Archeology is the study of ancient people, fossils, and the animals and plants that have impacted human cultures. Archeologists discover the history of the world and how it has changed over thousands and millions of years. Many children are fascinated with the world of archeology. One way to foster a child's interest in the science is to include archeology-themed crafts in a unit of study on archeology. These crafts will help children learn about what archeologists actually do to research the world's past.
Cut a slit in the top of the orange and scoop out the insides. Dry the orange with paper towels. Mix 1/3 cup of baking soda, 1/3 cup of salt and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon in a bowl. Pour the mixture inside the orange along with some whole cloves. Wrap the orange in a medical bandage. Store the orange in a warm, dry place for several weeks. Check the orange after 6 weeks. The orange's skin should look dark and hard, just like real mummies uncovered in archeological excavations.
Make Fake Excrement
Some archeologists study the excrement of animals and people to learn more about how they lived and what they ate. One semi-disgusting craft that should spark children's interest is the creation of fake droppings. Depending on the ingredients, children can create the excrement of many different people or animals. Mix 2 cups of flour, 1 cup salt, 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Add in brown food coloring to mimic excrement. Add small seeds, bones or grains to the mixture to make the droppings look realistic.
Fill a tuna can 1 to 2 inches full with modeling clay. Press a bone, leaf or other item into the clay to make a clear impression. Mix two parts plaster with one part water. Pour the plaster mixture over the clay. Allow the plaster to harden overnight. Remove the plaster and clay from the can. Remove the clay from around the hardened plaster to reveal a fossil cast. Explain to children that real fossils are formed using a similar process that can take thousands of years.
Pack several small plastic bones into a sheet of play dough. Cover the bones with a second layer of dough, allowing a few parts of the bones to stick through. Allow the play dough to harden completely. After the play dough hardens, the children can try and "excavate" the bones from the play dough rocks using plastic knives or spoons. If children do not want to excavate the bones, they can keep the partly-buried bones as decorative objects.
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