In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a Junior Rock Collector Dig Kit. These excavations are super easy to make and are a great teaching resource to include in your next lesson or discussion about rocks, minerals, rock collecting, geology, gemstones, and more.


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Plaster of Paris


Mixing Bowl

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups

Popsicle sticks – Popsicle sticks are inexpensive, readily available, and make great excavation tools.

Safety goggles or glasses – You we need to provide or borrow a set for each student.

Optional – Brushes and magnifying glasses.

A small plastic organizer - You want an organizer with at least six or more compartments that are 1x1x1 inch or bigger. 

Assorted rocks and minerals - You can buy these online, find some in a nearby forest, or get some for free through our free rock program.


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  1. Place some rocks and minerals in each compartment of the organizer.
  2. Mix 1 cups sand with 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris.
  3. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  4. Pour the mixture over the rocks and minerals filling each compartment. Be sure not to overfill the compartments or the lid may have trouble closing. 
  5. Place the Junior Rock Collector Dig Kit in front of a fan overnight until it is completely dry.
  6. Distribute the excavation, excavation tools, and safety goggles to your Excavating Adventurer and have fun watching them dig in and discover the awesome rocks and minerals you have hidden inside.


Rock On! Exploring the Extraordinary World of Rocks

Fun Facts about Rocks:

  1. Rocks come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and they can be as tiny as a pebble or as massive as a mountain.

  2. Some rocks are formed by volcanic activity, while others are created through the gradual processes of weathering and erosion.

  3. The Earth's crust is made up of rocks, which are like the building blocks of our planet.

  4. Did you know that rocks can be as old as the Earth itself? Some rocks have been around for millions or even billions of years.

  5. The three main types of rocks are igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic, each with its own unique characteristics and formation processes.

  6. Igneous rocks are formed when molten lava or magma cools and solidifies. They can be found in various textures, from glassy obsidian to the speckled granite.

  7. Sedimentary rocks are created by the accumulation and compression of sediment over time. Fossils are often found in sedimentary rocks, offering us a glimpse into Earth's ancient life forms.

  8. Metamorphic rocks are rocks that have undergone a transformation due to intense heat and pressure. This process can result in the formation of beautiful and durable rocks like marble and slate.

  9. Rocks are essential for shaping our landscapes, such as the towering cliffs, majestic mountains, and serene river valleys that we admire.

  10. Some rocks contain valuable minerals and gemstones like gold, diamonds, and amethyst, which have been sought after for centuries.

  11. Rocks provide habitats for many living organisms, such as lichens and mosses, which can grow on their surfaces.

  12. People use rocks for various purposes, including building materials, tools, and even in artistic creations like sculptures.

Remember, rocks are not just ordinary objects beneath our feet. They hold stories of Earth's history and provide us with a fascinating glimpse into the wonders of our planet!


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Once the excavation has been completed, the organizer can be cleaned and used to store, carry, and to display the rocks and minerals.


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Question 1: Which type of rock is formed from the cooling and solidification of molten lava or magma? A) Sedimentary rock B) Metamorphic rock C) Fossil rock D) Igneous rock

Correct answer: D) Igneous rock

Question 2: What type of rocks are formed by the accumulation and compression of sediment over time? A) Igneous rocks B) Metamorphic rocks C) Fossil rocks D) Sedimentary rocks

Correct answer: D) Sedimentary rocks

Question 3: Which process causes rocks to undergo a transformation due to intense heat and pressure? A) Weathering B) Erosion C) Volcanic activity D) Metamorphism

Correct answer: D) Metamorphism