Backyard Archaeology for Kids, Science & History At Home

This is an activity from the book below, and we loved it!! 
We are building a family room addition this year, so we have an area of yard that makes a perfect dig site. Ava chose pink ribbon (you can use whatever you like - I did have garden twine on hand) to rope off our dig area:) We used sticks from the yard to stake the area. This time round (that I am showing today), was just a simple fun dig!

There are countless ways to achieve an activity like this if you are unable to dig in the yard. Similar to a sensory bin you could use a large under bed plastic box, and fill it with play sand or a bag of soil - fill it with interesting finds. This can easily be sectioned off into small areas for mapping your finds. 

A few books we are using...

Archaeology for Kids: Uncovering the Mysteries of Our Past, 25 Activities (For Kids series)

This is a link to the same book above but it has a different cover.

Our house is well over a hundred years old, so there are many very interesting things to find in the ground here. We found some china shards, iron, glass (be very careful because you never know what you will find), bricks and mortar. Then there are all of the natural amazing things like plants, pine cones, moss, lichen, bark, rocks, worms, insects and roots - amazing roots!!  

What did we take outside?

  • garden hand tools, hand spade, hand rake, root cutter
  • scissors
  • magnifying glasses
  • collection jars and dishes
  • gloves (rarely used)
  • Pocket Scopes
  • sketch pad/journals, crayons, pencils
  • I also cut a foam puzzle mat for each of them to sit/kneel on

The roots were great fun to excavate. We recently watched a video about plant behaviours here, so this was very interesting to chat about.

We have done some root work, and I've been collecting lots of roots for a closer look to revisit some of these materials.

 We created hand drawn scavenger hunt challenges. It's hard to see Ava's page here, but she had drawn a tiny leaf and some sticks so far on her sheet 💓

This was great fun. It can really be done anywhere! We have been out several times since.

Another take on the book activity - hiding all kinds of goodies in their sand box (ours is 8'sq) and having them stake it off in sections, and then documenting/drawing their finds.

So many ideas...

If you'd like to visit some of our outdoor adventures check out the following posts!!


Nature Identification Books

Microscope Unit

Ocean Study

Thanks for visiting with us!



  1. This sounds like so much fun! My son is really into archaeology and has used some of the same resources. I'll have to tip him off to the rest ;)

    1. I bet he is Jessica!! They did have such a great time:)

  2. This is great! What I especially like about this is the simplicity!! The kids did awesome work too!!! Thank you for sharing.

    1. It was so simple and so much fun. We have been outside non stop since the weather got a little warmer. Thank you for commenting!!


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