Introduction: Excavation Kit (educational, DIY, for Kids)

About: Innovation Director at @podgroup_iot and founding member of @openkratio @MakerSocietySVQ @ttn_sevilla @andalugeeks. #Opensource #opendata #ogov #IoT

A really easy and cheap recipe for young paleontologists: an excavation kit full of surprises. Just take a A4 sized box, plaster of paris, sand, water, some toys to plough under. You'll give the kids hours of fun and learning with only 30 min of preparation (plus 4-6 hours of drying).

The mixture is somewhat foamy, somewhat stiff, and not very sandy. Easy for them to dig. As the fun happens inside of the box, there's not a lot of risk of ending with a mess at home.

Check out the steps below 👇👇👇

This is an idea originated after some conversations in Sevilla Maker Society, the maker space on Seville, Spain. Also based on other similar experiences you can check on YouTube.


  • A4 sized box
  • Plastic bag
  • 500g of plaster of paris
  • 500g of regular sand
  • 500g of water
  • Toys, to plough under. Dinosaurs can be suitable.
  • Something to decorate the top.
  • Small wood tools to dig and brush.

Step 1: Prepare the Box

Find a box. We recommend one not too big to save material. In this case, we took the cover part of an A4 pages box. Cover it with a plastic bag to retain the mixture on it. Use tape to stick the plastic bag to the box as you can see on the figure.

Step 2: Prepare the Mixture

Use a suitable recipient. Pour equal quantities of plaster of paris, sand and water. You can add more plaster of paris to make a stiffer mixture, or more sand to have it a more sandy result. Mix it evenly.

Step 3: Pouring

Pour half of the mixture, add the toys, cover them with the rest. Then pull the plastic bag until only the half of the box is covered. You'll win a higher mixture. The spare part of the box will be use for the digging.

Step 4: Decorate the Top

Use what you have at a hand. In my case I used some plastic trees that came with the dinosaurs, sand and leaves from plants in my garden.

Step 5: Wait for 4 to 6 Hours and Enjoy!

As you can see the mixture is not that sandy or stiff, and can be easily dig with small wood tools and brushes.

Do not forget to let know your little paleontologist the importance of patience and respect for the environment. Just as the scientists profess!