We love excavating so much we created an awesome little way to take them on the road! These simple to make and inexpensive road trip excavations are not only easily portable, but will also entertain your Excavating Adventurers on your next trek to somewhere new. 
  • Sand
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Measuring cups
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Tape
  • Wooden dowel
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Mini M&M's tube
  • Items to excavate. I prefer to use a mix of tumbled rocks. You can use anything you like that will fit in the tube. 
  • Important - Make sure eye protection is always worn while excavating. 


Pro tip: Soften the Road Trip Excavation with a little water if it is difficult for your young Excavating Adventurer to dig. 


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  1. Place your tumbled rocks or other items in the tube. 
  2. Dry mix one cup of sand with 1/3 cup of Plaster of Paris. Increase the recipe as needed to fill multiple Road Trip Excavation tubes at a three parts sand to one part Plaster of Paris ratio. 
  3. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake like consistency. 
  4. Allow to dry overnight with the lid open.  
  5. Use the pencil sharpener to taper the end of the dowel but do not make a sharp point. This can be a little dangerous and will dull quickly once the excavating begins if too sharp.
  6. Close the lid and tape the dowel to the side of the tube and you now have a compact excavation kit that is ready to take on the road.
  7. Once your Excavating Adventurer is ready to dig in, find an area that can get a little messy and easily be cleaned up. Distribute the eye protection and let the fun begin!
  8. The tube even doubles as a container to store the excavated items for the remainder of the trip!


Pro tip: This is a fun and easy little excavation activity that is very inexpensive. You can even make several of these to take on the road for multiple children or stops.  


I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and had fun creating your own Road Trip Excavation 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 rocks, geology, 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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