Fossil Excavation Sensory Bin

I am a big Jurassic Park fan (dinosaurs are rad)! It’s actually kind of hilarious because A. I pretty much only watch kids movies and rom coms and B. I am border line terrified whenever a dinosaur attacks or eats a person, so I watch much of it with my hands over my eyes. But I can’t help it– it’s so fun to “see” dinosaurs and the parks are so full of imagination. Needless to say, once Sprinkles moved in– we had an introductory marathon. She also loved it! So, on a quest to create more dinosaurs on this blog we thought it would be fitting to make a dinosaur themed sensory play bin.

If you are new on the block of early childhood play/activities– sensory play is any activity that stimulates any of your little one’s five senses: sight, touch, sound, taste and smell. They shouldn’t taste this one, but it’s got of all the other 4 senses covered. Searching for and removing the fossils from the sand, as well as using the paintbrushes are also great for their fine motor skills. I would only do this project with a child old enough to know not to stick everything in their mouth.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Epson Salt

Food Coloring

Ziplock Bags

Fossil Toys

Sensory Bin



Let’s get started…

1.) Making the “sand” for your fossil excavation couldn’t be easier. Simply pour some Epson Salt into a Ziplock baggie, add yellow food coloring and shake! I made about 7-8 bags of sand and made each of them different shades of yellow by using different amounts of food coloring.

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2.) Pour your “sand” into your bin and add your fossils. I placed some fossils in the bottom of the bin to be completely covered with sand and then layered the rest into the middle and top.


3.) Play! Let your little paleontologists use some paintbrushes to uncover their fossils during their excavation.


Side note: I added a few drops of lavender essential oil into my ziplock baggie while making my sand. Lavender oil is great for calming and smoothing little ones. 


I hope you have a fantastic time on your excavation!



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