Does is feel like sometimes you are just working way too hard for play? Agreed. I still catch myself wanting to play with things the “right” way more so with my toddler than the little one but still, it happens.
Try just embracing whatever happens. Cars can be drum sticks, wooden people and animals are hats. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what you guys do with those wonderful toys. The engagement is far more important.
As far as the language goes, keep it simple! If those cars are banging, say “bang bang bang.” If the animals don’t make very good hats and keep falling down, say “oh no! Down!” …..and repeat, repeat, repeat (until you are both bored of that).
Work with what they give you and don’t over think it. Enjoy the nonsense!