In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make Grab Bag Excavations for the young Excavating Adventurers in your life to dig into and enjoy.


Excavating Adventure Pro Tip: Grab Bag Excavations are super easy to make, but if you don’t have time to make them yourself, check out our Colossal and Ultimate Excavation kits. Each kit comes with numerous little grab bag sized excavations. Buy a set, wrap the excavations in foil, and you have a batch of grab bag excavations ready to go!




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.

2 oz condiment cups and lids – You will need one set of cups and lids for the number of individual excavations you are going to make.

Tray, cookie sheet, or baking tray. Needs to be big enough to hold the condiment cups.

Excavation items – You can pretty much use anything you think the recipients of the excavation will enjoy digging out and discovering. Rocks, minerals, and gemstones always seem to be a hit. While you can buy nice assortments of rocks and gemstones online, you can easily find pretty rocks to use in the excavations if you are trying to save a little money. Little plastic animals, ocean creatures, or dinosaurs are also perfect for grab bag excavations.

Bag, bin, or canister to put the grab bag excavations inside once they are finished. You will want a container that will hold all of the excavations and have a big enough opening for the students to reach inside without seeing the excavations. An empty Tide Pod container works great!


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Grab Bag Excavations are inexpensive and super easy to make. These excavations make great rewards for classrooms and other large groups of kids like birthday parties. We also have excavation kits made specifically for classrooms that are perfect for educating and inspiring students in geology and earth science subjects.



  1. Place the condiment cups on the tray and place the excavations items inside.
  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 excavation items.
  5. Gently tap the sides on the tray to shake the condiment cups. This will settle the mixture down, around, and under the excavation items.
  6. Optional – Sprinkle glitter over the surface of the excavations.
  7. Place the tray of excavations in front of a fan overnight until they are completely dry.
  8. Put the lids on each condiment cups.
  9. Put the grab bag excavations in the container you choose and when ready, let an Excavating Adventurer reach in and retrieve an excavation. Be sure to provide safety goggles and excavations tools when it is time for them to dig in and discover the treasures you have hidden inside.


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Replace the plaster and sand mixture with kinetic sand for young Excavating Adventurers! Younger children may struggle with the excavation activity but will love exploring the kinetic sand for hidden treasures.


Get a new dig kit delivered every month! Become an Excavating Adventurer and build awesome collections of unique rocks, minerals, fossils, seashells, and more!