[This is part 2 of "Big Brother Fun". To see them all, scroll to the bottom of this post and give a click on the "Big Brother Fun Series" tag.]
This is a total Pinterest steal, but I have to tell you all about it, because I think it's been the most wildly successful DIY toy I've ever made. It is, as you can see, an indoor, tabletop sand box. And, I exagerate not, the Kid plays with it every single day.
By populating it with "digger trucks" we already own and getting the box itself way on sale, I was able to justify the splurge that really makes this project work--kinetic sand.
I always hate to tell people, "No really, go buy the spendy stuff," but in this case it's been worth it for us. I've tried a few DIY recipes to see if I can get the same result, but unfortunately nothing comes close to the pre-packaged stuff.
And not only does the kinetic sand make for better digging and sand castle building, it's also so much easier to clean up when he's done playing. It clumps together, so for the most part I can just pick any errant bits off the table and put them back in the box. When I'm in a hurry, a few swipes with a damp dishcloth will easily do the job, too, and without making a sandy, stick-to-your-feet mess on the floor.
We keep his sand box in the dining room, and pull it out a lot when we're making dinner or at times when it's too dark or cold for outside digging. While there have been a few instances where we've had to put it away for inappropriate play--as in, "Hey, I wonder what happens when I throw a fistful of this across the room!"--for the most part, the Kid loves playing with this enough that he was quick to learn the ground rules. (Seriously, every freaking day.)
If you're looking for a winter afternoon diversion or DIY gift for a small one in your life, this is one we really "dig"! (Har-har.)