With this project, we decided to combine a couple of our kids' favorite activities; playing with clay and taking "treasure walks" (which is basically a nature walk). We have seen this idea on various blogs and websites, but used the instructions from The Artful Parent this time.
We first took the boys on a little walk , letting them put any interesting leaves and flowers they found into the buckets they brought with them. When we returned home we set to work rolling sculpey into balls. The boys then selected the leaves and flowers that they wanted to make a "fossil" out of. Then they pressed their balls of sculpey into the different things they had collected. Once the sculpey ball was flattened out, we turned it over and gently peeled the leaf or flower out, leaving a wonderful imprint of the item. When the boys were finished making their "fossils", we placed them onto a cookie sheet and placed them in a preheated 275 degree oven, checking on them after 15 minutes. Be careful when you take them out of the oven - they are HOT!!
Here's a couple tips: we found that you have to be careful with flowers and delicate leaves. The had a tendency to tear and get stuck to the sculpey when we tried to peel them off. Also, if you do pine cones we thought it was easier to press them into the sculpey, instead of pressing the sculpey onto them as we did with the other objects.
Once they are cool, you could paint them, varnish them...even turn them into cute magnets! Our boys, however, had no patience for that and just wanted to play with their "fossils"!