This is a general brainstorming thread. We aren't going to attempt to create _a_ system, but rather discuss general ideas that can be folded, spindled, and mutilated by the participants for their own purposes!
I said in another thread that when I've tried to use minis with gaming, as soon as combat or action type events come into play, there's a real tendency for people I game with to jump to wanting very wargame style mechanics. Basically, lots of finicky measuring, iniatiative, combat rules and so on.
Me, I'm looking for techniques that more smoothly blend with more naturalistic freeplay approaches that are used outside of combat.
So let's open it up to everyone's ideas.
On your marks, get set....Go!
Edited to add:
To focus the discussion a bit, I'm going to recommend ( but certainly not require) starting form your own, happy memories of imaginative toy play as a child. think about the unspoken methods used as kids and what success they had, but also the failure points/problems. I suggest starting there, and only then borrowing methods from more common gaming traditions as we work through this brainstorm.