An Easy Dinosaur Dig for Kids to do at Home

1:10 PM


One of the girls favorite things at the Indianapolis Children's Museum was digging for dinosaur bones.  The substrate they had the bones buried in was somewhat like very small rubbery beads all glued together, so the kids really had to work at digging the dino out.  The one the girls were working on was new that morning, and the man working there said it would probably take about 2 months to complete. Amazing!

I figured we could put together our own dinosaur dig here with our little plastic dinos (I suppose I should have bought a model skeleton to be more accurate; maybe in the future).


 I found a recipe for dinosaur eggs on Projects for Preschoolers and decided to use the recipe in a bin instead of in egg shapes.

Ingredients Needed to Make Your Dino Dig Dirt



  • 1 1/4 C dirt
  • 1 1/4 C flour
  • 3/4 C salt
  • 1/2 C sand
  • water
Mix all the dry ingredients together.



Slowly add water to get a clay-like texture. I added about 1 1/2 C, and mine was a little more liquidy than clay. If you want to make shapes you will need it a little drier than you would if you want to smooth it over the top of the dinosaurs.


For what I wanted to do I just set a few plastic dinosaurs in the bottom of my little bin. Then I covered them with the muddy clay.  Unfortunately, I really needed another batch of it, but I had used up all my salt.  I did get them all covered, though.



Then I left the bin out in the sun to dry, and it looked pretty dry by the time I brought it in that night.

When I touched it is was still a bit squishy, so I made some prints on top of it to look like fossils. They would have looked even better if they had been made while it was a bit wetter. You could definitely make out a shell and dinosaur footprints, though.


Playing with Our at Home Dinosaur Dig Bin


After identifying the "fossils" on top I had the girls get whatever they wanted to use to dig with as well as a couple paintbrushes.  Then I let them dig! It was actually still very moist inside which probably made the digging a bit easier.  It didn't take too long for them to find all 6 of the dinosaurs I buried.

If you want to simulate more of an actual dig, I would let the dirt mixture dry for a couple days!



Then they broke off most of the dirt and used the paint brushes and water table to clean off the rest.




Once all the dinosaurs were all out, my son went to work digging in the leftover dirt!


Even though he jumped in at the end, he did have his very own  Dinosaur Sensory Bin to play with at the same time.

I was quite pleased with our at home dinosaur dig, and my kids were too. They didn't want to stop!



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