Run a Classroom Dinosaur Dig

by TerriRexson

Are you planning a Classroom Dinosaur Dig? Find ideas and resources to help the children learn all about dinosaurs. Great for schools, clubs and summer camps.

Most kids are fascinated by dinosaurs. The carnivores were scary and many of the herbivores were really big! Kids will have a great time learning all about prehistoric times. A dino dig is fun and educational

Kids love the physical activity of digging up dinosaur fossils with geology field tools, well trowels and brushes! A dino dig is usually set up in a large outdoor sandbox. Indoor works too if the weather is bad and you have a large space.

What is a Dinosaur Dig?

Or Dino Dig

A classroom dinosaur dig is a fun and educational activity that involves recreating a paleontology field site and excavating dinosaur bones. The fossils are cleaned, identified and assembled into a dinosaur skeleton. 

It is usually combined with lots of educational activities to teach children when dinosaurs lived, what we know about dinosaurs and how scientists know so much about creatures that lived millions of years ago. 

A dino dig is the kind of activity that children will remember. If you arrange a dinosaur dig then you'll be a very popular teacher or group or camp leader. 

Classroom Dinosaur Dig

Kids enjoying a dino dig
Classroom Dinosaur Dig
Classroom Dinosaur Dig

Planning a Dino Dig

If you're planning a dino dig then you'll need to arrange both the material for the dig and the educational resources for teaching kids about dinosaurs. 

For the dig you'll need

  • dinosaur bones - it's best to get a kit designed for this purpose so the bones fit together into a skeleton. 
  • trowels or shovels for digging
  • brushes for cleaning the fossils
  • stakes and tape for marking out the excavation site 

Then you'll need lesson plans and worksheets. 

Now you need to decide how long the big will run for. You can have a short dig that all takes place in one day, or you can have a longer dig that takes place over several days, building up the excitement and giving the children a chance to absorb the experience. 

You need to think about how you will control the dig itself. You should only allow a small number of children on to the site at any time (with the others doing learning activities) and they should be supervised by an adult. Encourage the children to play the role of real paleontologists and get them excited about their finds. You can set up some roleplay so they pretend they are the first people to discover this dinosaur. 

Educational Insights GeoSafari Classroom Dinosaur Dig

Educational Insights GeoSafari Classroom Dinosaur Dig
Educational Insights
Only $39.99

Recommended Classroom Dino Dig Kit

This Classroom Dinosaur Dig kit from Educational Insights includes everything you need to run a successful dino dig. It includes a 30 piece T-Rex skeleton, a real dinosaur jaw bone, stakes and tape, 8 trowels and 8 brushes, a stand for the finished dinosaur with fossilized plants and rods to hold the skeleton in place, two posters, worksheets and answers and lots of ideas for interactive learning sessions. Wow! That's pretty impressive. 

The set is reusable so it can be used with future classes too. 

Setting up the Dino Dig Site

Ideally you will set the dino dig site up outside in a large sandbox, the above kit recommends 3 yards by 2 yards. Dig a hole in the center of the sandbox (an area of dirt is a messier alternative). 

Use the stakes and tape to divide the grid into squares (for older children you can label the stakes and get them to record the location of each bone). 

Arrange the bones on the sand and cover them with more sand. You may wish to add a layer of modern objects and then more sand. 

The kit recommends that you save one dinosaur bone to leave sticking out of the dig site. 

If you can't have the dig outdoors then you can create an indoor dig site using a large wading pool. You could still use sand indoors (some clean up will be required!), alternatives include sawdust, packing peanuts or shredded paper. 

Running the Dino Dig

Allow groups of around 4 children at a time at the dig site. As they find a fossil they should record its grid location and attempt to indentify it. What sort of dinosaur bone is it? Where is the body do they think it comes from. 

Easy child should be limited to one fossil find (or more for smaller groups). The children should use a brush to clean up their fossil ready to be assembled into a skeleton. 

GeoSafari Classroom Dinosaur Dig

by Educational Insights
Educational Insights GeoSafari Classroom Dinosaur Dig
Educational Insights
Only $39.99

We hope you enjoyed learning about running a

Classroom Dinosaur Dig

We hope you have a brilliant time with you dino dig and the kids have an experience to remember. 

You might also like

Dino Dig Kits
Individual dino dig kits for children to do at home. These sets make great gifts for kids who love dinosaurs.

Updated: 05/20/2012, TerriRexson
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Jimmie on 06/10/2011

I love hands-on science activities like this one. It really brings the concepts alive!

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