A month or so ago, we got a tooon of winter ice ~ and not the fun kind you can go out and play in, either. If it had just been me, I probably would have ventured out at least once, even if nothing was open. But with my toddler? Totally not worth the risk. Sooo we were stuck indoors for several days. Several looong days.
My little ball of energy was reeling for something new, I was reeling for some kind of "quiet" activity. And it hit me ~ a sensory bin! I dug out an old baking pan, filled it with salt to act as snow, a small blue container lid to act as a water hole for his plastic whales, added his arctic bulldozer and let him go.
I cannot tell you how excited he was to play with this! He literally sat for over an hour, quietly playing. Paving roads, feeding the whales, adding other construction vehicles, tracing his fingers in it. I pretty much just let him play however he wanted as long as he kept it on the tile and off the carpet.
It's something I just keep stored in the cabinet as is, so that he can play with it whenever he wants ~ which is usually about every couple of days or so. Love watching his imagination take over!