A quick internet search may reveal that there are crystal mining opportunities very near to you. If this is true, I highly recommend you take the time to enjoy this fun and exciting adventure (just be sure to follow any rules, laws, and regulations associated with crystal mining in your area). If you are not fortunate enough to have a crystal mine nearby, then may I suggest we make our very own crystal mining kit to excavate and enjoy?
In this quick tutorial, we are going to show you how to make your very own crystal mining kit with a few readily available and inexpensive items. Once the kit is ready, we are going to have even more fun by excavating the crystal mine in the dark!
Fun facts: The Cave of the Crystals in Mexico contains some of the largest selenite crystals in the world. The largest crystals are 36 feet long and 3 feet thick. 
  • 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
  • Headlamp
  • Small bag of quartz points. You can find these many places online for really cheap. If you're having a hard time finding quartz tips or just want to use something else, selenite and geodes make great substitutes for the crystal mining kit. 
  • Container - Any plastic container will do. Just make sure the container is big enough to hold the crystals you have chosen. 
  • Optional - Glow In The Dark powder.

Pro tip: Make a bunch of these crystal mining kits and have them as a fun nighttime activity for the next sleepover you are hosting at your home. 


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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 quartz points to the container.
  7. Pour a layer of the mixture into the container to cover the quartz points.
  8. Gently tap the sides of the container to remove any air bubbles. This will also allow a little mixture under the quartz points. 
  9. Optional - As the excavation begins to solidify, stick a few quartz points in the surface and leave them sticking out at different angles. This will make your crystal mining kit look super cool!
  10. Set the crystal mining kit you have created in a safe location to dry undisturbed overnight. I like to put the excavation in front of a fan.
  11. Optional - When the surface of the crystal mining kit is nearly dry, sprinkle on some glow in the dark powder. This will add a really cool effect when your excavating adventurer finds the excavation in a darkened space and begins digging into the crystal mining kit. 

Pro tip: Have a couple of larger pieces of quartz available. These will need to be big enough to hold one in each hand and rub together. Try and fit them in the crystal mining kit if possible but they may be too large. While in the darkened space, rub the two pieces of quartz together vigorously. They will give off a really cool glow inside that is called triboluminescence. This is an awesome phenomenon to observe that is sure to impress your crystal miner. 

Now the crystal mining kit you have made is ready to be enjoyed. Find a darkened area that is easy to clean up, distribute the safety goggles, headlamp, and excavation tools, and let the excavating begin. 

Pro tip: Go ahead and add other fun little glow in the dark items to the crystal mining kit. I like to add glow in the dark bugs. These are fun for your excavating adventurer to discover on their quest through the darkened crystal cave!

I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and enjoy making the crystal mining kit. 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 minerals, crystals, geology and more. 
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!