Dinosaur Excavation

I saw something like this on the other day and thought the kids might like it.  We waited until the weather was a little sunny and moved the activity out onto the back porch, though I think you could probably do it inside (if you have a big enough bathtub). IMG_8780 Start with a large bowl – really large, preferably metal.  Throw a whole bunch of little toys in there.  I had a tube of dinosaurs, some large dinosaurs, misc other animals, and a dozen or so pretty rocks.  Also add some ice cubes if you have nice big ones.  Fill up the bowl about halfway with water (I added a couple drops of blue food color to the water first for fun). Stash it in your freezer until mostly (or all the way) frozen.  Then add some more water, to cover any arms/legs that didn’t fully submerge.  Freeze again. When you’re ready, pull out the bowl and run some hot water over the outside to loosen your ice block.  Next, turn it out onto your play surface and let the kiddos do some exploring. IMG_8781 Observe it, touch it.  Ask some questions about color, temp, etc.  Then bring out some large bowls of hot water and some tools.  I had some measuring cups and mini shovels in the sandbox and they worked great! IMG_8779  IMG_8790 Show your kids how to pour water over the ice and point out how it melts.  Mine were excavating for about 40 mins – celebrating when every toy is “freed” from it’s ice age prison 🙂  They had such a blast, I can’t wait to do it again in the summer IMG_8787

When we got toward the end we resorted to just smashing it on the porch. You can see the ice cubes in this shot. I isn’t really necessary, but it makes it look a little more interesting…

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