Archaeology Tools for Kids

Written by lee carroll
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Archaeology Tools for Kids
Archaeologists use many tools that children can manage. (Archaeologist image by russe from

Archaeology is a fascinating science for kids. The earlier they get their hands in the dirt, the greater their fascination with archaeology and history will be. There are many tools used by archaeologists for digging and finding buried objects. Although some are very expensive and even dangerous for children to handle, other basic tools will provide hours of interesting, safe work for your kids.

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Remove debris delicately with dry, soft-bristle brushes, as explained at the website Archaeology for Kids. Small hands can make use of house painting brushes, artists' brushes, toothbrushes and even inexpensive make-up brushes for dusting away dirt and sand from the interesting finds your kids dig up.

Archaeology Tools for Kids
Dry paint brushes are used to clear away debris. (paint brush 2 image by jimcox40 from


A wheelbarrow is useful for relocating items and for transporting dirt from one location to another. They are essential tools of the trade, as explained by Social Studies for Kids. Although a child would have difficulty manoeuvring a wheelbarrow designed for an adult, smaller versions are available in garden supply stores and even toy departments. Beach buckets could do the same job in a pinch.

Archaeology Tools for Kids
Choose a child's wheelbarrow for easier manoeuvring. (Brouette verte image by JRB from

Shaker Screen

Sift through dirt to find small objects with a sifter or shaker screen, as shown at the website Purchase a beach sifter shaped like a pan with holes in the bottom, or you create your own sifter using an old picture or mirror frame and screening found at home improvement centres. Remove everything from the picture or mirror frame, including paper, glass and backing materials, leaving only the frame. Cut screen material to the size of the frame and staple it around the edges on the back of the frame.

Archaeology Tools for Kids
Use screening material and an old frame to make a shaker screen. (sieve image by siloto from

Shovels and Trowels

Shovels and trowels are used for digging in archaeology. Gardening tools like hand shovels are small enough for children to manage, and masonry trowels are similar in size. Similar plastic tools for younger children can be found in toy sections and beach shops.

Archaeology Tools for Kids
Younger children can use beach tools for digging. (Shovels and pail on the beach image by Jim Mills from


Give your child a notebook or journal for recording his archaeological dig activities. If he is too young to write, ask him to tell you what he wants you to write for him. This is an interactive way to keep your child interested and let him know that you are interested, too. Add snapshots of his treasures, even if they are simply rocks. The more importance you place on his activities, the more likely he is to stay fascinated with science. Save the notebook once it is full to give back to him when he is older.

Archaeology Tools for Kids
Encourage your child to keep a journal, or keep one for him. (journal and fountain pen image by jimcox40 from

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