Like the fossil and amber excavating idea on my other thread, another thought I had is a small pretend beach enclosure with rocks at the rear end surrounding a rock style entrance/exit area, and an artificial wave machine creating a surf at the foot of the enclosure. Between this would be a fine gravel beach containing hundreds of tiny shells and fossils for the kids to find and take home. Common finds would be Belemites, Trilobites and Ammonites. This I can imagine keeping some kids occupied for a fair while. ;D Restocking the beach with fossils once in a while would be fairly cheap I think.
Further down this small collecting site could be a sandy patch nearer the water with various large buried marine reptiles, such as Ichthyosaur, Mosasaur and Plesiosaur. These would be cast plaster or fibreglass with a thin layer of sand on top. Brushes or plastic trowels could be used to uncover these skeletons.
Good idea. Maybe you could put small pieces of amber in with the shells too, as they also get washed up on beaches? It's probably baltic amber I'm thinking of, and that's very cheap to buy. You could get a whole bag of this stuff for just a few £1.
Yes, it's mostly Baltic amber I believe and very cheap to buy. I kinda doubt people would even notice it, as it wouldn't be polished but covered with sediments. It might be mistaken for a light stone and tossed away, so I'm not certain the fossil beach would be the best place for it. Maybe best to save the amber for the kiddies amber mines.