Garrett loves sand, dirt and rocks. Probably just like any other boy. But we don't have a place where he can dig and play. When we bought our little water table for our porch, we debated for a long time whether or not we should get the half sand/half water one. I knew Garrett would love it, but I also knew I'd be cleaning up a mushy sandy mess every day. So we opted for just water. But I came up with something a little less messy, that can be played with outside or inside, and it satisfies Garrett's digging/scooping/dumping desires. I had an almost empty flat storage bin in my closet, and I had a bag of dollar store rocks. That's where my inspiration began. I dumped them in the bin and their weren't nearly enough so I bough two more bags. I also went to IKEA where they sell decorative rocks, but they're smaller, and I think they were .89 cents a bag and I got two or three bags of those. So less than six bucks for all the rocks. Mine ended up being a little more expensive than that, because right after I finished the bin we went on vacation and of course came to a souvenir shop that sold pretty, colorful rocks. Fortunately, we'd been given vacation money from the in-laws so I didn't feel like I was using real money, and I spent $12.00 on colorful rocks to add to the mix. The trucks were also purchased on the vacation. I think $4.00 each at Ace Hardware. I think they're too big for the bin because you can't really drive them around, but Garrett loves them. We have a couple others, (not pictured) that are the perfect size. I found them in the summer seasonal section at Target for $1.99.
Easy and inexpensive. And you can snap the lid on it and slide it under a bed when it's not being played with.