Play-doh or something similar is awesome to play with. You can easily shape animals of all kinds and from a very young age kids can do snakes even themselves and snakes are awesome. Play-doh or some other brand of non-toxic modeling compound is great to play with and not deadly even if you eat it. It contains a lot of salt so it is not good to eat lots of it. Keep it away from pets too, since they might think it's food.
You can also make Play-Doh yourself at home!