In this quick tutorial, I'm going to show you how to make super easy excavation activities that are awesome to use as supplements to homeschool lessons! These DIY Homeschool Excavations are inexpensive, easy to make, and are a great activity to use to add a little extra excitement to an upcoming homeschool lesson. 
 Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: DIY Homeschool Excavations can be tailored to fit many homeschool lessons and lend themselves particularly well to Earth Science subjects. We also have several awesome Homeschool Excavations available to purchase that your homeschoolers are sure to love!
  • Container. You can use anything, but I like to use old cookie tins. 
  • Sand - Optional: Use colored sand! 
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Measuring cups
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Excavation items. The cheapest (and personally I feel the most fun!) option is to go for a nature walk and collect some pretty rocks. I also like to pick up some sticks and leaves to use to decorate the excavation or simply add to the discussion. You can also purchase a rock and mineral or gemstone assortment form a local rock shop or online. Or you can use some small plastic dinosaurs and add a real dino dig to lessons discussing paleontology. We also have an awesome Fossil Homeschool Excavation for purchase that has loads of fossils and even real dinosaur bones and millions of years old shark's teeth!
  • Excavation tools - Safety goggles, small brush, and a chisel, large nail, wooden dowel or some other tool to use to excavate. 
  • Optional - Sticks, leaves, or other natural items to use to decorate the surface of the excavation. 


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Use a little water to soften the excavation if needed during digging. This is very helpful for some younger homeschoolers should they struggle to chisel into their excavation. 


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  1. Place your rocks or other items in the container.
  2. Dry mix one cup of sand with 1/3 cup of Plaster of Paris. Increase the recipe as needed to fill your chosen container at a three parts sand to one part Plaster of Paris ratio. 
  3. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake like consistency. 
  4. Optional - Sprinkle leaves, sticks, and little rocks over the surface of the homeschool excavation for a little extra sparkle and flair. 
  5. Allow to dry overnight. Depending on the size of the excavation, you may want to allow an additional night or two for the excavation to completely dry. If the excavation remains moist, it will be crumbly and will fall apart easily. 
  6. Once the DIY Homeschool Excavation is completely dry, find an area that can get a little messy and be easily cleaned up. Distribute the safety goggles and excavation tools and let the fun begin!


Pro tip: DIY Homeschool Excavations are super easy and a lot of fun to make. You can makes lots of these excavations at one time to use for multiple students or to share with your local homeschool group. You can keep them super simple or get quite elaborate, but rest assured your homeschoolers will love this easy and inexpensive addition to their studies. 


I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and had fun creating DIY Homeschool Excavations. These excavations also make great rewards or incentives!
Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: DIY Homeschool Excavations are also great activities for sleepovers and birthday parties. Just make sure to have an excavation for each participant, safety goggles, and excavation tools!
If you love rocks, geology, and excavating as much as we do, be sure to check out our Excavating Adventures monthly subscription by clicking the link below and get an awesome new excavation delivered each month loaded with rocks, minerals, gemstones, fossils, and more!
Happy Excavating!
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