It's no mystery I love adding all kinds of different coins to excavations. A few weeks ago I was at a thrift store and found a batch of coins I had never seen before that I couldn't resist. These shiny plastic coins each had kind a unique and encouraging phrase and were seemingly created as rewards to be given when someone demonstrates good behavior. I have eventually discovered they are quite common and are called kindness coins. I will now show you how to make a fun and simple excavation activity I call the Kindness Coin Excavation using these inspiring little items. 
Fun Fact: It is estimated there is about ten billion dollars in spare change just sitting around in homes in the United States!
  • 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
  • Kindness coins. The are inexpensive and easily found online. 
  • Container - Any plastic container will do. Lidded plastic containers like pencil boxes work well as do metal Altoids tins. You can also find little wooden treasure chests at craft stores that are perfect for this excavation activity. 


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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 a some kindness coins to the container. 
  7. Pour a layer of the mixture into the container to cover the kindness coins.
  8. Gently tap the sides of the container to remove any air bubbles. This will also allow a little mixture under and around the kindness coins. The coins may try to float. This is OK and you can push a few back below the surface as the mixture stiffens. 
  9. Allow this to setup for a few minutes. Then add another batch of kindness coins to the excavation. Keep doing this until you fill your container. 
  10. Optional - Sprinkle some gold glitter across the surface of the excavation to give it a little extra sparkle. 
  11. Set the Kindness Coins Excavation in a safe location to dry undisturbed overnight. I like to put the excavation in front of a fan.


Now the Kindness Coins Excavation is ready to be enjoyed. Find an area that is easy to clean up, distribute the safety goggles, excavation tools, and let the excavating begin. 

I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and enjoy making the Kindness Coins Excavation. 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 kindness, goodwill, and compassion.
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Happy Excavating!