Dinosaur Fossil Excavation

Depending on the age of your child, this game can be either mostly sensory play or mostly STEM play. Either way, it’s sure to delight!

I set up a dinosaur excavation pit for Veronika with three kinds of “dirt”. The first was a box of chocolate cake mix, the second was crushed chocolate cookies, and the third was regular flour (although whole wheat flour probably would have worked better).

Next, I buried a few of our small plastic dinosaurs under the “dirt”. If your children are older, you can use store-toy bones or fossil prints, instead (or even make your own). Since I knew Veronika wouldn’t quite understand what she was seeing with the fossils, we stuck with whole dinosaur bodies. She was about to be a very lucky paleontologist.

I scattered a few rocks on top for a finishing touch, then set out an old shaving brush, bucket, and shovel. Time to dig!

She immediately took to shoveling up the dirt and transferring to her bucket, a process which she absolutely loved.

I showed her how to brush the dust and grime off the dinosaurs as she unearthed each one, but honestly she wasn’t much interested. Dinos, rocks, and dirt alike went into her bucket and then were dumped into the tray to start all over. She also enjoyed pouring the “dirt” back and forth between a few small plastic cups.

Don’t fear the clean-up. The mixture sweeps up easily… as long as you don’t get it wet. Trust me: You do not want to deal with wet chocolate cake mix on your floor.


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