I got this idea from the 1+1+1=1 Tot Trays site. You punch a few holes in an empty cereal box and then provide some dry pasta for your toddler to punch through the holes. It was super easy and Sweat Pea loved it. She played with it for 30 minutes before wanting to move on to a new activity.
Notes from the Trenches: I taped the top of the Cheerio’s box closed with packing tape to give it more support, which then made retrieving the used pasta more difficult. I don’t think I’ll be able to reuse the cereal box more than a few times before having to create a new one. However, I think the box would have collapsed when she pushed the pasta through otherwise. I tried both penne and elbow macoroni. The penne worked much better for her. She couldn’t maneuver the elbow macoroni to get the ‘curve’ into the box and quickly wanted to go back to the penne.
Rating: The Cereal Punch Board gets 4/4 stars (Easy to set up, Frugal to do, Fun for Sweet Pea, and can be done mostly Independent from mom).