A Dinosaur Dig: An Activity for Preschoolers


Max is mad about dinosaurs, so I wanted to create lots of fun dinosaur themed activities for us to do together during February while the weather wasn’t great. Once we’d made our dinosaur fossils, I created a dinosaur digging activity for him, where he became a palaeontologist, digging to discover dinosaur skeletons and fossils. This was such a big hit with him, and occupied him for a good length of time on a rainy afternoon, and was really easy to set up.


You Will Need:

A tray (we used a storage box from Tesco)

Play sand (I bought a 10kg bag from Early Learning Centre)

Dinosaur figures (we used a combination of figures, skeletons, and fossils

A paintbrush


How To Make:

Just fill your tray with half your play sand, position your dinosaurs and fossils fairly evenly around the tray, and then cover with the other half of your sand. Try to make sure that there are some at different levels, and a few poking up through the surface to give your child a clue where to start. Hand them the paintbrush, or show them what to do if they need a bit of help, and off they go! I provided Max with the safety goggles just because he loves wearing them and it adds to the drama for him!


Little boy brushing sand in plastic box, to reveal dinosaur figures buried in the sand

Close up of little boy's hand holding dinosaur figure and brushing away sand with a paintbrush

Close up of little boy holding green toy dinosaur figure, inspecting it through his safety goggles


He absolutely loved brushing away the sand to find the dinosaurs. Although I liked the idea of the skeletons, it was clear that the more colourful dinosaur figures worked far better for this activity – the skeletons were far too similar in colour to the sand, and I think quite a few remained buried! But it was such a hit that Max asked to do it another two times before deciding to move on to something else.


Close up of little boy holding stone over sand tray

Close up of little boy's hand holding yellow dinosaur figure, over sand tray


I love that we now have this set up as an activity that we can bring out on a rainy day. Our storage box came with a lid, so we just popped the lid on, with the dinosaurs inside, so it’s all ready to go next time we want to do some dinosaur digging.

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