Max recently had a birthday, and one of his favorite presents was this Dinosaur Adventure Excavation Kid Kit from Usborne Books & More. (You can find it here.)
The kit consists of: a rock containing plastic dinosaur bones inside it, a small metal hammer, a chisel, a dusting brush, and some safety glasses. As the stone is chipped away, the dinosaur bones are revealed, and once they are completely freed from the stone they can be assembled to form the skeleton of a stegosaurus. Here he is diligently working on it:
At first, I left the rock in its protective plastic shrink wrap because I was trying to minimize the mess (there were going to be about 25 people arriving for his birthday party in an hour), and I didn't know if pieces were going to be flying off in all directions. It turns out that the stone pretty much just turns into dust - no projectiles or baby choking hazards, which was good. He was really into it and I decided, well what the heck, it IS his birthday, so I unwrapped the rock and put a smock on him. Here he is dusting around the bones with the little brush:
After a good 30 minutes or so of work, this is what it looked like:
And here's a closeup:
I will post an update when he makes some more progress. I can't say enough about how impressed I am with this kit, and how much he liked it!