Kids don't need the biggest, coolest, newest toys. They are completely happy with simple, homemade ones.
Last week we got the following 3 things from a church memeber. I don't have patterns but if you're crafty I bet you could copy them!The one on the left is a toilet paper roll painted brown, resting on a rubber band inside a milk carton. There is a string running from the cover down through the tube and out of the bottom of the box. When you pull the string the tube pops up.
In the middles is a cat? dog? drawn on a paper cup. The cup is cut so the bottom of the cup is the opening of the mouth. A string goes through the cup which you pull to make the mouth move.