We love things that glow in the dark. We also love dinosaurs. So naturally we're going to show you a quick tutorial on how to make your very own Glow Dino Dig.
This is a super fun activity that we are going to make even more fun by performing the excavation in the dark! So stay tuned and get ready for this quick and inexpensive excavation activity that will have your excavating adventurer beaming with joy as they uncover the glowing bones of an ancient dinosaur on the paleontological excavating adventure like no other. 
Fun facts: New research speculates that dinosaurs possibly glowed in the dark under ultraviolet (UV) light, just like some reptiles and birds do today.
  • Sand
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring cups
  • Excavation tools. Wooden dowels and other blunt instruments work well. Sharp tools are unsafe and not necessary as the excavations are reasonably brittle and excavate easily. 
  • Safety goggles
  • Small brush
  • Headlamp
  • Plastic dinosaur skeleton. You can find glowing dinosaur skeletons online that are not very expensive at all. Some even come apart into multiple pieces which makes them even more fun to dig up and discover. You can also paint a plastic dinosaur or dinosaur skeleton with glow paint. Just make sure it is not washable glow paint as it will come off in the excavation and not have a very good glowing effect. 
  • Container - Any plastic container will do. Sometimes you can find really cool oversized plastic eggs on clearance after Easter. These make great molds for making dinosaur egg shaped excavations and would work well for this Glow Dino Dig. 

Pro tip: Get some glow in the dark powder and sprinkle it across the surface of the Glow Dino Dig as it is nearly dry. You can us a black light to charge the glow powder so it shines brightly. There are plenty of different glow powder colors to choose from these days as well!


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  1. Put one cup of sand in your mixing bowl.
  2. Add one-third cup Plaster of Paris.
  3. Use the wooden spoon to mix the sand and Plaster of Paris.
  4. Add one-third cup of water and mix.
  5. Keep adding small amounts of water until you reach a pancake like batter consistency. 
  6. Add the glow in the dark dinosaur skeleton in the container. 
  7. Pour a layer of the mixture into the container to cover the glow dino.
  8. Gently tap the sides of the container to remove any air bubbles. This will also allow a little mixture under and around the dinosaur skeleton. The dinosaur may try and float to the surface. You can push it back under as the mixture stiffens.  
  9. Set the Glow Dino Dig in a safe location to dry undisturbed overnight. I like to put the excavation in front of a fan.

Pro tip: Get a bunch of extra little plastic dinosaurs and use them to decorate the surface of the Glow Dino Dig. You can even get fancy and paint these dinosaurs with glow in the dark paint as well. 

Now the Glow Dino Dig is ready to be enjoyed. Find a dark area that is easy to clean up, distribute the safety goggles, headlamp, excavation tools, and let the excavating begin. 

Pro tip: For younger excavating adventurers, instead of a regular excavation, you can hide the glowing dinosaur skeleton in DIY glowing kinetic sand to be discovered. This is a great sensory play activity, and the glowing kinetic sand can be used over and over again. Simply mix 1 cup of play sand, 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon dish soap, 1 squirt of glow in the dark paint, and water as needed to get the right consistency. Incorporate a black light to really make it glow!

I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and enjoy making the Glow Dino Dig. These excavations are very easy to make, inexpensive, and a lot of fun!
Pro tip: Use this activity to create some excitement around discussions or lessons regarding dinosaurs and paleontology. 
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Happy Excavating!