In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we’re going to show you how to make a DIY Circus Dig excavation activity. These excavations are super easy to make and are a fun novelty dig to give your young Excavating Adventurer.


Be sure to check out our fun program to get free gift cards to spend in our store. Answer trivia and earn points you can redeem for free rocks, minerals, fossils, seashells, excavation kits and more!


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Check your local dollar store for assorted bags of little plastic dinosaurs, farm animals, jungle creatures, safari animals and more. These assortments are super cheap and are great for making DIY excavation activities




Plaster of Paris


Mixing Bowl

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups

Popsicle sticks – Popsicle sticks are inexpensive, readily available, and make great excavation tools.

Safety goggles or glasses – You we need to provide or borrow a set for each student.

Optional – Brushes and magnifying glasses.

A circus animal play set - You can find these online and often at your local dollar store. 

Plastic container - The container will need to be big enough to hold your circus animals. 


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: DIY Circus Digs are a lot of fun for circus themed birthday parties. 



Check out our awesome collection of exciting and unique Odds and Ends excavation activities! Excavating Adventures has a kit for everyone. Explore dig kits filled with rocks, minerals, fossils, gemstones, seashells, and more! These limited edition, holiday themed, and other odd excavations are loaded with specimens to add to your collections that you often can not find in any other dig kit in our store. 




  1. Place some of the circus items you have chosen in the plastic container.
  2. Mix 1 cup sand with 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris.
  3. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  4. Pour the mixture over the circus items in the container.
  5. Allow to mixture to set and firm up for about five minutes.
  6. Add more circus items and another batch of mixture. This will place items to be discovered at different levels in the excavation. Repeat these steps until the container is filled to nearly the rim.
  7. Optional - Decorate the surface of the excavation with a few leftover circus animals and/or glitter. 
  8. Place the DIY Circus Dig in front of a fan overnight until it is completely dry.
  9. Distribute the excavation, excavation tools, and safety goggles to your Excavating Adventurer and have fun watching them dig in and discover the awesome circus items you have hidden inside.


Animal Architects: How Animals Shape the Earth's Geology!

Fun Facts about How Animals Can Affect Geology:

  1. Beavers are nature's engineers, as they build dams using trees, branches, and mud. These dams can create ponds and wetlands, altering the flow of rivers and shaping the landscape.

  2. Earthworms play a crucial role in soil formation. They burrow through the ground, aerating the soil and mixing organic matter, which enhances fertility and helps plants grow.

  3. Coral reefs, created by tiny coral animals called polyps, are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth. They provide habitats for numerous marine species and protect coastlines from erosion.

  4. Burrowing animals, such as prairie dogs, groundhogs, and gophers, create intricate networks of tunnels underground. These burrows help with soil aeration and nutrient cycling.

  5. Termites, with their remarkable mound-building abilities, can construct towering structures that regulate temperature and humidity within their colonies, impacting the local soil composition.

  6. Birds, such as burrowing owls and puffins, dig burrows in the ground for nesting. Over time, these burrows can change the topography of the landscape and provide shelter for other animals.

  7. Boring bivalve mollusks, like shipworms, burrow into submerged wood, rocks, or sediments, contributing to the breakdown of organic material and altering the composition of coastal areas.

  8. Seabirds, like guano-producing pelicans and penguins, deposit nutrient-rich feces on islands, which enriches the soil and supports the growth of vegetation.

  9. Ants are known for their intricate tunnel systems. By excavating soil and carrying organic matter underground, ants influence soil structure and nutrient distribution.

  10. Bison, through their grazing activities, can impact vegetation patterns and promote the growth of certain plant species, which, in turn, affects the soil composition and nutrient cycling.

  11. The digging and foraging behaviors of animals like moles, badgers, and armadillos can disturb soil layers, leading to the mixing of soil horizons and altering nutrient availability.

  12. Even the tiniest creatures, like bacteria and fungi, play a role in geology. They break down organic matter, release minerals, and contribute to soil formation processes.

Remember, animals are remarkable architects of the Earth, shaping the geology around us in ways both big and small, and their actions contribute to the intricate web of life on our planet!


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Search through your recycle bin for fun cups, containers, and more to use as molds for DIY excavation activities. You may be surprised at the awesome excavations you can create with what you find!


Take some time to explore the Excavating Adventures website for subscriptions for kids, digs kits, deals, and more. We have monthly excavations that get delivered right to your door, Build Your Own excavations, a blog filled with amazing excavation ideas, trivia, tons of free stuff and much, much, more!


Question 1: Which animal is known for building dams that can alter the flow of rivers? A) Beavers B) Prairie dogs C) Termites D) Seabirds

Correct answer: A) Beavers

Question 2: Which group of animals contributes to soil formation through their burrowing and mixing activities? A) Birds B) Earthworms C) Ants D) Bison

Correct answer: B) Earthworms

Question 3: Which marine animal creates coral reefs, which are biodiverse ecosystems that protect coastlines? A) Crabs B) Fish C) Turtles D) Coral polyps

Correct answer: D) Coral polyps