Learn how to make dinosaur eggs, then set up an egg treasure hunt and hatch them!
When my husband proposed to me, I had to go on a wedding ring hunt. With such a promising start, treasure hunts have become a tradition in our family.
During holidays, we sometimes hide gifts to make the pleasure of opening them last. One Christmas, I sent my son to hunt for his advent calendar treats. Of course, Easter always brings inspiration with backyard egg hunts. It must be the thoughts of approaching Easter that planted the idea of a different kind of egg hunt in my mind.
Join our dinosaur egg hunt! It can be done any time of the year, and the fun only begins when the eggs are found because they still need to be hatched.
Budster loves running outside, and he never misses a chance to work with a hammer (nailing is fun, and smashing is great). Dinosaurs are his latest passion. All in all, it was a perfect game for my son. But then, maybe you know some other kid like that, too? ;-)
Dinosaur Egg Treasure Hunt
First, I figured out how to make dinosaur eggs.
It was supposed to be a surprise for my son, so I worked on them by myself. It can however be a project to work on together. An older kid should have no trouble making them entirely from scratch with some help!
The eggs are made with kid-friendly air-dry clay. Once dry, they look like aged, fossilized rocks. The small toy dinosaurs are hidden inside, waiting to be excavated.
While drying, a couple of the eggs developed a little crack. It probably happened because they didn’t dry evenly since there was a toy inside, but it was more fun to imagine that the little creatures got anxious to hatch.
My son was more than happy to help, so we decided to break one egg right away!
He used a little hammer to free the dinosaur and had a lot of fun figuring out how to break the egg! It solidified pretty well. Once the dinosaur’s head appeared, my son cleaned him with his fingers and brushes, then gave him to his “mommy.” Adopted mommy, anyway, since the little guy is labelled a dimetrodon, and the big dinosaur you see is a velociraptor. The colours of the dinosaurs matched, so for my son, it was a good enough indication of their relations.
He wanted to hatch all the dinosaurs at once, but I told him that he’d have to wait until Easter. And who knows where those dinosaurs hide their eggs… My husband sent me on a dinosaur egg hunt for Easter a couple of years ago, and he hid one of the eggs on the roof above the back porch! I was quite a sight, climbing to get that egg.
How to Make Dinosaur Eggs
You will need:
– a big tub of air-dry clay (2.5 lb or 5 lb)
– (optional) plastic eggs to use as moulds
1. First, I recommend putting a thin coat of Vaseline on the dinosaurs. If you don’t have Vaseline, you can also try wrapping them in plastic wrap, though leaving them “as is” is also an option. Air-dry clay is water-soluble, so if some pieces get stuck to the dinosaurs, wash them off with plenty of water.
I also put a very thin layer of Vaseline on the insides of the egg moulds. As I noticed later, it slowed down the process of clay drying. It did dry eventually, but if time is an important factor, you may be better off moulding the eggs by hand without using the egg halves.
2. Scoop a good portion of clay into one half of the plastic egg and stick the dinosaur inside.
3. Add more clay on top.
4. Close the plastic egg.
5. Take the dinosaur egg out of the mould.
6. Smooth it with your hands.
7. Give the eggs some texture. I used an assortment of things lying next to my table: a screw for poking holes into one egg, a Popsicle stick for making a spiral-like texture on the next egg, and some glass beads for creating a polka-dot texture. I also left imprints of seashells and starfish on several eggs to give them a fossil-like look.
8. Let them dry for a couple of days. The colour of the clay will get lighter, and the eggs will feel dry like rocks. You can sand or paint them if you want, but after several attempts to do something more to them, I decided I liked their natural look best.
I was pretty pleased with the final price of this project: 5 lb of air-dry clay (~$7) would provide you with twelve dinosaur eggs. Of course, there sometimes may be a shortage of dinosaurs to put inside. We already had dinosaurs from this set by Safari (~$11). So, the final price of one egg would be around $1.50 against the store-bought egg for $7.80 (at the moment of my writing, anyway).
I hope you will have a great hunt!