Recently we had an event in my family that my husband wanted our son to witness, but at the same time it was a formal event so he needed to stay quiet and not show off his 18 month old lungs. This did the trick.
I spy jar
What you need
bottle with a screw on lid - I used a nalgene water bottle
small toys or objects - I put 12 in.
poly fill beads - found in the doll making section at my local craft store.
wash out the bottle and let dry
lay out toys and take a picture- print picture and laminate if desired
layer beads and toys
screw on lid tightly - My husband wrapped the threads in teflon tape (found in the plumbing section of home depot) This keeps the lid from unscrewing easily. An adult can unscrew it with force.
Let them shake all they want or give them the picture and tell them to find certain objects. The beads are quiet so this works as a quiet book alternative.
For the toys I found that the quarter machine toys and party favor toys are the perfect size. I did add a Lego man to each bottle just because my little one loves Legos. You can easily make this gender neutral or specific.