How to go on a fossil hunt with kids

Dinosaur digs and other searches can be epic adventures. Here’s what you need to know to turn children into amateur paleontologists.

There’s just something about dinosaurs. They’re big, mysterious, and long gone—mostly. “Paleontology is a bit like piecing together this puzzle of the past,” says Kristen Olson, senior coordinator of curriculum and content at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. “It’s a little bit mysterious and relies so much on discovery.”

Searching locally for fossils and artifacts with kids can be an epic journey—and inspire curiosity and exploration. Here’s what you need to know to get started on a junior fossil-hunting expedition, plus five extra activities for kids who love ancient life.

Take heart, parents: You don’t need to know it all before you begin. Still, a bit of knowledge will set you off on the right track—and make you seem like a genius to your children.

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