Saturday, March 23, 2013

Nature Club: Fossils

The 6-9 year old Nature Club at Woodlawn Nature Center met again this last week. After reading a few books about fossils, examining fossils from the museum collection, and talking about the fossilization process, we hit the trails to find future fossils in waiting . . .

I'd noticed this dead opossum out by the road before we went in, so talked about what would happen for it to turn into a fossil over time.

One of the children found this small bone and we discussed how that might become a fossil over time, too.

We had looked at petrified wood inside and found plenty of wood outside . . . while we still looked for potential fossils, the children also just started exploring!

We found a downed log across the trail, so the girls helped move it out of the way.

There are at least 2 stumps turned into chairs with a footrest the children enjoyed using.

There is something about walking over big huge logs they particularly enjoy!

Inside, we checked out more fossils in the Nature Center's collection.

Then it was time for our edible craft . . . we excavated chocolate chip cookies!

Such attention to detail! We discussed how fossils are found and preserved.

Then we started making modern day fossils . . . sand, dirt, plaster of paris, and water.

We discussed the many layers and years it takes to make fossils and put items to find in our modern fossils, such as shells, rocks, and plastic dinosaurs. 

These will make great digging kits at home! My kids have always liked excavating similar digging kits, so this might be a more economical method that also helps them enjoy more of the process. 

Love fossils? Woodlawn Nature Center will host a huge fossil exhibit from Paleo Joe opening in November 2013.