In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a Giant Gold Nugget Dig for the awesome Excavating Adventurer in your life to dig into and enjoy.


Excavating Adventure Pro Tip: While we are going to be making giant gold nuggets for this excavation activity, feel free to add chunks of quartz rocks and even pyrite if you have it available. This will add some extra goodies for your Excavating Adventurer to discovery along with the giant gold nugget. Be sure to check out our other gold themed excavation activities and DIY dig kits for even more fun tutorials and excavation ideas. 




Plaster of Paris


Mixing Bowl

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups

Popsicle stick, wooden dowels, brushes, magnifying glass, and safety goggles. These will be the excavation tools and safety equipment your Excavating Adventurer will need to explore and enjoy their excavation. 

Several rocks about one inch in size.

Gold spray paint


Container – We are going to use a six quart plastic shoebox bin. Not only is this container a perfect size for our Giant Gold Nugget Dig, but once the excavation is dry it will be shaped like a giant gold bar. Don’t worry if you do not have one of these containers, any container that will hold your giant gold nuggets and mixture will work.


We mentioned pyrite and quartz above and wanted to tell you about our Geology Quest excavation kit. This is a fizzy excavation that uses a chemical reaction to reveal pyrite and quartz specimens along with hematite, Dalmatian jasper, and numerous other unique and exciting rocks and minerals that are hidden inside this super cool Extreme excavation.



  1. Find an area outside and set the rocks on the newspaper and spray them with the gold spray paint. It may take a few coats to get the rocks looking like giant gold nuggets.
  2. Once the rocks have dried, place a few in the bottom of the plastic shoebox bin.
  3. Mix 3 cups sand with 1 cup Plaster of Paris.
  4. Add 1 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  5. Pour the mixture over the giant gold nuggets.
  6. Gently tap the sides on the cups to settle and level out the mixture. Allow the mixture to set and firm up for several minutes (5 to 8 minutes).
  7. Add another layer of gold nuggets and then make another batch of mixture. Pour it into the shoebox bin. Keep adding giant gold nuggets and layers until you have filled the bin to the rim.
  8. Place the excavations in front of a fan for two to three nights until it dries completely.
  9. Optional but a highly suggested cool touch! – Remove the excavation from the bin and place it on newspaper outside. Spray the excavation with gold spray which makes it look like a giant gold bar!
  10. Find an area that can get a little messy and set up the excavation, tools, and safety goggles for your young Excavating Adventurer and watch their excitement as they start uncovering giant gold nuggets!


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Use this awesome Giant Gold Nugget Dig excavation activity to create some excitement and interest around lessons regarding The Gold Rush, mining, geology and more.


Give your child a new excavation every month with an Excavating Adventures monthly subscription. A new excavation kit will arrive each month filled with real scientific specimens. Your child’s collections will grow each month as they explore slime, super absorbent polymers, chemical reactions and more during each new monthly Excavating Adventure.