Whenever we pass by the toy section at Target, my kids beg me to buy the dig it kits. They’ve even saved their money to buy the kits. They love excavating and finding treasures inside! In my opinion, they are quite overpriced! It got me thinking about how I could create homemade dig it bars. We couldn’t come up with a recipe that’s exact, but we came up with something similar that is a fun alternative.
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Here’s what you need for homemade dig it bars:
- 1 cup plaster of paris (this is what we used)
- 1 cup water
- silicone mold in the shape of bars (I found mine at Hobby Lobby, but here’s a similar one)
- items to dig: gems, rocks, plastic animals, etc.
- tools for digging: hammer, small screwdriver, digging tools
- tray or cutting board
- safety goggles (optional)
To make the bars, follow these steps:
- Mix 1 cup plaster of paris with 1 cup water. Stir to combine. (If you want a colored block, just add a few drops of food coloring in)
- Pour a small amount into 2 molds. Add in materials to dig.
- Pour another small amount on top. Add some more items and then cover it up with the rest of the mixture.
- Let it sit for about 3 hours, or until it’s hard. There may be some water on top, but you can soak that up with a towel.
- Pop the bars out of the mold and set it on a tray with digging tools.
**This recipe makes enough for two bars.**
This is a messy activity, so I recommend doing this outdoors. Invite your child to excavate and find the treasures inside the bar!
Since some of the plaster can splatter, I do recommend wearing safety goggles. In hindsight, I wish we would’ve done that. Make sure your child knows how to operate the tools and use precaution. Always supervise your child!
We found that placing a small screwdriver in the mold and then tapping it with a hammer worked really well to break the mold apart.
We were able to easily wash off the remaining plaster on the items, but I would recommend using non-important items in case they get damaged from the tools.
This activity kept my boys sooo busy! They loved it! I think this would be a fun activity for talking about fossils, too. When we got the items out, we could see a neat imprint!
Hope you’ll try this out…it really is a fun activity!