six of the best rainy day activities for archaeologistsSo, you’ve just spent the weekend cooped up indoors with the kids playing endless games of eye spy while Britain’s wild and wet winter cooks up yet another storm outside. I spy with my little eye… Frustrated? Exasperated? Infuriated? Aggravated? All-four-of-the-above-ated?

Lets face it: this summer’s Dig Camp can’t come round soon enough (are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet…). Until then, we’ve compiled a little list of child friendly activities to keep your mini archaeologists entertained on any rainy day. Enjoy!

1. Make your own Tutankhamun death mask

Egyptology for Kids

Here’s one we made earlier!

You Need:

  • Plain plastic face mask (from any good craft shop)
  • Large piece of cardboard
  • Toilet roll tube
  • Paint – gold and blue
  • Masking tape
  • Elastic

First draw the death mask shape onto a piece of cardboard, making sure it fits around the shape of your mask. Next attach the mask to the cardboard using masking tape. Then place the toilet roll tube below the masks chin and attach using masking tape. Finally, get painting! Why not post a pic of your masterpiece on our Facebook page?!

2. Pottery Challenge

archaeology for kidsYou need:

  • A small plant pot, bowl, or plate
  • Strong glue
  • Alternatively a picture of a pot printed onto paper

This one’s super easy. Buy a pot. Smash the pot! Let the mini archaeologists piece it back together and glue into place. (You can also ‘bury’ the pieces into a tray of soil so they have to be dug up first.) Alternatively print a picture of a Greek pot onto a piece of paper, cut up into pieces and allow children to piece together and glue in place on a piece of paper.

3. Create your own dig

You need:

  • Plastic container
  • Soil
  • Organic matter: e.g. apple cores, leaves, shells, paper
  • Inorganic matter: e.g. metal coin, stone, pottery, plastic

Follow this guide to making your own archaeological dig at home. We love the idea of using the simplified context sheet to record the finds!

4. Code breakers

Archaeology for Kids

Print out some copies of our hieroglyph table, create your own message and get the kids code cracking. Here’s a warm up!

Kids and Archaeology

5. Archaeology is rubbish

Archaeology for Kids

You need:

  • Paper
  • 4 bin bags
  • Lots of everyday objects

This is one to show the kids how archaeology is the study of human rubbish. And it’s a bit of forensic investigation too!

Start by creating some character profiles and write them out on separate pieces of paper. Next, put the object clues into separate rubbish bags for each character and get the kids to guess who they are from the clues.

This is any easy one to adapt to different ages and abilities by adding as many or as few objects as you like, or for higher levels get them to feel the objects inside the bin bag without looking at what they are.

6. Prehistoric Paintings

DigVentures Upper Palaeolithic Cave paintingsYou need:

  • Material or large sheet of paper
  • Paint – black, brown, white, orange
  • Water spray bottles

Do some Prehistoric hand and animal paintings. Fill water spray bottles with black, brown, white and orange paints. Get the children to put their hand on the material or paper and spray over creating a handprint. They can also try painting wild animals and people.

Want to get EVEN more hands on? Then subscribe to our newsletter to find out more about DigVentures’ upcoming Dig Camp (did we mention the adult creche?)

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Aisling Serrant

An all round museum educator and enthusiast, Aisling's the Family Festival Coordinator at the Museum of London Docklands.

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