The never ending question: how to distract your toddler or preschooler when they are getting just a teeny bit whiny. One sure fire hit (pardon the pun): give them something to pound.
I realize this is a terrible photo, but if you get a piece of Styrofoam in a package (Do not buy Styrofoam! -- Gah!) it's a great platform for pounding. Find some suitable objects -- we used golf tees and these ridiculous plastic tabs that come in dress shirt collars (can you say "wasteful"?) -- and pound away.
It's a good activity to build hand-eye coordination as well as developing fine motor skills, but most of all, it's just plain FUN.
P.S. "Green" tip: If you ever receive a package packed with plastic "peanuts" you can return them to your local UPS store for reuse. Please do so!
More more easy toddler distractions click on the image below.