When I was in high school, my youth pastor got creative with games and had us use milk jugs to play a sort of hockey-meets-basketball-meets-bad-mitten game. As I was about to throw an empty milk jug into the recycling bin, I remembered these games, and I got an idea for a toy to make for Baby Bear.
I began by cutting the bottom off the milk jug. Because this toy was for a toddler, I had to make sure there were no jagged edges. Then, I used different colored Sharpies to draw a simple shape on each side of the jug. Next, I stuck a few glittery foam star stickers to the container. I let Baby Bear help with this part. That was it! Easy peasy!
The purpose of this toy was to give Baby Bear a container to bounce, roll, and throw his tennis ball in (a favorite toy of his). He used it for this purpose, but then he also started making a game out of what he could fit into his new container. Books, balls, blocks, etc. all found their way into the jug. This added a developmental element to the toy because he had to manipulate some of the objects to make them fit. For example, the book he grabbed would only go into the container if he turned it diagonal and held it upright. A simple ball catcher became an educational spacial awareness toy!