I got this idea from my friend Erin. Actually I have done this activity many times when I used to teach Head Start and Pre-K, but somehow it never occurred to me to try it with my own child! The whole thing cost about $10. I spend $7 on the tub, because I wanted something I could permanently use for this activity, but you could certainly use any kind of shallow tub or baking dish that you already have. I also bought 4 bags of various dried beans and lentils (rice also works well). I had some pom poms in my craft drawers that I threw in, and also added disposable bowls and spoons and some measuring cups and spoons.
I cannot tell you how much Graham has enjoyed this! He scoops, pours, measures, stacks, laughs, and does it all over again.
*note: do not attempt unless your child is past the age of putting everything in their mouth.