Friday, 24 August 2012

This day in history - Mount Vesuvius erupts

On the 24th August 79Ad Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried Pompeii

pompeii is in Italy. The country shaped like a boot.

The flag is green,white, and red.

We made a volcano and made it erupt. To find out more check out my post by clicking on the image caption.

erupting paper mache volcano

I explained that Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried a whole city called Pompeii. Everyone forgot about the city and it was not discovered until nearly 2000 years later by a archaeologist.

What is a archaeologist?

An archaeologist is someone who tries to find out about the past by looking at things people left behind. They look at  skeletons and fossils and artifacts.

These are the things archaeologists found in Pompeii

Setting up a  Archaeology dig 

We made some clay (4 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, and 1½ cups of water) and made a city. My children are really young so they were basically balls with there thumbs pressed into one side to make a door but they were aware of what they were and thats all that matters. We also made some bracelets and some vases that were broke in half (so they can be pieced together at the dig). We placed them in the oven  at 180°C for 1 hour and then painted them.

I placed the houses in the bottom of the sensory table and covered them with sand. I then buried the other pieces we made along with lots of 2p and 1p coins. I kept half of the table empy so that they could move teh sand across later.

City before we buried it.

Becoming Archaeologists

A true archaeologist needs the right outfit and tools. We made some cardboard fedora hats using this fabulous tutorial by justjonty on instructables and equipped ourselves with spoons and toothbrushes.

Unfortunately I did not have time to paper mache and paint our hats but we will definitely be doing this later. These are fab to add to the fancy dress box. The children did not seem to mind they were quite happy with just the cardboard.

The dig!

We used the spoons to search the sand and used the toothbrush to rub the sand of the items before putting them into a tub. I explained that digging at a site is slow and careful work to make sure they don't miss or damage anything

I originally set up a archaeologist tent using a hula hoop, shower curtain, and ribbon. Inside was a table with boxes for them to sort out the things they find. It was too windy to use the tent so we had to make do with just the table :(

We used the pink tub for items and the black for coins. Once we got near to the bottom we started to uncover the city. We had to be really careful. We used our hands and the toothbrush to brush the sand away from the buildings.


  1. Hi,
    You will be glad to know that your blog helped a mum miles away in Mumbai, India, make a fedora hat for her 6 year old's school project. Thank you for this post. Your ideas are truly amazing to help the little ones learn. Great work mom! Keep it up!

    1. Hi, Thank you for your lovely comment. It is really nice to hear that my post was helpful to you. Hope your child loved her fedora as much as my kids did. :)