You know how cute it is when a little kid picks up a doll and pretends she's the mommy? I'm sure you do, but I'm just making conversation. My kid picks up a tiny piece of wooden pepperoni from a play pizza and pretends she's the mommy to that.
She will swaddle the pepperoni (that she cleverly calls "Baby Pepperoni"), in a blanket, sing to it and then tuck it into bed. Then, when she believes that Baby Pepperoni is not ready to sleep, she'll pick it back up and rock it gently.
It's not like we're living in the Depression and she has to pretend that sticks are toys. She has three perfectly acceptable dolls sitting against the wall in the playroom...ignored until she decides that they must be completely naked.