In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a DIY Dinosaur Soup Dig. These excavations are super easy to make and are a great teaching resource to include in your next lesson or discussion about dinosaurs, fossils, paleontology, and more.


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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.

Pack of small plastic dinosaur toys

Empty tin can - I prefer to use a pop-top soup can as the edges are not as sharp as those that need a can opener to open.



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  1. Remove the label and clean out the tin can.
  2. Use the pliers to crimp the edge of the tin can down so it is not sharp. 
  3. Place the plastic dinosaur toys in the tin can. 
  4. Mix 1 cups sand with 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris.
  5. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  6. Pour the mixture over the dinosaur toys. The toys may try to float. Simply wait about five minutes and push the toy back below the surface of the excavation.
  7. Make more mixture if needed until you are able to fill the container and cover the toys. 
  8. Place the DIY Dinosaur Soup 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 fun dinosaurs you have hidden inside.


Take some time to explore the Excavating Adventures website. 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, fossil dig kits, and much, much, more!