Hydrophobic sand is a lot of fun to explore and enjoy but it can be a little expensive. In this quick post we are going to show you how to make your own hydrophobic sand for a fraction of the price. We are then going to teach you how to use your homemade hydrophobic sand to create an underwater excavation experience for your little ones to experience and enjoy. 
  • Colored sand - you can use regular sand too!
  • Fabric water repellant
  • Paper plate
  • Disposable plastic spoons
  • Seashells, shark teeth, or other items to hide in the sand to be discovered. You may want to use little plastic ocean animals but just be sure that they sink for this underwater excavation activity. 
  • Clear container - a clear 9 oz plastic cup works well. 


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  1. Spread a thin layer of sand on the paper plate.
  2. Spray the sand with a coating of water repellant.
  3. Allow to dry.
  4. Mix the sand with a disposable spoon and apply another coating of water repellant spray.
  5. Allow to dry. 
  6. Fill the clear plastic 9 oz cup about two thirds of the way full with water.
  7. Add the items to be excavated to the water.
  8. Cover the items with your DIY hydrophobic sand. 


Now the DIY hydrophobic sand underwater excavation is ready to be enjoyed. Find an area that is easy to clean up and let the excavating begin. Allow your excavating adventurer to explore the strange properties of the hydrophobic sand with a plastic spoon. As they explore the sand, they can use the spoon to excavate and retrieve items from the cup. 

I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and enjoyed making a hydrophobic sand underwater excavation. These excavations are very easy to make and a lot of fun! Once the underwater excavation is finished being enjoyed, allow the hydrophobic sand to dry. It can then be stored in a plastic baggie or container to be played with another time or shared with friends. 
Pro tip: Use this activity to create some excitement around discussions or lessons regarding the ocean. 
If you love 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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