Alternative? Rice! and to make it even more child friendly.. Coloured Rice! yes! just use a few drops of food colouring and blend into the rice until is all covered, allow to dry for an hour or so before handling. You can mix many colours and have a rainbow rice of mix and keep individually to create cool patterns; My son loves it, great for cars and trucks to be buried in and out and you can use both indoors and outdoors!
can you hear that? no?….. exactly!…peace! while he is entertained with coloured rice and I get time to blog! Happy days!