I came up with a non-toxic material to use for sensory bins or dinosaur bone digging : dry lentils!
A few years ago, I took my daughter to a science museum where they had pretend dinosaur bone digging with uncooked rice. Rice often has high levels of arsenic (see my link in the comments) so I brainstormed and experimented until finding lentils, which are smooth and clean, yet make a good substitute for dirt in the case of dinosaur bones.
-Organic dry lentils
-Salt dough made with Organic flour and low-lead salt (I used Kirkland; see my salt post for more options). See this link for easy dough instructions.
-Hard plastic boxes (I got mine at a Target).
-Scoops, tiny shovels, spoons and/or brushes to dig with.
-A sheet or playmat to put on the floor to catch and spilled lentils. I have a canvas one with sides to help contain the spread and will link here; this was the least toxic option I could find for this type of design.
Have fun! The “bones” have lasted several years and if they break, it makes them even more realistic!
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