(Goblin is 26 months old)A while ago I read "Playful Parenting" by Lawrence J Cohen.
Anyway one of the things that stuck with me from the book was that toddlers are often powerless, or made to feel powerless. They need someone to help them do nearly everything and on top of that they fall over lots and very rarely get to make actual choices that are taken seriously. Cohen suggests lots of ways that you can help give your toddler back some of the power. This improves self esteem and simply put makes them happy.
While at Nanny's for Christmas we (the entire family) unwittingly took part in just such an exercise. We were sitting around chatting and Goblin was playing. Hublet was lying on the floor and Goblin pointed to him and said "sleep". Hublet started to pretend to snore and closed his eyes. He carried on snoring until Goblin came up really close and shouted at him, at which point he pretended to be startled awake.
Goblin was so pleased with this new game that he proceeded to make the whole room sleep.
We have played this game a few times since then and Goblin is still delighted when his 'sleep' command conjures up snores and closed eyes. Really simple and really effective.