I made T a rice box a few months ago. I got this idea from other blogs and thought it would be a great idea! It's really a simple thing to do and kids love them. I try to put in things that will entertain her and work on her motor skills, such as pouring, scooping, etc. Rice boxes also introduce children to different textures.
This month I changed it up a bit and added some Valentine themed items, along with some dried chickpeas. She was busy playing with it for a good 30 minutes. I think I will begin to change up the objects each month now, because she seems to lose interest quick when the objects in the box stay the same each time.
Just a note; we put a towel underneath the box when we use it. It still makes a mess, but the towel helps. I do have to vaccuum after each use though.