In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we’re going to show you how to make a Starbucks Surprise Cup excavation activity. These excavations are super easy to make and are a fun novelty dig to surprise your young Excavating Adventurer.


Be sure to check out our fun program to get free gift cards to spend in our store. Answer trivia and earn points you can redeem for free rocks, minerals, fossils, seashells, excavation kits and more!


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Save a bunch of Starbucks cups and lids and make a batch of Starbucks Surprise Cups for you next birthday party or any other gathering of young Excavating Adventurers. Birthday party dig kits are a great way to keep birthday party guests entertained and are inexpensive and easy to make. Check out all our DIY birthday dig kits and excavation ideas and find an activity that fits your next birthday party theme. 




Plaster of Paris


Mixing Bowl

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups

Popsicle sticks – Popsicle sticks are inexpensive, readily available, and make great excavation tools.

Safety goggles or glasses – You we need to provide or borrow a set for each student.

Optional – Brushes and magnifying glasses.

Excavation items - You can use small plastic toys, rocks, coins, or pretty much anything that will fit in the cup and be fun to find. 

Starbucks cup and lid 


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: I like to include the lid with the Starbucks Surprise Cup excavation. It not only makes the excavation look really cool, but the lid can act as a place to place items discovered from the dig kit. 



Check out our awesome collection of exciting and unique Odds and Ends excavation activities! Excavating Adventures has a kit for everyone. Explore dig kits filled with rocks, minerals, fossils, gemstones, seashells, and more! These limited edition, holiday themed, and other odd excavations are loaded with specimens to add to your collections that you often can not find in any other dig kit in our store. 




  1. Place some of the excavation items you have chosen in the Starbucks cup.
  2. Mix 1 cup sand with 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris.
  3. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  4. Pour the mixture over the items in the cup.
  5. Allow to mixture to set and firm up for about five minutes.
  6. Add more items and another batch of mixture. This will place items to be discovered at different levels in the excavation. Repeat these steps until the cup is filled to nearly the rim.
  7. Place the Starbucks Surprise Cup in front of a fan overnight until it is completely dry.
  8. Distribute the excavation, excavation tools, and safety goggles to your Excavating Adventurer and have fun watching them dig in and discover the awesome items you have hidden inside.


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Search through your recycle bin for fun cups, containers, and more to use as molds for DIY excavation activities. You may be surprised at the awesome excavations you create with what you find!


Take some time to explore the Excavating Adventures website for subscriptions for kids, digs kits, deals, and more. We have monthly excavations that get delivered right to your door, Build Your Own excavations, a blog filled with amazing excavation ideas, trivia, tons of free stuff and much, much, more!