Need something new for your kids but don't want to spend tons of money? Get some beans!!!! That's right, dry beans. I've been using a bean play box for my son since he was a year old, now my 2 year old daughter loves to play in it with him.
All you need is a couple bags of dried beans, storage box, and toys. I find the black, pinto and red beans work the best. The lentils and peas are really small and are harder to pick up outside of the box. You can also use rice and I have heard of some people using sand.
Another fun thing to do with beans, bean bags!!! If you have some extra fabric laying around, pull it out with your sewing machine! This is all you need:
Okay so I don't like measuring anything! So all I did is cut out a big enough rectangle, that when folded over would make a good sized bean bag. Sew the wrong sides together, I didn't even use pins. Leave a hole big enough to put the beans in. Turn the fabric inside out, then fill with beans. I used a small index card as a funnel to put the beans in the bag. Do not fill up all the way, leave enough room to get under the sewing foot. Sew up the hole and you got yourself a bean bag! My son loved this! You can do so many things with it! My kids were tossing it in the air and catching it. You can also got bowls and toss it in and step back each time. The kids were actually using it as a pillow. =) Make sure its sewed pretty tight and even small ones can play with it.