In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to Make A Montessori Excavation Activity for the young Excavating Adventurers in your life to dig into and enjoy.


Excavating Adventure Pro Tip: This is a great excavation activity to use to demonstrate not only things that can be found in nature, but the items in this excavation can be sorted by size, shape, color, texture, and more.

You can also choose from hundreds of free rocks, minerals, shells, and fossils to include in your Montessori Excavation Activity by earning points with our Digital Dig program. Answer simply trivia, earn points, and redeem for free Excavating Adventures goodies!




Plaster of Paris


Mixing Bowl

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups

Popsicle stick, wooden dowels, brushes, magnifying glass, and safety goggles. These will be the excavation tools and safety equipment your Excavating Adventurer will need to explore and enjoy their excavation.

We will need a container to pour and create our excavation. For this excavation activity, I will reuse a compostable takeout container. Feel free to explore your recycle bin and use any container you like!

Excavation items – Explore a nearby natural area or park and collect an assortment of rocks, sticks, pinecones, leaves, bark, and any other natural items to use in the excavation.


If your student loves excavating and discovering amazing natural things, then be sure to check out our store filled with awesome excavation kits.



  1. Decorate the takeout container. I like to draw a grid on the inside of the lid with four or more sections. This will provide an area for the young Excavating Adventurer to sort out their finds.
  2. Place the rocks, sticks, bark, pinecones and other solid items in the takeout tray.
  3. Mix 3 cups sand with 1 cup Plaster of Paris.
  4. Add 1 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  5. Pour the mixture over the items.
  6. Allow to set for five to eight minutes and then push any items that tried to float back down under the surface. Make another batch of mixture if needed and pour it into the container.
  7. Place the excavation in front of a fan overnight until it is completely dry. Make sure the lid is secured so it does not close and slow the drying process.
  8. Once the excavation is completely dry, sprinkle the leaves, twigs, and other fragile items over the surface of the excavation and close the lid.
  9. Once you are ready to let you Excavating Adventurer enjoy the Montessori Excavation Activity you have created, find an area that can get a little dirty but be easily cleaned up. Provide the safety goggles and excavations tools and let them dig in and discover the awesome assortment of natural items you have hidden inside.


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Replace the plaster and sand mixture with regular sand for young Excavating Adventurers! Younger children may struggle with the excavation activity but will love exploring the sand for the hidden treasures.


If your student is excited about geology, rocks, minerals, fossils, seashells, and earth science subjects, consider an Excavating Adventures subscription. Your student will get a new excavation activity delivered each month to dive in and enjoy. They will not only discover amazing specimens, but they we be encouraged to display their finds in the provided display cases. Each subscription also provides access to numerous online educational resources that provide reinforcement and continuing education opportunities!