This is a lazy Susan with cloth and figures. What I like about this alternative is the circular shape and the turning. The circle allows for a mandala effect and all that goes with that. Turning allows a child to easily get around their "sandtray" and view or build it from multiple perspectives. It is not messy and is easy to clean. Fabric is also a good way to introduce color in a flexible way.
On the down side, it is large and figures must be packed separately. In addition, if you have figures which lack stability there is no support for them.