It’s interesting to me the toys that Eliza plays with (and the ones she ignores). She’s not a builder. She doesn’t like blocks. She’s not into puzzles or “manipulatives” of any kind. She doesn’t care about push / pull toys or even her tricycle that much.
Here’s what Eliza does. She wakes up every morning and immediately says, “It’s tea time!” And we must play “tea” at least five times a day. We also must go grocery shopping and have picnics with her play food and dishes. We also put all of her action figures (Yo gabba gabba, mainly) and stuffed animals into interesting situations and make them talk to Eliza (and to each other). They get sick and we take care of them. They get into arguments about whose turn it is to do something and then apologize. They get time outs. They go on adventures, go hiking, and get into pirate ships. They go to school. They go to the potty. They visit Santa Claus and have birthday parties. They find magic wands and turn each other into strange things.
Lego’s? Nope. Play doh? Not much. Cars? Hardly ever. Toys that have buttons and make noise? No way.
We role play. A lot. And read books (to each other). And talk.
Oh, and sometimes we draw, paint, and write. But that’s usually only when she’s tired.