Today we are going to teach you how to make an easy excavation activity with real bones! This DIY real bone dig is super easy to make, inexpensive, and is a really cool way to send your young excavating adventurer on a dinosaur dig like no other.
  • Sand
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring cups
  • Chicken bones - chicken wings and leg bones work really well! 
  • A container in which to pour the excavation. This will need to be big enough to fit your bones. Plastic trays or containers work well.
  • Optional - A plastic toy dinosaur. I like to use one of these toys to make dinosaur tracks in the excavation once it begins to stiffen. 
  • 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


Subscribe to Excavating Adventures YouTube channel and enjoy our super easy and fun DIY excavation videos!


Not ready to make your own excavation? Check out our awesome $1 excavation offers by clicking the image below. 
Explore Excavating Adventures $1 deals and get excavation kits for just one dollar!
  1. Clean the bones with warm water and a little soap, being sure to remove gristle and meat so you have nothing left but the bone. 
  2. Put one cup of sand in your mixing bowl.
  3. Add one-third cup Plaster of Paris.
  4. Use the wooden spoon to mix the sand and Plaster of Paris.
  5. Add one-third cup of water and mix.
  6. Keep adding small amounts of water until you reach a pancake like batter consistency. 
  7. Add the bones to your container. 
  8. Pour a layer of the mixture into the container to cover the bones.
  9. Gently tap the sides of the container to remove any air bubbles. This will also allow a little mixture under the bones. 
  10. Optional - Use the plastic dinosaur to make tracks in the surface of the excavation as it stiffens. You can usually do this after about ten minutes or so. 
  11. Set the real bone dig in a safe location to dry undisturbed overnight. I like to put the excavation in front of a fan.


Pro tip: If you would rather not use real bones, you can purchase a dinosaur skeleton kit and use this in your excavation. The individual bones can be excavated and then put together to make a full dinosaur skeleton to display!


Now the DIY real bone dig is ready to be enjoyed. Find an area that is easy to clean up, distribute the safety goggles and excavation tools, and let the excavating begin. 

I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and enjoyed making a real bone dig. These excavations are very easy to make and a lot of fun!
Pro tip: Use this activity to create some excitement around discussions or lessons regarding the dinosaurs or fossils. 
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!





Digital Dig
Rubies are considered hard gemstones.