I'm no expert on child development by any means but I've read enough and watched enough to know that children need to learn hand/eye coordination and fine motor skills and it is a plus when they find toys that keep them busy. I've found that most often items from around your home that are not toys tend to keep the attention of little ones for much longer then an actual toy.
My mom told me that when I was a toddler my favorite toy was a crisco can she had cleaned out. She cut a hole in the top of the can that was just big enough for a few wood blocks to fit through as well as my chubby little hand. I was enthralled by placing the blocks in the hole and then sticking my hand down the hole to get the objects out.
I noticed my little one trying to pull all of the kleenex's out of the box a few weeks ago and wondered if I could make something similar. So a new wipes container stuffed with scraps of fabric that I cut into small (index card size) squares. I stuffed the fabric in, opened the lid, pulled some out and sat it in front of him. He seemed unimpressed until I showed him how to pull the pieces out. Once he got the hang of it he seemed to like it. Keeps him busy for awhile trying to figure out how to get his hand down in there.
Try it yourself. Let me know if you have any luck.