Hiding at the back of an Australian Geographic store was this dinosaur excavation kit. The price was okay, so I thought I'd purchase it for (1) some fun and (2) the potential to have some neat looking scenery pieces eventually!
If you've not come across these excavation kits before, the (educational) premise is straight-forward. The kit contains a lump of gritty material ("rock") that encases a plastic dinosaur model. Using some excavation tools supplied, the user (children??!? hahaha!) take their time to uncover the dinosaur bones contained within. Both my wife and I have been taking turns doing some excavation and my (too young) daughter also seems to be taking an interest! It is taking some time to finish the excavation, but what I've noticed is that it gives a good amount of stress relief after a tough day at the office(!) The excavation tools are tough to use, but I guess they provide a real-ish simulation of the process ... well, at least a simulation of the patience required to perform the archeological process at any rate. Once the stegosaurus skeleton is released, I plan to use it as (potentially multiple) scenery pieces. Ironically, I'm tempted to partially re-bury some of it inside a crater.