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Dinosaur Ice Dig Excavation activity for preschoolers

Do your kids love dinosaurs? Cool down on a hot day with this simple dinosaur ice dig excavation sensory activity!

Luke has been really into dinosaurs lately. We got a dinosaur kit from the library and it really inspired him to learn some of the different dino types.

It was hot one day and we were kind of bored of sorting the dinosaurs by color and type, so I decided to freeze them up in some ice.

Wow – I could have never predicted how popular this would be! Even Rory – just 10 months old – really loved banging on it and pulling at the lil dinosaurs frozen in ice.

Dinosaur excavation sensory play is a fun way for kids to work on their fine motor skills, by using tools like spoons and forks to stab at the ice.

The frozen dinosaur ice excavation activity is also a chance to talk about the water cycle – and how ice melts into more water.

Kids love ice play? Check out my iceberg sensory bin!

Here’s everything you need to know about dinosaur sensory play!

sensory activity - dinosaur ice dig for kids

Dinosaur ice dig for kids

What you need:

What you do:

Fill a tupperware with water. Add plastic dinosaurs. Freeze.

frozen dinosaurs in ice

One fully frozen and ready to play, pull out of the freezer. Place upside down on a tray or baking sheet. It should pop out with a little bang.

frozen dinosaurs in ice in a tupperware

Present to your kids with a bowl of water – you can use warm water for younger kids, I prefer room temperature since it lasts longer. Use droppers, spoons, or ladles to put water on the ice.

You can also place it in a sensory bin if you prefer.

They will have a blast trying to melt the block of ice with water! Melting ice is refreshing on a hot day and it’s just plain fun to play with ice.

dinosaur ice dig with droppers

Use forks, knives, or sticks to dig into the ice.

Don’t want a big ice cube? For another dinosaur ice activity, you can freeze each dino inside a balloon of water! This gives you frozen dino eggs to play with.

Don’t use water balloons – they are too small – stick to regular balloons just fill the balloons with water until they are about 6 inches across.

dinosaur ice dig activity with plastic spoons

Dig up and discover the dinos inside!

For older kids, you can work on:

  • Counting
  • Naming colors
  • Naming the types of dinosaurs
  • Talking about fossils and how paleontologists dig up fossils
sensory activity - dinosaur ice dig for kids

Dinosaur Ice Dig Excavation activity for preschoolers

Yield: 1 dinosaur ice dig
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes
Difficulty: easy
Estimated Cost: $0-10

Here's how to do a fun frozen dinosaur ice dig with your kids!


  • Tupperware container
  • Water
  • Small dinosaur figures


  • Freezer
  • Droppers, spoons, ladles
  • Butter knives or forks
  • Cookie sheet or waterproof tray


  1. Fill a tupperware with water.
  2. Add dinosaur figures
  3. Freeze until solid
  4. Remove from freezer and bang out onto a tray
  5. Present to your kids with a bowl of water and ladle or droppers, butter knife, forks, or anything to dig with!

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Any questions about this ice dinosaur freeze ice play for preschoolers?

Thanks for reading!

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