DIY Activity Coffee Ground Fossils

The DoSeum is a place where interactive fun and hands-on learning come together—a place where minds are always at play.  During your visit, our exhibits, programs, and classes will encourage young minds to explore the joy of learning through connections to STEM, the arts, and literacy, but curiosity and exploration don't have to end when you leave!

Explore our DIY Activities, Storytimes, and other family resources that were created for you to DO at home and stay connected with your family while keeping minds at play in between your visits!


DIY Activity Coffee Ground Fossils


Grab your excavation hat because for this DIY — we’re making Coffee Ground Fossils! This DIY allows kids to explore how organisms leave their imprints on Earth, through fossils, long after they're gone. Using used coffee ground, flour, and other household items, we’ll create fossil impressions or excavate out a small dinosaur to see the impressions left behind like a Paleontologist! Coffee Ground Fossils provide time for your family to discuss prehistoric plants and animals and how life changes over time while working on motor, observation, and interpretation skills.

What You'll Need: 

  • One (1) Cup of Used Coffee Grounds

  • One-half (1/2) Cup of Cold Coffee

  • One (1) Cup of Flour

  • One-half (1/2) Cup of Salt

  • Wax Paper

  • Mixing Bowl

  • Paper Towels

  • Items for Impressions (e.g., Seashells, Leaves, Small dinosaur toys, etc.)


Building Tips and Tricks: 

  • Ask your child what they know about prehistoric animals and plants before beginning the activity. Most will mention and know about dinosaurs, but its important to know that dinosaurs are just one type of prehistoric creature. Life has existed on Earth for around four billion years, with many types of animals, plants, and other organisms living at different times throughout this history.

  • Talk about what you can learn about fossils. Does a fossil tell you about an environment (e.g., Is it a creature that lived on land or in the sea?), and what can it tell you about the organism itself? What questions do you have that the fossil might not be able to answer (e.g., the color of the original organism)?

  • Finally, archaeology is often confused with paleontology. Paleontology is the study of fossils to understand the history of life on Earth. Fossils are the remains of organisms from the past, such as dinosaur bones. Archaeology strictly focuses on human history and the study of artifacts. In summary, archaeologists study human history through artifacts, while paleontologists study the history of other forms of life through fossils.

Download Instructions 


1st – 5th Grade Science: Scientific Investigation & Reasoning; Organisms & Environments:

§112.12.b.2, 9, 10; §112.13.b.2, 9, 10; §112.14.b.2, 9, 10; §112.15.b.2, 9, 10; §112.16.b.2, 9, 10


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