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Saint Augustine, Northeast Florida
Going public with archaeology for outreach, assistance to local governments, and service to the citizens and state of Florida. Visit our website at: http://flpublicarchaeology.org/nerc/
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Archive for June 2016

Archaeology Crafts, Activities and Snacks for Summer Vacation!

Archaeology  Crafts, Activities, and Snacks for Summer Vacation!

Can you believe it’s already June? Summer may have only just arrived, but it’s certainly already in full swing! If you have been searching for fun, educational (and even some yummy) activities for your kids to enjoy during their summer vacation – look no further! We’ve poured over the web and have found a handful of engaging archaeology-related activities and crafts that you can do at home with your young scientists-to-be.  

Indoor Activities

"Lego Stratigraphy"

Legos are so much fun! 
If your kids are crazy about Legos, why not try this awesome building activity? Originally created to teach kids about geology, this activity can easily be adapted to explore the concept of stratigraphy and archaeological excavations. Just add archaeology-related details you can learn about in the image and website below:  

A great illustration for explaining stratigraphy and relative dating in archaeology

This is a great image to use as a resource as your kiddos get to work building up some archaeological Lego-layers; click on the link for more information about stratigraphy and how archaeologists use stratigraphy to help relatively date artifacts. 


“Dig it Up” Home-made Archaeology Game

This is a fun craft and activity!

Here’s a great home-made archaeology game that was designed for a younger audience (suggested ages 3-4). Kids “excavate” cards from a “grid” and try to find matches. The game was designed to teach kids: the following concepts: “Science is done by many people at once, who help each other, Science is a continuing process, and Science is done one small step at a time.” (source


“The Great Garbage Mystery”

Did you know that archaeologists love garbage? It’s true! You can learn a lot about a culture by studying the things they use and throw away. This activity can easily be adapted to have kids make inferences about a “mystery culture” that lives right in your own home! 
Archaeologists study a midden (ancient trash) in Jacksonville. 
Here's a great article about archaeologists studying pre-historic Native American "trash" here in Florida to get the conversation rolling: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2016-06-03/story/digging-through-ancient-trash-looking-clues


"Mini Archaeological Dig" 

A home-school teacher/blogger/mom came up with this excellent indoor/outdoor archaeology activity for her kids! This particular activity has everything from setting up the grid to recording detailed notes about the excavation. This activity gets an A++ for fun and learning! 


"Dirt Detective"

Sometimes a great website can be all you need to entertain (and educate) your kids for hours. This particular website has some really great interactive games that teach kids the fundamentals of archaeology and how archaeologists excavate units. 

Archaeology Snacks

Okay, okay... so archaeologists don’t technically specialize in fossils, but we can certainly appreciate this great paleontology cookie idea! 


"Oreo Dirt Cups"

Here’s a geology-turned-archaeology project that is both fun and easy! Layered pudding and cookie crumbs in clear plastic cups provide the perfect opportunity to tell your kids all about the wonders of stratigraphy and archaeological excavation!

Ideas to adapt for archaeology: swap the gummy worms for 2 or 3 different types of smaller candies (M&Ms; gummy bears; mini-marshmallows…etc). Place a different type of candy in each layer and have kids tell you which is “older” using the Law of Superposition!

Outdoor Activities

“A is for Archaeological Dig” 

Source: http://www.eagered.com/a/a-is-for-archaeological-dig

Here's another great excavation activity that is loaded with great information. This website provides step-by-step instructions for how to introduce archaeology to your kids, how to set up a test unit, how to excavate, and how to record your findings. The author set up this activity to span over the course of several days - this one is sure to be a hit with your young archaeologists! 


"DIY: Potsherds for an Archaeological Dig"

If your archaeologist-in-training is also an artist, why not inspire them to draw upon all of their talents (no pun intended) ? In this activity, kids draw on small gardening pots, break them, and bury them for a mock-excavation. Be sure to pick up a notebook and to talk about the importance of recording their finds. Bonus points for having them interpret the art and pottery to learn something about their imaginary culture! 

Here are some additional resources that could help to make this activity a success:

 Lesson Plan/Parent Resource for teaching about Archaeological Digs (AIA):

Recording Sheets from the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA):

Or you can work this activity into the "A is for Archaeology" and "The Great Garbage Mystery" activities above. 

Thanks for stopping by!

We hope you are having a GREAT summer break with your kids so far. Hopefully these activities will be inspiring for a few afternoons of archaeology fun! 

What If You Encounter Artifacts At The Beach?

Front of Beach Artifact Postcard
Summer is here!  And you know what that means..... It's time to eat blueberries, time for kids to be out of school, time to go swimming, and time to receive your annual beach artifact reminder!

As the summer storms of weather and people hit our Florida beaches, buried artifacts may become revealed.   Our "WHAT IF YOU ENCOUNTER ARTIFACTS AT THE BEACH?" postcard lists 3 steps you should take if  an artifact is found on the beach (see above).  The back of the card explains what archaeology is and why it's important to leave artifacts in their original context (see below)

Back of Beach Artifact Postcard

For more information look at:  http://dos.myflorida.com/historical/archaeology/ 

Thank you for helping to preserve your past!

 Text and photos by FPAN Staff, Robbie Boggs

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