I found a coloured plastic ball and plastic links in the baby section of Walmart (clearance aisle), and took them to the daycare to see what the children would do with them.
First they had fun trying to attach them to the ball and it was a good fine-motor workout. Then, one little girl started putting them on her wrist as bracelets; something that I had not even thought of.
The ball is soft and safe for indoor use; one little boy started to play catch with it.
I moved over to the preschoolers and they too found new and interesting things to do with the links. They were attaching toys together with the links, and they set up some soft blocks and used the ball for bowling down the blocks.
By the way, when my children were baby/toddler age, I used plastic links to attach toys to high chairs, car seats, and strollers, so they couldn’t lose them when dropped. They learned to pull them back in using the links.
If you try using links like these, please use the comments to share what new and interesting uses that you or your kids came up with!