Calming jar-tell child that they need a break and may come back when everything has settled to the bottom - I think I love this idea. Better than a simple time out for temper tantrums. some days I think that I need a calming jar.
Like sand, less messy. 4 cups rice, of food coloring or liquid water colors, and 3 T of rubbing alcohol. Combine together in a Ziploc bag and shake to coat the rice. Spread the rice out on a cookie sheet and let it dry. Then let them play!