Yesterday I stumbled across some great ideas at Babblin-Brooke to solve this problem and develop fine motor skills.
Take any container with a plastic top, add holes to the top, and keep little hands busy sticking pipe cleaners through the holes. I think when I make this I will cut the pipe cleaners small enough to fit inside the container for easy clean up and storage.
Similar idea, but this time with pom-poms.
These got me thinking and I can't wait to spin off these ideas and create other similar activities. Thanks Babblin-Brooke for the big ideas!