I am due with child number four in a few days and have two sisters who just had their second and third. As sisters we decided to keep things simple and not spend money. For the sister who lives close I was able to make her a meal and give of my time in watching her oldest over a weekend. For the sister who lives far I decided to use my brain and pre-purchased supplies. I found this fabric ball idea at Craft Ideas and tweaked it a little.
My alterations: I sewed colorful ribbons into my ball
If you sew ribbons into your ball it may help to pin them in place to ensure that you do not sew over the loops.
I also took a plunge and sewed several small buttons onto another ball. This could be considered a foolish choking hazard. It may be better suited for an older child or as decoration only. Regardless, it looks fun!
Have fun creating!