Today Kate and Frank were playing with our "Cascade Tower" purchased from Hearth Song many Christmasses ago.
It's missing the last rung and the cars aren't currently anywhere to be found, but Kate discovered that dice slide their way through the rungs in a very satisfying way. Soon, she and Frank were squabbling over a large pile of dice and who had how many and who took whose dice out of a container. Argh. In a burst of frustration, I had them each pick out one die and promptly confiscated the rest.
For the next five or ten minutes straight, the world was suddenly in the right place - Kate and Frank happily took turns and squealed and giggled with delight through the entire process - without even missing the extra dice at all (and as if they had been happy with each other all along).
Ah, simplicity, a lesson I need to remember more often. ;)