The other morning I was trying to think of some kind of activity I could have for Daniel to do to keep him quiet so Rue could sleep. Rue works three to midnight everyday so he is still sleeping when Daniel and I get up. So I pulled out some dishes and some beans and lentils, poured them in some little bowls, put it on the kitchen table and let Daniel have at it. It worked like a charm. He had so much fun and he was QUIET the whole time concentrating on what he was doing.
I love the concentration. It's so great when you find the perfect activity that goes with a certain age that creates great learning even if it is just scooping and pouring beans. Plus I used things I already had on hand, no money spent!