Sunday, July 1, 2012

dollar store excavations

Mom, I am soooooooo bored!

As a teacher, I so loved summer; as a mom, not my favorite time.

The chore sticks posts are almost done, and I will have a much briefer (is that even a word?) post for the "bored" sticks soon too.  But I had to share this ridiculously easy idea I had and subsequently made into a "bored" stick since it went so well.

Chances are I saw it on a blog or Pintercrack somewhere, but I can't remember seeing it, just thinking it.  So while I take credit for the thought, I do so tentatively.

This cost very little, but gave me peace and quiet for nearly an hour.  An HOUR.  If I could do it daily, I would, but I think it would loose some of its appeal.


  • Some dollar store toys (I had plastic army men, dinosaurs, and frogs)
  • Tupperware or other freezable container
  • Water
  • Excavation tools (we used a kids tool set and a paint brush)
  • Surface that can get wet (outside table)
I took my Tupperware, tossed in some toys and filled it with a bit of water.  Froze it over night. 

Okay fine, I admit I was impatient.  I froze it for like three hours and tried to do the next layer, but the water from the tap promptly thawed the layer that had frozen over, which collapsed and all the toys sunk to the bottom.  The point is to do this in layers so that they have to really excavate it and not be done once they hit one section.  So I did the bottom layer again.

Then the next day, added some more and more water.  Froze for another 24 hours.  It may not need that long, but I wasn't messing with it anymore.

Set up the table outside with the tools in the shade and pulled the container out of the freezer.  Set it in a sink of warm water to loosen it, and that baby popped right out.  One big ice block of cheap toys.

I told the Meatball that he was an arctic archaeologist (say that five times fast) on the verge of discovering a new race of creatures that had apparently adapted to the harsh conditions of the climate.  He needed to very carefully extract these creatures so they could be further studied.

He ate that crap right up, loved it!

And I had an hour of peace.

The "mess" of this was mostly contained in the  lid of a storage container (dubbed the specimen tray) and everything else evaporated even though we did it in the shade and in the morning.  So it was a piece of cake to clean up.


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