Give your kids hours of engaging, hands on playtime with this tabletop dinosaur fossil dig. Made for under $50, this dig can be played with again and again, to the delight of your little ones!
PREHISTORIC DIY GROW JAR
A dino lover must-have gift!!
Get ready to roar into action with this fun terrarium that combines dinosaur figurines with some basic life science. Our dinosaurs share their grow jar with fertile soil and some clover seeds, making a science lesson come to life (with a little help from the imagination and a T-Rex). Don’t wait, order yours today right here!
Dino Dig Game
- 50lb. Bag of Play Sand (Hardware Store for about $5)
- Dollar Tree Elmer’s Glue (7 packs of 2 – 14 total)
- Plastic Dinosaur Fossil Pack (Here at Amazon.com for $7.19)
- Paint Brushes for Archeological Dusting (Dollar Tree)
- Wooden/Plastic Box (I went to Goodwill to find my wooden crate on wheels, and saw around 10 other containers that would have worked. You can always find something at Goodwill!)
- Dinosaur Stencils (Amazon.com)
- Craft Paint in Your Color Choice (I just went with a simple ivory)
- Disposable Foil Cooking Pan for Mixing Sand Compound (Dollar Tree)
Items from Around the House + Craft Room:
- Paint Sponge
- Paper Towels
- Big Bucket for Stirring
In a big bucket, mix together 1 part Elmer’s Glue, 2 parts water, and enough sand to create a “quick-sand” texture that is squishy, but not runny – like wet beach sand that still has a noticeable amount of moisture in it.
How much of this mixture do you need? Well, whatever container you have selected to hold your archeological dig site, you’ll want to cover the bottom of that with about 1” of the “quick-sand” mixture you just created.
Dump the bucket of sand into your dino dig container and smooth it out. We’re going to start placing the little dinosaurs into the bed of the container. The reason we mixed glue into the sand, is so that it forms an easy “cement-like” base, encasing the dinosaur fossils so that the kiddos can excavate around them again and again without knocking them loose.
Embed your little plastic dinosaur fossils into the wet sand-glue mixture. Build little hills of the sand up around them, so that they are smoothly integrated into the foundation.
To create the mounds around each of the dinosaurs, I pulled sand from the middle of the dino dig container. I “borrowed” so much sand from the middle (creating a bare swath down the center), that it gave me an idea. When the kids brush away the sand to reveal the dinosaurs, all of that piled up sand needs as place to go, so that it doesn’t become a mound that teeters dangerously close to the edge of the box (and your carpet down below!) Since my dino dig is headed to the house of two little brothers, I decided to create two sides to the container. Each side has dinosaurs, and in the middle, the sand slopes down into a bare space for them each to push their loose sand with their “excavation” paintbrushes.
To solidify the dinosaurs even more into the sand, and create a semi-hard casing over everything, I used 3 (Dollar Tree) bottles of Elmer’s Glue for each side, and poured them over the dinosaurs and the sand. I then used a throw-away paintbrush to spread out the glue over everything.
Now to let it dry. And dry and dry! You can use a hairdryer, if you’re impatient like me. Wait for the foundation of your fabulous fossil dig to become nice and solid (mine was nice and solid within 48 hours).
Use your dinosaur stencils, paint, and paint sponge to stencil your designs onto the sides of your container. It gives it some fun character! You could also use letter stencils to personalize the container with a name.
Pour about 2-3” of sand into your dino dig container, and you’re done! Your dino dig is ready for excavation and hours of fun.
Did you enjoy our DIY dino dig? Let us know in the comments section below what your thoughts are on DIY digging game for kids.
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