Amaze Your Brain at Home: Paleontology

Amaze Your Brain at Home

Paleontology activities and experiments have arrived! Investigate prehistoric times with us and discover what a fossil dig looks like, measure colossal creatures of the past, and design a dig site for your little one to find dinosaur bones.

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All Ages

Excavation from Home

Explore the complex process and important decisions that are made to get fossils out of the ground and on their way to a museum! This video will walk you through what a fossil dig may look like and what tools are used along the way, as you excavate a favorite dessert – chocolate chip cookies!


Salty Fossils

Calling all paleontologists-in-training! Experiment with a Museum educator to learn about bone preservation and get hands on when forming your own homemade fossils. Don’t forget to share your excavated results with us!


Salty Fossils Activity

Explore the process of permineralization with this experiment and get ready to excavate your own “fossilized” object!    DOWNLOAD PDF

Paleo Trivia

Paleo fanatics of all ages put your dino-knowledge to the test with this fun quiz. Will you get 100% correct?  DOWNLOAD PDF    DOWNLOAD ANSWER KEY

Meet Dr. Ron Tykoski

Listen along as Dr. Ron Tykoski, director of the paleontology lab at the Perot Museum, shares the truth about pop culture dinosaur films and explains myths that come from these videos.

What is a Fossil Preparator?

Ever wondered what happens to those fossils once they are dug out of the ground? Join our Fossil Lab Manager as she explains what a fossil preparator is. Get a closer look at the tools they use and how one gets started in that field of work.

What is a Dinosaur?

Did you know there a few key traits that all dinosaurs share? Tune into this video to find out their unique skeletal features and learn how this sets them apart from other prehistoric creatures.


Dinosaurs Alive! Movie

Go on a global adventure of science and discovery! Catch the earliest dinosaurs on the big screen from creatures of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous.

Early Childhood (Ages 18 months - 4 yrs)

Story time and Dinosaur Yoga with Gerald the Gnome

Have a roaring great time! Stomp on over with your young one and explore the topics of paleontology and extinction with themed yoga, and open up your ears for Edwina – a story about a dinosaur who didn’t know she was extinct.  WATCH ON YOUTUBE

With simple and fun instructions, your young one can enjoy a peaceful exercise format that familiarizes them with prehistoric creatures.  DOWNLOAD PDF

Backyard Fossils

You don’t need a shovel to find these ancient remains – you can make them inside your home! Young ones can work alongside an adult to mold their own fossils using common household items.


Digging for Dinos

Hunt for buried treasure with this sensory bin activity! Create your own dig pit and allow your children to uncover “dinosaur bones” as they explore and play with paleontology and fossils.


Dinosaur Book List

Don’t let reading become extinct – learn about dinosaurs from the comfort of your own home with these fun books that are sure to be a ROARing good time!


Grades K-3

Math with Dinosaurs: Measure Your Dinosaur

Head outdoors with your activity guide and tools for a fun mathematical adventure! Follow along with the activity guide as you discover just how big (and small) some of your favorite dinosaurs were.  WATCH ON YOUTUBE

Activity Guide
Figure out how big these dinosaurs were with just some chalk and measuring tape! DOWNLOAD PDF    DOWNLOAD ANSWER KEY


Excavation Station

Aspiring paleontologists will really dig this activity! Concoct your own excavation site with common household items and practice uncovering “fossils” as if you were a professional in the field.    DOWNLOAD PDF

Sticky Fossils

All you need is play dough, glue, and your favorite small object from nature for this creative fossil experiment!   DOWNLOAD PDF

Fósiles Pegajosos

Lo único que necesitas es plastilina, pegamento, y tu objeto favorito de la naturaleza para crear este experimento fósil.  DESCARGAR PDF

Grades 4-8

 Follow the Food

Everybody has to eat! “Follow the food” with us to create a food chain using prehistoric creatures.    WATCH ON YOUTUBE

Roaming with Dinosaurs

Using math, calculate hip heights and body lengths of dinosaurs from given measurements of their footprints.    DOWNLOAD PDF    DOWNLOAD ANSWER KEY

Build your own Mini Museum

Build your own mini museum in real life! Using everyday craft materials, you can build a science institution much like the Perot Museum in your own house.  DOWNLOAD PDF

Bringing Dinosaurs to Life: 3D Printing & Paleo

Learn how 3D scanning has become an important tool for paleontologists in the field.  DOWNLOAD PDF

Create your own Prehistoric Creature

Don’t let creativity become extinct – put your thinking cap on! Draw and describe a unique creature, and decide its lifestyle, diet, and name. The paleontology possibilities are endless!   DOWNLOAD PDF

Build Your Own Virtual Museum

Learn how paleontology, 3D design, and 3D printing are all related and join our conversation about extinct animals and the different forms of technology paleontologists use to learn about the past. Then, dive into TinkerCAD, a 3D design website where you can create your own virtual museum! By manipulating basic shapes and using models imported from and, you become a paleontologist and museum curator.

To check out the link mentioned in the video about Thylacine, CLICK HERE.

Once you’ve finished the “Build You Own Virtual Museum” video, use this scavenger hunt to find the ancient animals in your “My 3D Museum” on  DOWNLOAD PDF

Grades 6-12

Fossils at our Feet

Fossils are evidence that the Earth is dynamic and is constantly changing. Begin with a hunt for fossils in your backyard. What did you find? What observations can you make?

Micro Fossils

See what it takes to sieve and sort microfossils like clams, snails, and shark teeth for display as tiny works of nature’s art.   WATCH ON YOUTUBE

Earth From Space

Learn how satellite imagery is a powerful and recent tool to explore changes on Earth. In this activity, investigate natural events to see how they impact ecosystems and note how the Earth continually changes.  DOWNLOAD PDF


Hunger for Plate Tectonics

Dive into three activities that strengthen your mind! Journey into the theory of plate tectonics, recreate continental collisions on Earth using sponges, and create a visual representation of our planet using fruit.  DOWNLOAD PDF

Plants Preserve the Past: A Deep-time Look at Alaska using Fossil Leaves

Use a group of fossil leaves, called a “flora”, from the Late Cretaceous of Alaska to recreate the past environment. Determine the average annual temperature based on leaves, and draw the environment from the clues left in the plant fossil record! How does it compare to Alaska today?   WATCH ON YOUTUBE

Fossil Plants and Climate Activity
Discover the temperature and environment in Alaska from over 69 million years ago based on what we know from plants!    DOWNLOAD PDF     DOWNLOAD ANSWER KEY