materials: dry tri-color noodles (the bigger the size the better), egg carton, old laundry caps, play utensils.
instruction: show him/her how to pour using the caps, scoop with spoons or other utensils, and dump into carton or additional caps. for slightly older toddler, you can have them sort the different colors into different carton compartments or different caps.
distraction time: 45 minutes
clean up level: medium
and for your extra enjoyment:
watching buddy-muffin (yes, that is the actual name of the frog now) getting ready to devour his morning cricket.