Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Make Your Own "Dinosaur Egg" or "Treasure Rock" with Coffee Dough

You can call these "dinosaur eggs" or "treasure rocks"
but one thing is for sure...
your kids will LOVE them!

My son is VERY much into Dinosaurs and so I recently had a dinosaur themed playdate for L's pals. I made these dinosaur eggs as playdate favors for the kids who came.

What you Need
(This recipe is for a small batch. I quadrupled this recipe to make lots of dino eggs)
    •1 cup flour
    •1 cup used coffee grinds.
We don't drink coffee so I called Starbucks and asked them to save me some coffee grinds. They saved me an hour's worth, which was PLENTY!

•1/2 cup salt
•1/4 cup sand
•3/4 cup water
•mixing bowl
•small plastic toy dinosaurs or other treasures
I used small plastic dinosaurs and plastic diamonds

What you Do

Make sure you've dried out your coffee grinds beforehand.
 I let it set out overnight. Our house smelled delicious!

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
2. Slowly add the water and knead with your hands until the mixture is like bread dough.
(You may need to add more flour and sand to make it a dough-y consistency.
 I added MUCH more flour and sand and it still baked out fine)

3. When the Coffee Dough is at a very moldable state, shape your "dino eggs" or "treasure rocks" however you'd like. If you are putting trinkets in them, youll take your trinket and basically shape your rock around it, adding more dough to cover exposed parts of the toy.

4. You can air dry these for several days OR bake them on a cookie sheet at 150 degrees for about 15-20 or until you poke them and they arent soft anymore.
(My dino eggs were fairly large, so I baked them for about 45 minutes)

Here are the Dinosaur Eggs from my Dinosaur Themed Playdate
I arranged them in a "nest"

The kids took them home in plastic baggies

Pictures of my son opening his "Dinosaur Egg"

Here's a few pictures that some of my friends from our
 Dinsoaur Themed Playdate sent me of their kids opening their egg


Its a baby dinosaur!


Its a diamond!

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  1. Would you really need to dry out the coffee grounds if you are adding water to the recipe anyway?

    Are they really messy to open up (should it be done outside?). I want to give them as treasures for Christmas and don't want to mess up the house we are going to!

  2. I've seen a few different variations for the recipe for coffee dough. In several recipes it does not call for drying it out first. I pretty much went with the first recipe I saw which did call for it, but it seems not to be necessary. It may change how much water and flour youll need though. As far as the mess...they break apart in bigger chunks and it actually isn't that messy. If you let them sit there and squeeze and manipulate it however, then your getting into some mess. The inital break open and get the prize isn't that messy. I'm sure they'll love them! Happy holidays!

  3. Hurray, they worked - they look so neat. Thank you!

  4. My boys and their four cousins loved these! I made a half batch as I wasn't sure if "rice flour" would work being we have a gluten allergy in our house, but it worked just fine! I lost count of how many times I "reformed" the treasure rocks and re-hid them. The kids would find them, step on them to smash them open, admire their "treasure", then ask me to put it back in and hide them again. It was at least half a day of play! Tonight I'll be making a full size batch and simply putting it in ziplock baggies for my boys to share with their cousins for play tomorrow. :)

  5. All I'm missing is some sand and trinkets! We will definitely be doing this!

    Thank you for the great idea!

  6. Great idea... but playdate trinkets??? Oh dear...

  7. lol Sometimes it's just fun to be over the top or go all out for your friends. I don't do "playdate favors" everytime we have a playdate. :)

  8. Hi there, can you tell me where you got the awesome plastic diamonds?

  9. Yes! I got them in the floral section at Walmart.

  10. this is great! Thanks for sharing and I hope that your are scrappin' this fun, those pics are perfect!

  11. Thanks for this I'm planning my son's 4th birthday and it is a dino theme. I just made a test batch and they are pretty cool and breaking one open wasn't messy at all.

  12. Just put mine in the oven and I'm excited to see how they turn out. I am super glad I found your site because all the other recipes I pulled up called for air drying them for several days. I waited until the last minute and need them TOMORROW for my son's 4th birthday party! I would have never though to bake them.:) Thanks for posting!

  13. Yay! Made some for my sons 5th bday. Not really egg shaped but turned out well. Thanks :)

  14. Hi
    I am wondering if the "Dino Eggs" keep well? Say I made them Monday, how long do you think they would last? Do I need to store them in the refidgerator?

  15. Just wondering how the dinosaurs and plastic stuff didn't melt in the oven?? I'm planning on stuffing the pinata with these!

  16. We had dino day at our house today and included a dinosaur hunt. The eggs were our final stop and they couldn't have been more perfect. I made sure to link your site to my blog. Thank you so much for the idea!

  17. Just wondering if you could use instant coffee??

  18. This looks like a lot of fun! I have 2 questions:

    If I understand correctly, these can be broken open by hand, yes? No hammers or anything needed?

    Do you know if anyone has tried mixing glitter into the dough, or would that be problematic in the oven?

    Thank you very much for posting this - I look forward to trying it out with my son and nieces!

  19. The longer you bake them, the harder they are to open. If you bake them for 2 hours or so, they should be easy enough to break open by hand. I haven't seen glitter being added to them, but I can't see that it would be a problem. If you try it and it works, let me know! I bet that would look really neat added to the rocks!

  20. I love these! I do have a question though. How far in advance do you think you could make these? Do you think they will stay good fore two weeks?

  21. I just made these and I think I had more fun making them and getting messy haha I did love making them and the mess that came with it but a very quick clean up :) thanks for the great idea!!!

  22. Going to try using this technique with middle school kids to make "rock" scultures patterned after the Moai on Easter Island.

    1. nice idea to your pics!

  23. Shouldn't you put all your trinkets/toys or whateverr.. in something like an easter egg and then form the dough around?
    Seem like it'd keep the toys clean and offer a wider variety of options.

  24. Thank you for such lovely idea. My son had his birthday party last week (he turned 3). Theme was dinosaur.. I got some dinosaur finger puppets to hide inside the egg.they had to hunt and find. Finders-keepers and They loooveeeddd it. Even the parents enjoyed . My son n his friends wanted more of them.. Lol. Wonderful idea :)
    Thank you for sharing!!

  25. I just LOVE this idea! I used this recipe to make Valentine's treasure rocks for my son's class. I added a tag that said "You Rock!"

    You can see the link here:

    Thanks again for the recipe! I'm sharing this with everyone I know. : )


  26. How many did your batch make? making these for kids at an autism camp...

  27. I'd like to know how many your batch made, as well. I am making them for favors for my daughter's Princess and Knight themed party. They will be dragon eggs, though!

  28. This is a great idea but I was wondering if baking for two hours would melt the plastic toys inside? I would really appreciate if you would enlighten me on that since I'm tempted to try this for my son's "Dino" themed birthday party next month. Thank you.

  29. Hi! How far in advance can I make the dough?

  30. Remembered seeing this idea years ago - glad to have found it here! Making "Trolls" - from the Disney Movie Frozen. Going to put some toy trolls inside the eggs.


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