Making a plaster cast of animal tracks is a great activity to do with kids while out in the wilderness. It's easy to do, helps kids learn about animal tracks and makes a great souvenir.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
-Plaster of Paris- this can be found at hardware stores or craft stores and is around $7 for 4 lbs.
-Plastic cup or bowl for mixing the plaster
-Plastic spoon for mixing the plaster
Step 2: Find an Animal Track to Cast
Search out animal tracks. Look for clean clear tracks. Look in ground that is a little moist for good tracks. Once you have found a good track pick out any grass or rocks being careful not to wreck the track. Optional- you can build a little wall out of dirt encircling the track to contain the plaster if you would like.
Step 3: Make the Plaster Cast
-In the plastic cup/bowel mix the water and plaster 1 part water to 2 parts plaster. It should be thick, similar to pancake batter. Mix enough plaster to fill the animal track. Once mixed work quickly, it will start to harden within 10 minutes.
-Carefully pour the plaster into the track to fill it up and have some extra on top.
-You can smooth out the top if you want a flat surface on the back.
-Let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can let it sit overnight if it's in a place where it will be protected, otherwise once it is pretty hard you can dig around it and underneath it to get it out. Avoid trying to pry it out of the ground it's still fragile.
-Wrap it in paper towels and let it dry overnight.
Step 4: Finishing the Cast
-If you left the cast in the ground to dry overnight, once the cast is dry, dig around and under the cast to get it out of the ground.
-Brush the dirt off of the cast.
-After drying for another day or so you can wipe it with a wet cloth to get the rest of the dirt off.
-Admire your awesome plaster animal track cast!
-Track can also be painted for fun.