In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make Sleepover Excavations for the young Excavating Adventurers at your next sleepover to dig into and enjoy. Sleepovers are a lot of fun, and having activities ready to keep those excited guests busy is crucial to a successful sleepover. These Sleepover Excavations are sure to impress and keep those kiddos entertained and out of trouble.


Excavating Adventure Pro Tip: Take these Sleepover Excavations to a whole new level by sending the sleepover guests on a scavenger hunt. Hide these excavations and create a set of clues to send the guests on an exciting adventure to locate the excavations. Once the excavations have been found, the guests get to dig in and discovery the treasures you have hidden inside.




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. Make sure to have a set for each person at the sleepover.

Fun excavation items. For this tutorial, we are going to use an assortment of small to medium sized seashells I purchased at a gift shop several months ago, but you can use anything you think the children will enjoy discovering. Lego Mini Figurines are a great option. So are rocks and minerals, gemstones, fossils, and small toys and trinkets.

Containers. We are going to pour an individual excavation for each sleepover guest. You can keep this as simple or go as fancy as you like. Just remember, the bigger the excavation, the bigger the mess. I am going to use 9oz clear plastic cups.


Don’t have the time to make your own Sleepover Excavations? No problem because we have numerous excavation options designed to support groups of Excavating Adventurers. Be sure to check out our Class Packs for larger groups and our Birthday Digs for smaller sleepovers. Choose from rocks and minerals, fossils, and seashells and send each sleepover guest on an awesome Excavating Adventure they are sure to talk about.


Excavating Adventure Pro Tip: Take your Sleepover Excavations to a whole new level by including some edible excavations. We have lots of fun edible excavation activities that your sleepover guest will love. These delicious treats are not only yummy, but they have hidden treasures inside for your sleepover guests to discover and enjoy. 



  1. Set up the cups and put a handful of seashells in each cup.
  2. Mix 3 cups sand with 1 cup Plaster of Paris.
  3. Add 1 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  4. Pour the mixture over the seashells in each cup. If you run out of mixture, simply repeat the above steps to make more.
  5. Gently tap the sides on the cups to settle and level out the mixture. Push the seashells back down into the mixture should they try to float to the surface.
  6. Optional – Sprinkle glitter over the surface of the excavations. You can also decorate the surface with any leftover seashells.
  7. Place the excavations in front of a fan overnight until they dry completely. Once the excavations dry, you can add little starfish or sand dollars too!
  8. Optional – You can tie ribbons around the cups or decorate them with stickers. You may want to use a marker to label the Sleepover Excavations with the names of each guest. This will help reduce any confusion and disagreements over which excavation is for which guest.
  9. Find an area that can get a little messy and set up the excavations, sets of tools, and safety goggles for each guest.
  10. Let the sleepover guests dig in and discover the treasures you have hidden inside.


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Have some zip close baggies available for the guests to store their seashells and take them home.



Seashell Secrets: Fun Facts about Seashells and Seashell Collecting!



Fun Facts about Seashells and Seashell Collecting:

  1. Seashells come in a dazzling array of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a treasure to discover and collect along the seashore.

  2. Seashells are the hard outer coverings of marine animals, such as mollusks and crustaceans, that protect their soft bodies.

  3. The patterns and designs on seashells are formed by layers of calcium carbonate, which the animals produce to build and strengthen their shells.

  4. Seashells can be found on sandy beaches, rocky shores, and even in deeper ocean waters, each location offering a unique variety of shells to explore.

  5. Seashell collecting, also known as conchology, is a popular hobby for many beach enthusiasts and nature lovers who enjoy finding and identifying different types of shells.

  6. Some collectors focus on specific types of shells, such as colorful and rare specimens, while others collect shells from various locations around the world.

  7. Seashell collecting provides an opportunity to learn about different marine species, their habitats, and the ecosystems they are a part of.

  8. Cleaning and organizing seashell collections can be a fun and creative activity, allowing collectors to display their treasures in jars, shadow boxes, or on decorative stands.

  9. Seashells can also be used for crafting and creating beautiful artworks, including shell jewelry, wind chimes, and mosaic designs.

  10. It's important to remember that some seashells may still be occupied by living organisms, so it's best to leave them undisturbed and return them to their natural habitat.

  11. Seashell collecting encourages exploration, observation, and appreciation of the natural world, fostering a deeper connection with marine environments.

  12. Each seashell tells a story of the ocean's vast diversity, the creatures that inhabit it, and the fascinating processes of growth and adaptation.

So, grab a bucket and head to the beach for an adventure in seashell collecting, where you can discover the beauty and wonders of the sea!



If your child loves the sleepover excavations, consider signing them up for to get a new Excavating Adventure each month. Each monthly excavation is loaded with rocks, fossils, seashells, and more to be discovered, identified, and collected. Enjoy excavations that foam, fizz, ooze, and even explode with our amazing and unique monthly subscription for kids!



Question 1: What are seashells made of? A) Sand B) Coral C) Calcium carbonate D) Plastic

Correct answer: C) Calcium carbonate

Question 2: What is the term for the hobby of collecting seashells? A) Conchology B) Marineology C) Shellology D) Oceanography

Correct answer: A) Conchology

Question 3: What can seashells be used for besides collecting? A) Building sandcastles B) Crafting and artwork C) As musical instruments D) Making jewelry

Correct answer: B) Crafting and artwork