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Many shells pressed into sand iStock

Kids can spend hours digging in the sandbox, especially if they're searching for something cool at the bottom of all that sand. Here's a simple way to make some "fossils" that you can bury and dig up over and over.

Steps for Making Fossils

1. Start by filling a couple of buckets with damp sand.

2. Select some objects with detailed shapes and outlines to serve as the models for the fossils. Plastic toys, shells, and branches all make great fossils.

3. Press each object into the sand (one per bucket), then gently remove it, leaving a clean impression.

4. Mix the plaster of Paris according to the instructions on the package, then pour it into each sand impression.

5. After 30 to 60 minutes, you can take out the hardened plaster of Paris and you have a fossil. Use an old paintbrush to brush off any loose sand. Then display your fossils, or bury them in the sandbox for someone else to find.

Tools and Materials