I think this is dependent on the type of toddler you have. My son is someone who just can't sit still...so he needs to run about all the time and likes hands on things that he can play with. He especially likes pouring water into different cups. He likes drawing but he will sit there for two minutes and then draw on every wall in the house..he just can't sit contently doing something its not him.
paint, finger paints, playdough (if you make it yourself you can add kool aid to it and it will be scented!), sidewalk chalk, reading books, almost anything a toddler does is creative really...they are always thinking!