When it comes to reading aloud to the kids, I've found a secret weapon.
Enter: THE ART CART.
I purchased this one from Target and added lots of art supplies that I would be comfortable with them using without supervision. We keep the cart tucked away, but as soon as I pull out our read-aloud book (currently The Mouse and the Motorcycle), one of the kids excitedly rolls it out. It contains everything they need to work quietly with their hands while I read.
Here is a list of our favorite supplies. Many of these could probably be purchased cheaper at a dollar store or local big box store, but I'll link to something similar on Amazon for each. Just click on the item to take you to a direct link.