Fossils are the remains of ancient animals and plants, the traces or impressions of living things from the past ages.
In this activity, children discover how the mysteries of the past are unlocked through fossils. They create their own fossils by collecting natural objects and imprinting them in a cement stepping-stone for the garden.
Materials for One Stepping-Stone:
(4) pieces of 2 x 4 lumber to make a rectangle frame that is 12′ x 18′
(2) 1/2-inch wood screws
ready mix cement (1/3 of a bag makes 1 stepping-stone)
items to make impressions or embed like rocks, leaves, seashells, tiles
container to mix cement
stick to sign the back of the stone
Screw your 2 x 4s together to make a 12′ x 18′ frame.
Spread the garbage bag out to cover your workspace.
Place the frame on the bag.
Pour 1 inch of sand into the frame and spread it out evenly.
Place your fossil items on the sand. If you are using leaves, be sure the veined side faces up.
Mix the concrete according to the package instructions.
Scoop the wet concrete into your frame on top of your fossil items.
Smooth out the top of the concrete with your trowel.
Using a stick sign your name or a message and date into the wet concrete.
Allow the concrete to dry overnight.
After the concrete has set, turn the stepping-stone over and wash away the sand.
Unscrew the frame and remove the stepping-stone.
Peel off leaves to reveal the fossil imprints left behind, but leaves the other materials embedded in the cement.
Place in the garden and enjoy!