Biggest thing for us is variety. We have two versions of the church bag with different toys in it that we rotate through. They really like the Melissa and Doug Water Wow books where you paint the picture with water. They like the books with built in puzzles on each page. They like coloring and activity books. But the biggest success for us is just crayons or markers and a blank sheet of paper. Sometimes a prompt of what they can draw or make helps them get going, but it keeps them entertained far longer than toys. Other times especially when they were a little younger I would draw something they like such as themed roller coaster and they will watch me intently as a draw it to see what happens next. Our 4 year old likes it when I fold the paper into little books and she makes a seek and find book.
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