My girls always loved the sensory tubs at my college's Play Sessions last year, so when I saw a 5kg bag of rice for $5 when I was grocery shopping last night, I popped it in the trolley straight away.
Today it became the perfect little activity for Elly, who has been sick and is home from Preschool this week. She had her own ideas about what else she wanted to put in it - the sand and water wheel, funnels, her little dump truck, medicine measuring cups (such has been her experience these past few days) and my favourite, plastic eggs to fill up and then crack open!
It's not an activity I would recommend for those with an aversion to mess on the floor (I had to vacuum the whole house twice today! It gets dropped and then walked through to other rooms) but considering it kept her busy on and off for hours and hours, I would say it has a good fun-to-mess ratio. And it feels so nice to play with...
I found myself asking her to play it with me at times. Very relaxing (apart from the cleaning-up afterwards!).