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 DIY dino excavation
Supplies needed:
• Toy dino skeletons or dinos • Cornstarch (at least 1 cup) • Water (about 2 cups)
Choose a container that is just
big enough to contain the dino, with enough space around it to bury the dino. A small bowl or a 3-cup storage container works well.
Add cornstarch to your container and pour the cool water over the starch slowly, mixing constantly with a fork. You’ll want the mixture to be about the consistency of pudding. If it gets really thick and too hard to mix, add more water. Add more starch if it is too thin. You may need to add more solution depending on the size of your contain- er. Use two parts water to one part
cornstarch. Once you have enough solution, put the dino in and push down so that it is no longer visible.
Allow to dry for one to two days. When the surface starts to crack, un- mold your cornstarch solid onto a plate or baking dish to catch all of the debris when the dino is chipped out! You may need additional dry time if the surface feels damp to the touch.
When it is dry, allow kids to be archeologists and dig out the dino. Use butter knives or spoons to chip away at the surface. Offer dry paint brushes to brush off the bones while excavating!
• Container large enough to “bury” the dino in
Outdoor ice excavation
This activity presents a fun way to play paleontologist on a hot day!
Supplies needed:
• A shallow baking dish such as a 9x13 inch baking pan
• Several small plastic dinosaur toys
  Arrange a few plastic dinosaurs on the bottom of the pan, and then fill the pan two-thirds full with water. Place pan in the freezer and freeze until you have a solid block of ice.
To excavate, remove the ice block
Sensory bin
from the pan and put it outside. Let the kids chip out the toys with metal spoons and butter knives. They could also experiment with melting the ice by pouring small amounts of warm water over the ice.
   A sensory bin is a great way for younger children to learn and explore through hands-on play. Sensory bins are super easy to create and might even give a tired parent a break as it can keep kids occupied for quite
a while.
Supplies needed:
• A container (something with enough space for kids to get both hands into and sift through rice or sand and find objects. Suggestions: a large bowl, a plastic storage container, a sandbox, a sand table, etc.)
• Dry beans, rice or sand
• Items for kids to find such as small and
large plastic dinosaur toys, small rocks, shells, plastic eggs and play moss. A variety of sizes, shapes and textures is best for this type of hands-on play.
Fill the container halfway with sand, dry beans or rice. Add in toys and other objects. Allow kids to dig in and play! summer 2020 alaska parent 39

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