I recently saw another idea at katherinemariesphotography.com. The picture showed dried corn in a container with scrabble letter tiles buried in the corn. They also had a mat with words, so you had to match the letters on the tiles to the letters on the mat.
I figured I could tweak the ideas little and make the same thing using what I already had at home. So instead of corn, I used our rice bowl and instead if Scrabble tiles, I used clear glass gems (Hobby Lobby). 1. I used a Sharpie marker to write on the glass gems and separated them into 3 bags - letters, numbers & names. 2. For the mats (I made 3 separate ones) I wrote the alphabet on one, math equations on another and our family names on the third. *i am also making the Beans a number mat with just numbers, not math equations. 3.i them picked a bag and buried the gems in the rice and put out the matching mat. 4. Busy uncovered the letters and placed them on the matching letter on the mat. When finished you can put the gems and the mat back in the bags and choose another bag!
I told you; everyone needs a rice bowl :)