This is a fun, inexpensive, and edible excavation that will have your Excavating Adventurers digging in with delight. We are going to turn regular old M&Ms into gold nuggets for you little ones to discover and enjoy.


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Use this edible excavation activity to reinforce lessons about gold, The Gold Rush, precious metals, gold panning and more!



Package of M&Ms. You can use any flavor of M&Ms that you like.

Edible gold spray. You can find this online and in many baking sections in grocery stores. I prefer to use M&Ms for this excavation activity because the gold spray sticks to them really well.

Oreo cookies

Ziplock freezer bag

Kitchen mallet

Wax paper

Cookie sheet

Clear plastic cups – 9 oz size cups work really well.

Spoon – If you want to make this excavation really cool, you can find small shovel shaped spoons online!


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: You can make edible sand with Golden Oreos! Simply put several Golden Oreos in a freezer bag, crush them with a kitchen mallet, and you have a batch of edible sand!


Did you know we have a Limited Edition excavation kit that contains real gold? This fun excavation activity is loaded with loads of gemstones and your very own real gold specimen and limited edition trading card to add to your collection.



  1. Place five or six Oreos in the freezer bag. I prefer to use freezer bags even though they are a little more expensive as they hold up well to the next step. Feel free to leave or remove the cream filling from the Oreos. I have done this edible excavation activity both ways and they both work well.
  2. Crush the Oreos with the mallet and set aside.
  3. Place a sheet of wax paper on the cookie sheet.
  4. Pour the package of M&Ms on the wax paper. Spread them out so they are not touching.
  5. Spray the M&Ms with the gold spray. This will transform your M&Ms into edible gold nuggets!
  6. Add the crushed Oreos to the clear plastic cups. The crushed Oreos will act as your dirt.
  7. Add the gold nugget M&Ms to the Oreo dirt.
  8. Distribute the spoons and allow your young Excavating Adventurer to dig in and discover the edible gold nuggets!


Excavating Adventurer Pro Tip: The M&M Edible Excavation is an absolutely fantastic and super easy treat to serve at a young Excavating Adventurers birthday party. You can even include gummy worms and chocolate candy rocks to the Oreo dirt for even more fun.



Shining Adventures: Fun Facts about Gold, the Gold Rush, and Gold Mining!


Fun Facts about Gold:

  1. Gold is a precious metal that has been valued for thousands of years for its beauty and rarity.

  2. Pure gold is so soft that it can be easily shaped with just your hands, which is why it is often mixed with other metals to make it stronger for jewelry.

  3. The largest gold nugget ever found was called the "Welcome Stranger" and was discovered in Australia in 1869. It weighed a whopping 2316 troy ounces!

  4. During the California Gold Rush in the 19th century, thousands of people traveled to California in search of gold, hoping to strike it rich.

  5. Gold mining involves extracting gold from the ground through various methods, such as panning, sluicing, and digging underground tunnels.

  6. The process of gold mining can be hard and labor-intensive, but it can also be an exciting adventure to discover precious gold nuggets.

  7. Gold is often found in rivers and streams, where the flowing water erodes the surrounding rocks and exposes gold particles.

  8. The famous phrase "There's gold in them thar hills!" was a common saying during the gold rush era, reflecting the excitement and hope of finding gold.

  9. Gold has many practical uses besides jewelry. It is used in electronics, dentistry, and even in space exploration for its excellent conductivity and durability.

  10. The largest gold mine in the world is located in Indonesia and is called the Grasberg Mine. It produces millions of ounces of gold each year.

  11. Gold has a unique property called malleability, which means it can be hammered into extremely thin sheets without breaking.

  12. Some animals, such as the bowerbird, use gold objects to attract mates. They collect shiny gold objects to decorate their nests and impress potential partners.

So, get ready to embark on a glittering journey into the world of gold, the gold rush, and gold mining!



If you loved this excavation activity, be sure to check out our other awesome edible excavation activities!


Question 1: Which metal is often mixed with gold to make it stronger for jewelry? A) Silver B) Copper C) Platinum D) Iron

Correct answer: B) Copper

Question 2: During which historical event did thousands of people travel to California in search of gold? A) The Silver Rush B) The Diamond Rush C) The Gold Rush D) The Bronze Rush

Correct answer: C) The Gold Rush

Question 3: Where is the largest gold mine in the world located? A) South Africa B) Canada C) Australia D) Indonesia

Correct answer: D) Indonesia