Colander and Pipe Cleaners
I have a friend who was a former early childhood teacher as well. She has a great website full of ideas. You can view her site here. One day, I saw that she had busted out her colander and some basic pipe cleaners and let her girls have fun. I thought my younger two might really enjoy this activity and it turns out I was right! Once they had moved on from putting them into the holes to decorating the bedroom with them, we did a little extension activity. I asked the princess to gather all of the pink pipe cleaners, red pipe cleaners, etc. until she had picked them all up. She thought it was a lot of fun and took her "job" very seriously. Even the little guy got in on the action. Turns out it was a great imaginative activity as well. The little guy must have thought they looked like candles on a cake, as we spent a considerable amount of time blowing them out.