In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a DIY Silly Circus Excavation. These excavations are super easy to make and are a lot of fun on a rainy weekend or just if you are looking for a cool and engaging activity to burn an hour or so exploring for fun circus animals. 


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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.

Store bought cake container with base and lid - Hold onto one of these after your next birthday party and it will work great for this DIY Silly Circus Excavation. No worries if you do not have one of these available as you can use any container that will hold all of your circus animals. 

Optional - glue gun, glue sticks, and adult supervision

Assorted circus animals. You can often find playsets with clowns and other fun things associated with a circus. 


Excavating Adventures has the world's largest selection of dig kits and excavation activities. We have Extreme kits, Class Packs, Birthday Digs, Mini Digs, and even excavations you can build yourself! Explore excavation activities filled with rocks, minerals, fossils, gemstones, seashells, and more!




  1. Place some of the circus animals in the lid (cover) of the cake container. 
  2. Mix 3 cups sand with 1 cup Plaster of Paris.
  3. Add 1 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  4. Pour the mixture over the circus animals and allow to set for about five minutes. This will allow the mixture to firm up a little. This is important because the plastic circus animals will want to float. Once the mixture sets a little, simply push the animals back into the mixture until they stay put.
  5. Repeat these steps until the container is full.
  6. Place the DIY Silly Circus Excavation in front of a fan overnight until it is completely dry.
  7. Distribute the excavation, excavation tools, and safety goggles to your Excavating Adventurer and have fun watching them dig in and discover the awesome circus items you have hidden inside.

Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: While this is optional, this next idea is super cool. Once the circus animals have been excavated, have your Excavating Adventurer clean them up and arrange them on the base of the cake container. Use the glue gun to secure the circus animals in place. You can then put the cover back on the cake container and you have a really cool circus animal diorama! 


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