Activity: Fossils of the Future

Our exhibition, Our Silver City, 2094 imagines the world at the end of the century. What are the things we use now that will become unfamiliar in the future? Will they be fossils of the future? Turn objects into fossils and share them with us.

a lego man next to a lump of dough
an imprint of a key pressed into dough
a lump of dough, bunch of keys, coin and mobile phone on a wooden table

For this activity you will need to make a dough. To do this you will need:

- Half a cup of salt

- One cup of flour (plain is best)

- Half a cup of water

You’ll also need to find objects to turn into fossils. I used an old phone - Its already a bit of an antique! I also used a £1 coin. Do you think we’ll have coins and money in the future?

Have a look around and think about what you will use and how the world might be different. If people in the future don’t have this object, what do they have instead?

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, gradually add the water mixing it in a bit at a time - you might not need it all. When it starts to form a dough knead with your hands.

Take a lump of dough and roll into a ball, flatten it slightly. Press the object into the dough. Give it a wiggle so any details are pressed into the dough. Carefully remove the object and place the dough to one side. You can repeat this with as many objects as you like.

Once you have made your doughy fossils, there are a few ways to bake the dough so it sets. (An adult is needed for this bit).

Place on a microwaveable plate and microwave for 90 seconds. Check the dough shapes and return to the microwave if still damp for short 20 seconds bursts until all set (turn them over halfway - be careful, hot!)

OR

Place on a baking tray and bake on a low temperature approx 120ºC for 2-3 hours, turn them when the top layer sets.

OR

Leave to dry on a windowsill for a few days. Turn it to speed up drying process.

You might want to paint the fossil imprint so it stands out more, or you can use felt tips.

Thicker dough will need more time.

imprints of a key, coin, mobile phone and lego man in lumps of dough
an imprint of a lego man in dough
a bowl mug and spoon on a kitchen worktop with a bag of flour behind

You can use any leftovers to create other objects, beads or sculptures of your own, bake in the same way. Or save your left over dough to use another day by wrapping and putting in the fridge. You can colour your designs using paint or felt tips.

an imprint of an old mobile phone in a lump of dough
an old mobile phone being pressed into a lump of dough by a hand
a lump of dough with the imprint of a lateral flow test in it and the lateral flow test on the table next to it

We would love to see pictures of your Fossils of the Future #NCmaking

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