This excavation activity may sound a little strange at first, but trust me, this DIY Push Pop Dig results in a super cool excavation like no other. The Push Pop tubes come in all kinds of pretty colors and the labeling is nice and vibrant making them perfect containers for a mini excavation. But the best thing about these containers is the ability to move the excavation up and down. 

Your excavating adventurer is going to love discovering an excavation that they can push up and chisel off the end to find the awesome little treasures you have hidden inside. Not only are these DIY Push Pop Digs unique little excavations, but their compact design makes them great for taking on the road. 

Fun Fact: Push Pops were launched in 1986 and became an instant hit in part because of the novel new way of being able to enjoy some of the lollipop and then store the rest away for later. 
  • 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
  • Small items to be excavated. I love using small tumbled gemstone chips in the DIY Push Pop Dig. These tumbled gemstone chip assortments are usually loaded with specimens that come in lots of different colors. Small animal or dinosaur shaped erasers are also another cool option. Just make sure whatever you choose will fit in the Push Pop tube. 
  • Empty Push Pop container. 


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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 the small items to the Push Pop tube. 
  7. Pour the mixture into the Push Pop tube to cover the items.
  8. Gently tap the sides of the Push Pop tube to remove any air bubbles. This will also allow a little mixture under and around the items. Some water will seep out of the bottom of the tube. This is not a problem but will leave a dusty little residue on the Push Pop tube once it dries. You can easily rub this off with your finger or a damp paper towel. 
  9. Set the DIY Push Pop Dig in a safe location to dry undisturbed overnight. I like to put the excavation in front of a fan.


Now the DIY Push Pop Dig is now 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 Push Pop Digs. 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 the items you chose to include in your Push Pop Dig. 
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Happy Excavating!