I found a pin recently about Quiet Critters and thought I would try them out with my 21 little friends. Quiet Critters are simply pom pom balls that sit with students who are working quietly during any independent practice time. I keep them in this container and place them on table while students are working. The rules for the Quiet Critters are to keep working quietly, but you can pet their heads or give them hugs.
I found my Quiet Critters already assembled at Michael's craft store in packs of 16 for only $2.99. You could also make them by hot gluing google eyes onto poms.