How to Make Your Own Dinosaur Excavation

Written by sage adderley
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How to Make Your Own Dinosaur Excavation
You don't have to go to a museum to find dinosaur bones. (David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Dinosaur excavation sites allow scientists to locate, research and study artefacts and fossils from prehistoric times. Along with fossils, dinosaur bones and footprints are commonly found in the excavation sites. A mock dinosaur excavation site can be re-created with a children's plastic pool or sandbox, play sand, handmade fossils, plastic bones and a few child-friendly tools. The mock excavations are fun for children of all ages and the dig sites also provide a hands-on learning experience for kids as well.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Plastic play pool
  • 2 to 3 large bags of play sand
  • Plaster craft kit
  • Plastic dinosaur bones
  • Paintbrush
  • Shovel
  • Pail
  • Magnifying glass
  • Modelling clay
  • Toothpicks

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  1. 1

    Choose an outdoor container for the dinosaur excavation. A small, plastic swimming pool for children or a large sandbox are both ideal containers for the dig.

  2. 2

    Fill the outdoor container with play sand. Most home improvement or landscaping stores will have big bags of play sand in stock. Pour the sand into the container until it is one-half to three-quarters of the way full.

  3. 3

    Create a few fossils for the dinosaur excavation by using modelling clay, toothpicks, a plaster craft kit, and plastic items such as toy insects, play dinosaur bones and sea shells. Roll a block of soft modelling clay until it is flat and press a plastic item down to leave an imprint. Carefully remove the object from the clay using a toothpick. Apply plaster, following the instructions inside the plaster craft kit. Repeat this step for each fossil.

  4. 4

    Bury plastic dinosaur bones and plastic eggs in the sandbox while the plaster is drying.

  5. 5

    Remove the fossils from the plaster moulds and bury them in the sandbox. Refrain from placing the fossils too deep into the sandbox because they may be fragile and susceptible to breaking.

  6. 6

    Pour the remainder of the play sand on top of the fossils and other excavation items to completely cover them for the dinosaur dig.

  7. 7

    Set up a nearby area with excavation tools such as a toy shovel, paintbrush (to dust off the fossils and bones), and a magnifying lens.

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