Next time your toddler needs something to entertain him or her, try setting up this giant abacus. All you need to do is grab items from around your kitchen that have a hole in them. Here we used cookie cutters, paper towel tubes, measuring spoons, cups and pastry brushes. Lace a string through all of the items. Tie the string to two large chairs to hang the abacus. Make sure you hang it above the toddlers head so they do not get entangled in it. Also, be sure to remind the toddler not to pull on it or the chairs will fall over.
Once all set up, the toddler can enjoy sliding the items along the string while you count out loud as the items are moved.
This is a nice early math skill activity that you can sneak into play time. Not too mention all the physical activity, coordination and motor control that is involved in reaching, grabbing and sliding the objects.