THAT old fossil?

Want a 10 minute activity that is messy, squishy fun and a good chance to use some ‘out of the everyday routine’ language? Great! So did I. I had used this activity years ago at a summer school. It went down a treat. I was reminded of it after watching an episode of Charlie & Lola (BBC kids TV) where the characters find a real fossil. Just type ‘coffee grounds fossil’ into a google search and you will hit many pages with the same recipe. To save you the great trouble of doing so, just tap ‘read more’ and get it here.

You need:

  • 1 cup of used coffee grounds (a small cup goes a long way)
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of cold coffee
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • A mixing bowl
  • Grease proof / wax paper
  • One toothpick-like object per artist
  • A used tin can (optional, but useful)

Mix the coffee grounds, the flour, salt and cold coffee together adding more flour if needed to create a good firm dough. Flatten it with the palm of your hand, then use the tin can to roll it a bit flatter. Use the can again to cut out circular shapes and the toothpick to draw your design. Bake at 200℃ for 20 minutes or leave outside until dry. Enjoy your fossil.

You can do some preparatory reading about fossils or the way they are made before to give you some extra language points to drop into the process, but for our house the act of making together with new words like ‘knead’ (the dough) used as and when necessary was enough. Whole activity time including baking 30 minutes. Completed coffee fossils are now a talking point and who knows where the conversation could take you?


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