Unfortunately, this post isn't going to have any photos to accompany it, but it was such a neat activity for the kids when they were little that I'm going to share it anyway. I'm pulling it out from the "Way Back When" files in the far corners of my Mommy Brain. It's perfect for these late winter/early spring months when it's not quite warm enough to play outside every day, but you and the kids have cabin fever and are desperate for some new activities to keep everyone happy and occupied.
* Big bag(s) of dry rice
* large shallow plastic container with a lid (like an underbed storage box)
* large sheet
* variety of containers, cups, funnels, etc.
So simple, really! Spread the sheet on your floor. Put the container in the middle of the sheet and fill it with rice. Allow your child to use the little containers, cups, funnels etc. the same way they would in a sandbox. My kids could sometimes play for ages with the rice ~ pouring it from one container to another, using an empty parmesan cheese container to sprinkle it, making roads for their matchbox cars, etc. When playtime is over, simply pour any rice that spilled on the sheet back into the container, put the lid on your box and tuck away for another day. Even if a little bit of rice gets on the carpet or floor, it's easy to vacuum up.