A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Cookie Policy | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.

Random Tip: You can organize your bookmarks into folders!  Read more here.
Total Members: 313,715
Currently Running With Scissors:
288 Guests and 7 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop

Pages: [1]
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: 5th birthday party dinosaur digs (with tutorial)  (Read 360 times)
Tags for this thread: fossil , featured_project , tutorial  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

wanting to do everything is *no excuse* for not doing anything.
Offline Offline

Posts: 1103
Joined: 01-Jan-2008

writer/crafter/naturalist, mother, Team Oak Tree

View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« on: March 01, 2018 12:13:24 PM »

My daughter wanted a dinosaur birthday party, so obviously we had to excavate "fossils."  Just about everything I found on pinterest involved making salt dough eggs, tho, and I refuse to use large amounts of 1-time-use kitchen stuff on something I can't put in the compost, so we did some experiments and this is what we ended up with:

*1 part sand
*1 part corn starch
*1 part black tea (for coloring, and to make it smell nice, according to my child; instant coffee would probably work well, too)
*a few drops food coloring if you want your dig to be darker or redder
*Treasures!  (For each kid we had 3 dinosaur skeletons, 2 garden rocks, a whole bunch of marbles, & some natural colored fishtank gravel to give a little more texture)
*Something to use as molds (I pulled out a stack of old takeout containers)

Divide up your treasures into even portions if you're doing this for a bunch of kids.  Then mix up your sand, tea, & corn starch.

Stir!  (a mess will be made...)  

Stir more, until everything comes together into sandy textured goop.  Remember it will get much paler as it dries, and decide if you want to add more coloring.  

Half-fill your molds with sandy goop, then press your treasures into it.  Spread them out so that not everything is in the same place.

Once you're happy with the distribution, pour on enough more goop to bury everything.  A few legs or marble tops sticking out is good, but you don't want to know where everything is when you start digging! Smiley  (We had to mix up another batch of goop at this point, so I added food coloring: 2 drops red, 1 blue, 1 yellow for a red-brown tint.  More might have been better.)

Put them somewhere out of the way and let everything dry.  We did these a week before the party, just in case, but dry times will depend on your humidity.  This dries more quickly than any of the other options we tested.

...And then get out all your toy hammers & crab mallets, paintbrushes, maybe some toy screwdrivers or pliers to pry with, and have at.  For some reason I don't have any pictures of wrangling six small children through disassembling these, but whacking it with a toy hammer seemed to work just fine, & little fingers can crumble up chunks of it with no problems.  

As the kids got done excavating, I dumped each person's container out onto an old metal window screen over a bucket to push the rest of the sand/cornstarch through & make sure they hadn't missed anything fun. The bucket got emptied into the compost, & I spent a minute to sweep the porch before we went on to painting fossil casts.

I have teas called "relax" and "detox" but what I really need is ones called "no headache" and "feel less like screaming."

Read more! (sometimes I write stuff)
Global Moderator
Guest Blogger
Needlework Moderator
Occasions and Holidays Moderator

Tutorial Contributor

Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Offline Offline

Posts: 36091
Joined: 25-Sep-2004

I got 99 problems, but a stitch ain't one.

View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2018 12:18:40 PM »

Oh my goodness! What fun!

SiFi Mom
Offline Offline

Posts: 2485
Joined: 18-Nov-2008

I own too many beads!

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2018 10:42:30 AM »

Such a cool idea for a kid's party!

SiFi Mom, aka Nancy
Crafting is my mental therapy!
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Offline Offline

Posts: 3953
Joined: 31-Jul-2005

Hi from Belgium!

View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2018 10:56:50 AM »

If I could travel back in time I would use this idea for a child's birthday party!

Cool idea, perfect execution!

Global Moderator
Swap Moderator
Paper Crafts, Scrapbooking, and ATCs Moderator

Tutorial Contributor

Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Member of the Papercraft Gang
Offline Offline

Posts: 31024
Joined: 01-Apr-2005

"Best of 2014" Winner; too lazy to change avatar.

View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2018 02:07:46 PM »

Congrats! This has been chosen as a Featured Project! Smiley

Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Jump to:  

only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search

Latest Blog Articles
@Home This Weekend: Pine Cone Succulents
Tute Tuesday: 2 Shirt Scarf
Love Your Laundry

Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...

Follow Craftster...

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2018, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.