to break open and because the dinosaur figures proved a bit difficult to cover with all their long tails and necks.

These were so easy and really fun to make. The recipe is perfect for young kids to help with. I was very nervous about putting plastic in the oven (!!!) and even did some searching on the Internet before I got the guts to do it. But, no problems. The temperature of the oven was actually so low, that the baking sheet probably could have been picked up without a pot holder. (But, DUH, don't try that!)

I stored the stones in plastic bags for about 2 weeks before the party and they held up well, but I do suggest a dry spot to store them. Humidity seemed to make them a tad moist. Besides looking pretty foul, (I think the party-goers thought they were digging through dino-poo.) the boys sort-of loved breaking them open. (Again, the poo look made them a bit wary.)

Really cool project!

Connor totally "dug" it!

Christian wouldn't touch it with his bare hands!

Elliott's Evaluation:
There were dinosaurs inside! They were kind of hard to open. We used toothbrushes to brush the dirt off our dinosaurs. I don't brush my teeth with that toothbrush. Do we still have those dinosaurs? Let's have another dinosaur party and do all those crafts again.

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