In this fun and easy excavation activity for kids, we’re going to make a time capsule excavation. 
Pro tip: This is a great family fun activity!
  • Time capsule - these are readily available online. Plastic versions are reasonably inexpensive but the metal versions can get quite expensive. I recommend a plastic version for this activity. You can also reuse any thick plastic container that has a lid that screws on tightly.
  • Shovel
  • Sand
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Items to add to the time capsule excavation. Unlike standard time capsules, you will be incasing these items in a sand a plaster mixture. Each participant will need to choose items to include that will survive in the plaster and sand mixture. Hard items are preferred. You may also include paper items like notes and photos. Just be sure to put these items in an air tight container that secures tightly. The items may want to float to the surface once the excavation is poured. Simply allow the plaster to start to harden and you can push the items back down below the surface. 


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  1. Have each participant gather items they would like to include in the time capsule excavation. 
  2. Place the items in the time capsule.
  3. Mix three cups of sand with one cup of Plaster of Paris.
  4. Add one cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter type consistency. 
  5. Pour the mixture into the time capsule. Make sure the mixture and any items do not rise above the lip of the time capsule as this will make it difficult to put on the lid. As mentioned above, allow the mixture to begin to harden (five minutes or so) and push any floating items back below the surface. 
  6. Allow to dry with the lid off for 48 hours. 
  7. Use a damp paper towel to clean any sand or debris from the groves before screwing on the lid. 
  8. Once completely dry, put the lid on the time capsule.  
  9. Find a spot in the yard, dig a hole a foot or so deep, and place your time capsule excavation inside. 
  10. Bury the time capsule excavation and make sure to mark its location.
  11. Decide on a time when you want to dig up the time capsule excavation.
  12. Have fun at your future time capsule excavation event! Make sure to have safety goggles and excavation tools ready to discover your personal treasures you buried inside!


I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and had fun making your own Time Capsule Excavation to bury and enjoy at a future time. These excavations are very easy to make and a lot of fun!
Pro tip: Use this excavation tutorial for a fun hands on family activity!
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Happy Excavating!
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