On Playground Fossil Pits

One of the features in the Omaha Montessori playground featured below is a ‘fossil pit’, which appears to be a rock pile, presumably with fossil-containing specimens.
I have been to playgrounds where the ‘fossil pit’ consisted of some fake bones molded in concrete below the sand, which could be dug away to reveal them. The kids of course knew they were fake; their artificial nature and the fact that they were fixed in place led to their being quickly ignored. Much better, I think, to simply include hunks of fossil-containing rock, either in the sand or in a large rock pile. Where I live, the native limestone is full of simple shell and worm fossils. My childhood friends and I spent hours turning over the rocks in my mother’s garden in search of them. So if you’re putting in a rock edging anyway, simply check the rocks and put the fossil side uppermost.
Another idea enjoyed by children is to ‘seed’ the sandpit; if you want to keep with the fossil theme you could use shark teeth, but my favorite is simply the black polished rocks used in Oriental gardens. Be prepared to re-seed regularly, as the children will want to keep their treasures.
[image from the Florida fossil fair]

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