Your kids may be too young for coffee, but they can definitely have fun playing with it!  Using old coffee grounds, coffee, and some other kitchen basics, kids can create “fossils” for a mini archaeology lesson.  Make sure to explain what real fossils are, and once the coffee ground fossils are dry, you might even consider burying them in the dirt or sand so the kids can go on a real archaeological dig!

Make your own fossils from basic kitchen ingredients! (photo and inspiration from

Time: About 15 minutes, plus overnight drying time.  Also consider time needed in advance to prepare coffee.


1 cup used coffee grounds

½ cup cold coffee

1 cup flour

½ cup salt

Wax paper

Mixing bowl

Small objects to make impressions in the dough

Empty can, cookie cutter, or butter knife

Toothpicks, optional

String to hang the fossil, optional

Adult Prep: Brew a small amount of coffee (you’ll only need ½ cup for the activity) and save the grounds.  Allow time for the coffee to cool.  For younger kids, you may want to measure out the ingredients ahead of time, but older kids will enjoy measuring.

Kids’ Activity:

  1. Stir together the coffee grounds, coffee, flour, and salt, until well mixed.
  2. Knead the dough (kids love getting their hands messy!) and then flatten it out onto the wax paper.
  3. Use the can to cut out circles (or the cookie cutters/knife to cut out fun shapes).
  4. Press the small objects firmly into the dough, to leave an imprint.  Remove the object, and there’s your fossil!  You can use a toothpick to poke a small hole near the edge of the fossil, if you want to hang it later.
  5. Let the fossil dry and harden overnight.  You can hang it the next day, or use it in an archaeological dig!


– Stacey Antine, MS RD, author, Appetite for Life and founder, HealthBarn USA

A healthy lifestyle isn’t all about food: keeping kids active and fostering their creativity is essential for healthy development, too!  In this blog, I’ll be sharing weekly activity ideas for families to do together

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