The Oyster Dig Pearl Discovery is a cool and unique excavation activity that will have your Excavating Adventurers cheering with joy when they discover the pearls hidden inside.
 Pro tip: Substitute kinetic sand for the sand and plaster mixture for younger Excavating Adventurers!
  • Sand (Colored sand works too!)
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Measuring cups
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Oyster shells. We are going to pour the excavation in the oyster shell. You may not have access to these or have them readily available so feel free to use clam shells. You can also use a soap mold that is shaped like a shell which is a really cool effect. 
  • Pearls. Find an old strand of fake pearls that are no longer being used. You can also search thrift stores for an old pearl necklace. You can also purchase freshwater pearls for a reasonable price online. 
  • Excavation tools - Safety goggles, small brush, magnifying glass, and a chisel, nail, wooden dowel or some other tool to use to excavate. 
  • Optional - Small seashells or glitter to sprinkle on the surface of the excavation once it has been poured. 


Pro tip: Soften the Oyster Dig Pearl Discovery with a little water if it is difficult for young Excavating Adventurer to dig. 


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  1. Arrange the oyster shells so they are as level as possible. You may need to place them on crumpled up newspaper to get them to stay level. 
  2. Place your pearl or multiple pearls into the oyster shell.
  3. Dry mix one cup of sand with 1/3 cup of Plaster of Paris. Increase the recipe as needed to fill your oyster shells at a three parts sand to one part Plaster of Paris ratio. 
  4. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake like consistency. 
  5. Pour the mixture over the pearls.
  6. Optional - Place some small seashells on the surface of the excavation or sprinkle on some glitter. 
  7. Allow to dry overnight.  
  8. Once the excavation is completely dry, find an area that can get a little messy and be easily cleaned up. Distribute the safety goggles and excavations tools and let the fun Oyster Dig Pearl Discovery begin!


Pro tip: This is a fun and easy little excavation activity that is very inexpensive. You can even make several of these and use them as activities for ocean themed birthday parties! 


I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and had fun creating your own Oyster Dig Pearl Discovery to investigate and explore. These excavations are very easy to make and a lot of fun!
Pro tip: Use this activity to create some excitement around discussions or lessons about oceans, shellfish, seashells, pearls, oceanography, and more!
If you love rocks, geology, and 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!
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