A step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Fossil fuel for a child’s imagination

Children are endlessly fascinated by dinosaurs – from their alien appearance to their exotic names, there’s something about these ancient creatures that never fails to grab a child’s imagination. So let’s enjoy this step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil now!

Like yourself, we’re always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to engage children during the Summer break.  Whether it’s taking part in a craft activity or reading a book together, spending time together is great and, if you can sneak in a little educational content then so much the better!  Making a dinosaur fossil with your child is great fun and, also, gives you a chance to tell him or her a little bit about fossils and how they occur.  In nature, fossils take thousands of years to form.  Thankfully, even the summer break doesn’t go on that long (although it may sometimes feel like it) so, I’ve put together a slightly quicker way of making your own dino fossil.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

How to make your dino fossil

The following is a step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil with your child.  You’ll need:

  • A toy dinosaur (choose a toy with lots of texture and detail for the most effective dino fossil)
  • Acrylic paints
  • A paintbrush
  • A sponge
  • A glass beaker
  • A couple of plastic bowls
  • Water
  • A block of clay (regular modelling clay is fine)
  • Powdered plaster of Paris

First, we make the base of our fossil with our modelling clay.  Break off a piece of clay about the size of the palm of your hand and mould it into a round shape with a slight dip in the middle, like a shallow bowl.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Next, take the dinosaur toy (held sideways so that it’s in profile) and press the toy into the clay and hold it for a moment or two.  Gently pull the toy away from the clay and you’ll see that it’s left an impression of it’s profile in the clay.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Break off two more pieces of clay and mould them with your hands into long thick strips and then place these around the impression to form a wall around it.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Now, take your water and powdered plaster of Paris and mix these together in the glass to form a thin paste (around the consistency of yogurt).  Once ready, pour the mixture into your clay bowl, leaving a little space (around 1cm) at the top.  You’ll notice that the mixture gets thicker as you pour so you need to be quick.  The mixture should set quite quickly (about five minutes) so, while it’s setting, you can make sure that you have your paints and paintbrush ready.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

After around five minutes, gently prod the plaster of Paris mould to make sure that it’s dry.  Then, gently remove the clay wall that you made around the dinosaur impression.  Now, turn the mould upside down and gently remove the clay base. Now you have your plaster of Paris dino fossil.

Finally, use your sponge to mix together grey and brown acrylic paints to make a ‘rock colour’ then use your brush to cover the entire dino fossil to give it a realistic appearance.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Now that you’ve perfected your dino fossil you can experiment with other animal and insect toys such as spiders, snakes and much more.

The New World of E-Textile Fashion

Looking Smart – The New World Of E-Textile fashion

For the uninitiated, E-textile fashion is the latest word in wearable digital technology. Combining traditional fabrics with digital components, Smart Garments are being created with tiny computer technology embedded into the composition of the material.

E-Textile Fashion

Changing gear

If you’re picturing the kind of outfits that the crew of the Star Ship Enterprise wear, don’t worry; Smart Clothing is being designed to look just as stylish and practical as regular garments, just with much more functionality.

Smart textiles are being developed which contain digital and electronic components such as batteries, lights and tiny computers in order to let the wearer communicate, transfer energy, monitor health and even transform in a number of ways at the touch of a button or, even, with just a certain kind of movement.   Using textiles which easily conduct electricity, such as cotton, nylon and polyester, textile based sensor electronics can be weaved into the fabric creating a kind of couture motherboard.

Why e-textiles?

As well as the convenience of not having to carry electronic devices in a pocket or bag, e-textiles have a number of benefits such as flexibility, permeability, low cost production and discretion. In addition, e-textiles will offer thermal and electrical resistance to the wearer.

The use of e-textiles will be limited initially to two separate kinds; textiles which have electronics embedded into the finished garment and, textiles whose very composition includes passive electronics such as solar cells, conductors and resistors. The first kind of textile will be used for classical electronics such as LEDs for recreational uses like clubbing and events and will have conventional batteries embedded into the fabric, whereas, the latter will be manufactured with the components as part of the fabric and will be used for athletic and military purposes. Such purposes may include the monitoring and regulation of body temperature and the resistance of extreme weather conditions. In time, it is thought that Smart Fabrics may even be able to protect against environment and bio hazards.

E-Textile Fashion

Body Con

Although it may seem a little far-fetched to many, these wearable fabrics may have a very important role to play in our future health-care as they will be able to not only monitor health but also administer basic treatments.

In addition to our health, these garments may even make us more beautiful – by adding anti-ageing moisturizers and perfumes to the fabrics.

Once the technology is up and running, the possibilities are endless – e-textiles could be used in home furnishings meaning that heating, lighting and entertainment devices could be integrated into soft furnishings – giving a whole new meaning to the term couch potato !

The techy bit

E-textile fashion will be produced using fabrics suitable for conducting and semi-conducting electricity. Metallic and textile fibre will be combined to create a fabric which is flexible and, more importantly, washable.

With the speed at which technology advances, many will be unsurprised by this new and very real possibility which will make interesting catwalk viewing!

Creating Your Nature Collage – A Pre-School Activity

Imaginative by nature – Creating Your Nature Collage – A Pre-School Activity

Encouraging a love of nature is gifting your child with unlimited resources of free and fulfilling entertainment. Thus we will be learning here to create a Nature Collage – A Pre-School Activity.

The best part of being a nature lover is that it’s all around us – you don’t need to live in the country or near the sea to be able to enjoy Mother Nature’s gifts; all you need is a park, nature reserve or wooded area.

A great way of encouraging your child to embrace nature is to help them to make their own nature collage – a pre-school activity neck-piece.  As well as making a fun item for your child to keep, this activity involves spending time together outdoors and helps to hone their observational and identification skills.

Nature Collage - A Pre-School Activity

How does it work? 

First, arm yourself with a large bag and pay a visit to your nearest park, beach or wood.  Walk slowly around the perimeter, stopping every few steps to recite, ‘What can we see?’  This exercise will help get your child used to actively observing what’s around him or her.  Take turns in saying what you can see and collect small items such as fallen leaves, acorns, pebbles, shells and feathers (make sure that you’re allowed to do so – most public areas will usually have signs pointing out the rules).  

For each item collected, discuss with your child what it is and where it comes from as well as how it looks, feels and smells. Different shapes? Color? Smell?

Nature Collage - A Pre-School ActivityNature Collage - A Pre-School ActivityNature Collage - A Pre-School Activity

Making your neck piece:

Find a long piece of fabric the length and breadth of a printed scarf.  You don’t need to buy this, try looking through old, discard clothes which you can cut up.  Gauzy or lacy fabrics work particularly well for this activity. 

Using strong white glue, stick each of your collected items onto the fabric – your child can arrange these as he or she pleases, randomly or forming a pattern.  Once dry, the fabric can be used as a scarf or can be displayed in the child’s bedroom.

If you prefer not to use fabric, you can make a traditional nature collage using thick card and white glue.  You can use plain white card or get arty by experimenting with different colors.

Nature Collage - A Pre-School Activity

As before, take your child on a nature walk and collect items of interest.  Back home, you can glue the items onto your card.  Encourage your child to write or draw on the card too.  Try getting your child to look through magazines to find pictures of the items you’ve collected which can then be added to the collage.

The great thing about any kind of collage is that there are no rules – meaning that your child’s imagination is in the driving seat!