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.



Glittering Discoveries: Fun Facts about Gold Nuggets!

Fun Facts about Gold Nuggets:

  1. Gold nuggets are naturally occurring pieces of gold that have been weathered and eroded from their original sources.

  2. The largest gold nugget ever found is called the "Welcome Stranger" and was discovered in Australia in 1869. It weighed a whopping 2316 troy ounces (72 kilograms)!

  3. Gold nuggets are often found in rivers, streams, and other water bodies because gold is denser than most other sediments and tends to settle at the bottom.

  4. Gold nuggets can come in various shapes and sizes, from small flakes to sizable chunks. Some nuggets are smooth and rounded, while others have jagged or irregular shapes.

  5. The color of gold can range from bright yellow to rich golden hues, giving it a distinctive and captivating appearance.

  6. Gold is one of the most malleable and ductile metals, meaning it can be easily shaped and stretched into different forms without breaking.

  7. In the past, gold nuggets were often used as currency or traded for goods and services. They played a significant role in many historical gold rushes.

  8. Gold is highly resistant to corrosion, which means it does not rust or tarnish like other metals. This property contributes to its enduring value and luster.

  9. Geologists and prospectors use specialized equipment, such as metal detectors and gold pans, to search for gold nuggets in potential gold-bearing areas.

  10. Gold nuggets have a rich history and are often associated with tales of adventure, exploration, and treasure hunting.

  11. The discovery of gold nuggets can bring excitement and a sense of wonder, as each nugget represents a small piece of Earth's geological history.

  12. Gold nuggets continue to be prized by collectors and enthusiasts for their beauty, rarity, and the fascinating stories they hold.

Remember, gold nuggets are like nature's precious surprises, waiting to be uncovered and admired for their shimmering allure!



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.



Question 1: Where are gold nuggets often found? A) Mountains B) Deserts C) Forests D) Rivers

Correct answer: D) Rivers

Question 2: What is the largest gold nugget ever found called? A) Golden Giant B) Magnificent Nugget C) Welcome Stranger D) Glittering Titan

Correct answer: C) Welcome Stranger

Question 3: What is one characteristic of gold that makes it highly desirable? A) Its resistance to corrosion B) Its magnetic properties C) Its ability to change color D) Its abundance in nature

Correct answer: A) Its resistance to corrosion