NOTE: The following is cross-posted from a thread on The RPG Site.
The other night, my 2-and-a-half-year-old hauled out her Playskool Little People Farm Set, some Playskool Little People, and a blanket. (The blanket goes on the floor under the farm house.) I was then invited to play farm.
Upon joining, I found that I was having more fun than she was.
I started riffing on everything I could think of, giving the different figures names, personalities, voices, goals, running jokes...you name it. A Little People princess in a pink dress became Sarah, The Princess of Pink, and she had such a fascination with noodles (and the consumption thereof) that a room in the farmhouse playest was soon designated as Noodle Country for the sole purpose of giving her someplace to invade; on the other hand, Wally Mart, a mustachioed Weeble in a baker's hat, tried unsuccessfully to sell The Five-Dollar Kangaroo to Chuck the Prince of Cars ("Hey, how-a you eh-doing? 'Ey, Chuck, you wanna buy kan-a-ge-roo? 'E's a verra, verra nice-a kan-a-ge-roo, see, he got-a nice-a bow, ehhh...? He's a-just five-a dollers...!")
Twenty, thirty minutes of me talking to myself, while Lily kind of moved little guys around and tried to keep up with Daddy's wild, wild little world of Sleepy Wizards and lackadaisical, obsessive royalty.
That tapped into a creative part of me that I had kind of...I dunno, tried to control as a Serious Adult Gamer. I let go of the constraints of, you know, sense, and just started creating characters, places and situations without any worries about demographics and themes and mapping and pacing.
The best part is, she still thinks "Noodle Country" is funny. And she's right.