I purchased an inexpensive bag of rice from the grocery store, gave Little Bear a spoon and a bowl. He loved spooning the rice from the container to the bowl. When he was done, he carefully poured the rice from the bowl into the container. (I keep all of my spooning activities in separate shoe boxes. This keeps the rice/beans/etc from rotting and makes for easy storage/clean up.)
He loved putting his fingers in the rice.
I was surprised about how well coordinated he could be with the rice. Inevitably rice fell on the table and the floor but he stayed very focused for this activity, playing with it for about 30 minutes. The nice thing about rice is it's super easy to clean up.