Some of what they had at the play group included: shredded paper, various types of shower loofahs, lights reflected into mirrors and lots of other every day items.
Here's what I've made so far and some photos of my boy playing with them.
*THESE AREN'T TOYS SO YOUR BABY SHOULDN'T BE LEFT ALONE PLAYING WITH THESE ITEMS.
Lava lamp. These were really easy to make. You can make various sizes and colours. Here's the tutorial I used to make them - Lava lamp tutorial
Mirror box with light. Most babies love looking at lights from a young age and my baby is no different. I made 2 mirror boxes and put lights inside. As stated before these are not toys and babies should not be left alone playing with them.
I purchased mirror tiles which were really easy to work with and could be cut to size if needed. As they're not glass my baby can't break it and hurt himself.
These are similar to what I bought
Mirror. With the remaining mirror tiles I made a mirror for my baby to look at himself in. I stuck the mirror tiles to a sheet of cardboard from a box that is no longer needed. And again to finish it off I stuck the silver glitter adhesive cover to the back. I then cut the cardboard to the size of the mirrors. As you can see from the photos my boy had great fun looking at himself.
Emergency Foil Blanket. One of the things my boy loved playing with in the play group was the emergency blanket. It's shiny and makes noise. So it's a winner as far as he's concerned.
I bought one from Amazon and as it's so big I've cut it into 4 sections. Once one section is past it's best we'll still have 3 more sections to play with.
There are so many ideas, the keys is to find items that stimulate your babies senses and they don't need to be expensive.