Get ready for an awesome excavation activity that is super easy and fun and will impress all the excavating adventurers in your life. This quick and inexpensive tutorial will have you whipping up entire batches of awesome little mini dig it bars in no time. 

Homemade mini dig it bars are great for birthday parties, sleepovers, classroom rewards and activities, and much more. These tiny little excavation are sure to entertain and what you choose to put inside is entirely up to you. 

Fun Fact: 99.99% pure gold is so malleable it can be bent by hand. Large amounts of coined gold will bend and become distorted under their own weight because it bends so easily. Because of this, gold is poured into bar shapes to avoid bending. 
  • Sand
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring cups
  • Excavation tools. Wooden dowels and other blunt instruments work well. Sharp tools are unsafe and not necessary as the excavations are reasonably brittle and excavate easily. 
  • Safety goggles
  • Small brush
  • Small items to be excavated. These will need to fit in the ice cube tray. I really using rock and mineral specimens in my Homemade Mini Dig It Bars. 
  • Ice cube tray


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  1. Put one cup of sand in your mixing bowl.
  2. Add one-third cup Plaster of Paris.
  3. Use the wooden spoon to mix the sand and Plaster of Paris.
  4. Add one-third cup of water and mix.
  5. Keep adding small amounts of water until you reach a pancake like batter consistency. 
  6. Add the small items to each ice cube compartment. 
  7. Pour a layer of the mixture into the ice cube tray to cover the items.
  8. Gently tap the sides of the ice cube tray to remove any air bubbles. This will also allow a little mixture under and around the items. 
  9. Set the Homemade Mini Dig It Bars in a safe location to dry undisturbed overnight. I like to put the excavation in front of a fan.
  10. Once dry, turn the ice tray over and gently tap the bottom until the mini dig it bars slide free. 


Now the Homemade Mini Dig It Bars are ready to be enjoyed. Find an area that is easy to clean up, distribute the safety goggles, excavation tools, and let the excavating begin. 

I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and enjoy making Homemade Mini Dig It Bars. These excavations are very easy to make, inexpensive, and a lot of fun!
Pro tip: Use this activity to create some excitement around discussions or lessons regarding the items you chose to include in your mini dig it bars. 
If you love excavating as much as we do, be sure to check out our Excavating Adventures monthly subscription by clicking the link below and get an awesome new excavation delivered each month loaded with rocks, minerals, gemstones, fossils, and more!

Happy Excavating!