Dinosaur Tracks – Kids Experiment

Roaming the Earth MILLIONS of years ago, Dinosaurs have always been a fascinating species to learn about. But how are we able to educate ourselves on creatures that lived so long ago? Well one way is to study the footprints that they imprinted into the earth. In this exciting experiment you can do at home, we’ll show you the process of how Dinosaur tracks are made and preserved millions of years into the future!

You will need:

  • Used/damp coffee grounds (1/2 a cup)
  • Cold coffee (1/2 a cup)
  • Salt (1/2 a cup)
  • Flour (1 cup)
  • A rolling pin
  • A plate or tray
  • A large mixing bowl
  • A mixing spoon (optional)

Method:

  • Inside your mixing bowl, you’ll first want to empty the coffee grounds, cold coffee, salt and flour.
  • Once everything’s in the bowl, it’s time to mix them all together using either your hands (or alternatively a mixing spoon as a less messy option!)
  • What you should be left with is a blob of mud which you can now put on a plate or tray. After that, flatten the mud out on a hard service, making sure it’s no more than an inch thick. Note: if your mud is too light, try again using more coffee.
  • Next up is the fun part – use your hands, feet or a collection of household toys or objects to make imprints in the mud. Make it as interesting as you can!
  • Now that your muddy canvas has been filled with all sorts of silly shapes, it’s time to leave it for a while and let it dry. We recommend leaving your imprint for 2-3 days in a room temperature location.
  • Over those 2-3 days, the mud will harden and the shape of your imprints will solidify – and that’s it! Recollect your piece of art and have a look at the funny imprints you’ve created.

The Science Bit:

The reason we connect this experiment to dinosaur tracks is because that’s exactly how they formed! Leaving footprints in materials that would harden over time, Dinosaur tracks have been left to imprint for millions of years. Furthermore, the heavier kind of Dinosaurs would also sometimes leave “Underprints”, having such a forceful step that they would actually imprint the shape of their feet into deeper layers of soil. As a result, this would sometimes leave their tracks protected underground. This is a form of “Fossilization” and is one of the main reasons we’re able to learn so much about dinosaurs and other creatures that lived millions of years ago.