Dinosaur Dig

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This is an activity about dinosaurs, fossils, and the work of paleontologists. Learners use hand tools (paint brushes, scoops, and sifters) to unearth fossil specimens in tubs of birdseed. This resource includes definitions of fossils and paleontologists as well as discussion questions to further learning.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 6

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • tubs or trays
  • birdseed
  • large paint brushes
  • scoops & sifters
  • fossil specimens (bones, plastic dinosaurs, twigs)
  • large flat container


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
    • Earth's History
      • Fossils
      • Dinosaurs
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Evolution
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations
    • Science as a Career

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access