Dinosaur Dig Bin

Dinosaur Dig Bin Left Brain Craft BrainToday we’re digging for dinosaurs and I’m welcoming my good friend Alison to Left Brain Craft Brain.  She created this dinosaur dig bin for her LittleMan.  Alison is a full time mom to the very active, three year old LittleMan.  In a previous life she was a feature film animator, and is currently illustrating a children’s book entitled ‘Nothing Goes Up Your Nose!’  Because sometimes you just get tired of saying it….

Take it away Alison….

dinosaur dig goop bin collage left brain craft brainI discovered something pretty cool the last time we made goop. If you let it sit neglected in your backyard for several days it dries out completely & goes solid again. Not only does it go solid it kinda looks like a desert, all dried & cracked. And when you pry it up out of the container, it keeps its shape!  I was instantaneously reminded of two things: 1) the episode of How It’s Made that shows how gummy worms are made by molding them in cornstarch and 2) the dinosaur fossil kit that my 3 yr old has been lusting after every trip to the toy store. So… I put it all together for homemade dinosaur dig!

First create the largest tub of goop you can manage.  I used 3 Target boxes of cornstarch & that worked out well. Goop for the uninitiated is cornstarch & water & a bit of food coloring. Usually when we make goop I try to add just enough water to make it malleable & interesting to the touch. This time I added more water & we mixed & mixed till it was totally dissolved into a liquid. LittleMan really like helping with this part & adding the food coloring.dinosaur dig bin animals left brain craft brain

Then came the animals. We dropped them in & let them sink. I found an extra elephant a little while afterwards & put him in his own little container with a few scoops of goop. The nice thing about this was he was ready a bit earlier than the main tub. The elephant was ready the next day, the main tub the day after that. I found that it dried a lot faster out in the sun that indoors.

Finally it was EXCAVATION time!!  LittleMan was extremely excited & sang to himself most of the time he excavated.  We used his hammer & screwdriver from a toy tool set & an old brush I had lying around. We talked about dinosaurs & fossils while he pulled great big hunks of the stuff out. To be honest he really enjoyed just the way the final cornstarch mass sheared away & broke & crumbled in his hands. I pointed out the fossil type shapes left from the animals & he was vaguely impressed. The ‘excavation’ took up most of an afternoon. I would recommend doing this outside as it can get pretty messy.dinosaur dig bin excavation left brain craft brainOverall this was a big hit & an enjoyable way to spend a few afternoons (making it, checking on it & excavating it). It’ll be an interesting one to try again in a few months or a year to see if his thought process & interests have changed from ‘I just want to smash that’ to ‘let’s look at the imprints’.

7 thoughts on “Dinosaur Dig Bin”

  1. Now this looks like too much fun to pass up! This is definitely on our to-do list! Mine love goop, and I like the idea of doing something with it other than pitching it in the trash after a couple days!

    1. This is great! You can buy plastic dinosaur fossils on Amazon pretty cheaply. We’ve used those for sandbox digs but this is a whole new level!

  2. jennifergracecreates

    Hi, found this via Pintorials… this looks like so much fun, my son would love it! x

  3. Pingback: Donut Shop Sensory Play + Love to Learn Linky #8 - Left Brain Craft Brain

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