Since the lead recalls from the China made toys we no longer buy any toys made in China for our kids. The only exception to that are Melissa and Doug toys which are well tested and Barbie dolls which we can't avoid since there is nothing comparable.
Old catalogs are great for having the kids make their own scenes on paper. And my older dd loves the thought of recycling.
My older dd has used the Lands End catalog to design outfits for people she's drawn in her sketchbook.
My younger dd designed a room using a furniture catalog.
My son loves the aquadoodle coloring with water.
I give him paint brushes to use with a cup of water and it keeps him busy for a good hour.
Melissa and Doug pattern blocks and boards:
Ed Emberely drawing books:
-Complete Funprint drawing book
-Drawing book of faces
-Drawing book of animals
Usborne I can draw Animals:
We have several of the Lauri Inc items:
My 2 year old through my 2nd grader use varying items of theirs.
My girls like to make cards with clear stamps and a block. We got ours at Walmart but Amazon has them also:
We use a set of stamp ink markers (they use those to color the stamps before using it, in place of a stamp pad)
My little guy uses a first set of stamps that are round. But here is something similar to what he has, but his are all boy things:
The girls use many of the Klutz books:
They especially love the fancy dressers, pom pom animals, and totally tape:
Other things they do for fun in their workboxes:
-Hot dots self checking activities
-hi ho cherry o with baby brother
-file folder games some from other sites, some of my own. To make my own I just google clip art or images for the theme I want. I made one of math facts using Christmas Trees and ornaments that I found online. I printed them all out on cardstock. I did another with a dog and bone. Those were fun to make. I did them for math facts for my 2nd grader.
-Melissa and Doug craft kits (like piggy banks, wood dolls, book marks)
-painting and other various art, such as working with self hardening clay, water color crayons, etc.
-play with the cat
-various sorting games. I used a left over container from cupcakes that a friend gave us (super market container). It's the mini size and I let my son sort bingo markers by color in there.
-pouring activities (from one pitcher to another)
-dover coloring books (various)