As long as your toddler is old enough not to put marbles in his or her mouth, they make a great addition to sensory play. Although this particular game lends itself well to solo play, do keep an eye on things because of those marbles.
I used four leftover jars of baby food (cleaned and dried), and set them on a baking sheet. (Note: this is to catch the items as the spill out or roll around). I filled one jar with marbles and two with pom poms (sorted by color), and then left the fourth jar empty.
Beyond the set-up, I truly had no agenda for Veronika with this game; I just wanted to see how she would play with the materials! First she said, “I want to dump!” The filled jars were just begging to be upended. The marbles made a big clatter as they rolled across the baking sheet.
Then I showed her that the pom poms were (shhhh) quiet as they rolled out.
She then was busy transferring items back and forth for a while.
I had included the jar lids, so she also enjoyed putting those on and taking them off again.
The marbles were of much greater interest to her than the pom poms. She loved the plink they made as they want back into the jars, and I think she also just loved the smooth feel of them. She carried a few around the apartment all day!
Then it was back to lots more filling the jars, dumping them out, watching things roll, and having fun!