Make a Fool's Gold Mini Dig Kit

In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a Fool's Gold Mini 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, geology, and more.





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.

Pyrite (Fool's gold) - You can find inexpensive bags of pyrite online. You can also spray paint small rocks with gold spray paint to make your own fool's gold if you do not have access to real pyrite. 

Any small container that will fit your pyrite and allow room for the plaster mixture will work. I love rummaging through recycle bins for fun and unique containers I can use for excavations. For this tutorial I will use a plastic yogurt container. 


Check out hundreds of exciting and unique dig kits! Excavating Adventures has a kit for everyone. Explore dig kits filled with rocks, minerals, fossils, gemstones, seashells, real pyrite and more!




  1. Rinse out the yogurt container. 
  2. Place the pyrite in the container.
  3. Mix 1 cups sand with 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris.
  4. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  5. Pour the mixture over the pyrite.
  6. Optional - Sprinkle a little gold glitter over the surface of the excavation to give it a little extra sparkle. 
  7. Place the Fool's Gold Mini Dig Kit in front of a fan overnight until it is completely dry. 
  8. Distribute the excavation, excavation tools, and safety goggles to your Excavating Adventurer and have fun watching them dig in and discover the awesome pyrite you have hidden inside.


Pyrite: Fool's Gold Magic and Shiny Surprises!

Fun Facts about Pyrite (Fool's Gold):

  1. Pyrite is a mineral known as "fool's gold" because of its resemblance to real gold. It has a shiny, metallic appearance.

  2. Despite its nickname, pyrite is not actually gold. It is made up of iron and sulfur, whereas gold is a precious metal.

  3. Pyrite can be found in different shapes, such as cubes, octahedrons, and even fool's gold nuggets that look like real gold nuggets.

  4. Ancient civilizations often mistook pyrite for gold because of its similar appearance. It was sometimes used as a substitute for gold in jewelry and ornaments.

  5. Pyrite is often found in association with coal deposits, and it can even be found in sedimentary rocks and hydrothermal veins.

  6. When struck against a hard surface, pyrite can create sparks. This property is known as "pyrite's fire" or "strike fire."

  7. Pyrite is sometimes used in flintlock firearms to create sparks that ignite the gunpowder.

  8. In crystal form, pyrite can display a unique geometric structure, forming stunning formations and intricate patterns.

  9. Pyrite is not just found on Earth. It has also been discovered in meteorites that have fallen from space!

  10. Pyrite is sometimes used as a decorative stone or in making costume jewelry due to its captivating golden shine.

  11. Fool's gold has a higher hardness compared to real gold, which means it is more resistant to scratches and wear.

  12. Pyrite is found all around the world, with notable deposits in Spain, Peru, Russia, and the United States.

Remember, while pyrite may not be as valuable as real gold, its unique properties and dazzling appearance make it a fascinating mineral worth exploring!


Take some time to explore the Excavating Adventures website. We have monthly excavations that get delivered right to your door, Build Your Own excavations, a blog filled with amazing excavation ideas, trivia, tons of free stuff, Fool's gold dig kits, and much, much, more!




<p><span style="font-size:11pt;"><span style="font-family:Calibri, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:11.5pt;"><span style="font-family:Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color:#000000;">Answer trivia questions and earn points to redeem for exciting gift cards that you can use to purchase fossils, minerals, and rocks at!</span></span></span></span></span></p>