Pretend Archeological Digs

Photo Source: Flickr | Abby Batchelder

There are two things every kid loves - dirt and treasure! Abbie, creator of the blog Greening Sam and Avery, recommends putting the two together for some great digging (scientific) fun!

Supplies You'll Need

  • Large flower pots or bins
  • Potting soil
  • Seasonal treasure (pine cones, acorns, small pumpkins, gourds, etc.)
  • Digging tools (scoops, shovels, spoons, rakes, etc.)

Prepare for the activity by filling the flower pots or bins with potting soil and hiding the "treasure" in the dirt. Consider doing this in layers (e.g. pour a bit of dirt, add several items, pour dirt, add items, etc.) until the container is full. Set up your "digging sites" outside and divide students into teams of three. Help each group of students define their role in the dig. While each child will be helping unearth the items in the soil, have each student take on a special role just like a real archeological team would!

Team roles:

  • Recorder. Give this student a picture checklist of the items they are to uncover. As each new object is found, invite them to update their list.
  • Tool Specialist. Give this student a picture checklist of the tools their team will be using to excavate. Have them take an inventory of the tools when they reach the dig site and again at the end to make sure everything is accounted for.
  • Treasure Preserver. Provide this student with sample bags and picture labels. As the treasure is unearthed, have them place the item in a bag and tape on the proper picture label for further examination after the dig.

After the dig, have students bring their "samples" back to the classroom. Discuss the conditions of the dig (e.g. was the soil soft or hard/compacted, did certain tools work better than others, did the size of an object make it easier/harder to find it, etc.).

Not only will your students have a blast "playing in the dirt", they'll learn to make observations, how to keep accurate records, strengthen counting skills, practice proper labeling, learn to work as a team, and so much more! Day 91: digging fun - Greening Sam and Avery

Need more classroom ideas? For great early childhood teaching resources and supplies, be sure to check out MPM School Supplies!


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