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.



Sparkling Treasures: Fun Facts about Gemstones!

Intro: Gemstone dig kits are an exciting addition to grab bags for kids, providing a wonderful opportunity for them to explore the fascinating world of gemstones. These kits contain hidden gemstones waiting to be discovered through a hands-on excavation experience. Not only are gemstone dig kits fun and engaging, but they also offer valuable educational benefits by introducing children to the wonders of geology, mineralogy, and the beauty of natural treasures. Let's delve into some fun facts about gemstones that will ignite curiosity and spark their imagination!

Fun Facts about Gemstones:

  1. Gemstones are rare and precious minerals that are prized for their beauty, durability, and rarity.

  2. The word "gem" comes from the Latin word "gemma," which means "precious stone."

  3. Gemstones come in a dazzling array of colors, including vibrant blues, radiant reds, vivid greens, and shimmering yellows.

  4. Each gemstone has unique properties, such as hardness, transparency, and refractive index, which give them their distinct characteristics.

  5. Some well-known gemstones include diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, amethysts, and opals.

  6. Gemstones have been treasured for centuries and have adorned royal crowns, jewelry, and ceremonial artifacts.

  7. The value of a gemstone is determined by factors like rarity, clarity, color, cut, and carat weight.

  8. The hardness of gemstones is measured on the Mohs scale, which ranks minerals from 1 (softest) to 10 (hardest). For example, diamonds are the hardest gemstones with a rating of 10.

  9. Gemstones can be found in various parts of the world, and each region often has its own unique gemstone varieties.

  10. Some gemstones have been attributed with special meanings or properties, such as providing protection, enhancing luck, or promoting emotional well-being.

  11. Gemstones are formed deep within the Earth's crust over millions of years through intense heat and pressure.

  12. Gemstone dig kits allow kids to excavate and discover their very own gemstones, fostering a sense of excitement, patience, and a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

Remember, gemstones are nature's magnificent creations, and exploring them through dig kits can be a thrilling adventure!


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Question 1: What determines the value of a gemstone? A) Its size B) Its color C) Its transparency D) All of the above

Correct answer: D) All of the above

Question 2: Which gemstone is known for its hardness and is ranked as a 10 on the Mohs scale? A) Diamond B) Ruby C) Emerald D) Amethyst

Correct answer: A) Diamond

Question 3: How are gemstones formed? A) Through volcanic eruptions B) Through erosion of rocks C) Through intense heat and pressure within the Earth's crust D) Through interaction with water and air

Correct answer: C) Through intense heat and pressure within the Earth's crust