But for now, the children want to be where I am... they want to feel useful, and really be useful. I recognize that.
So, a few easy ways I've found to involve the small ones in the kitchen that can be somewhat helpful, and enjoyable:
Give her a butter knife and let her "chop" very soft carrots from chicken stock to go into a new batch of soup for lunch.
Forget the knives - let the kids rip up lettuce leaves for salad. One leaf at a time.
While shaping bread loaves, given them their own piece of dough to knead and shape. Yeast doughs are so much more fun to play with than play-doh. And make sure to bake the little 'loaf' for them along with your loaves!
Fill up the kitchen sink with water and suds and let them wash some plastics and pour water in funnels. Be prepared for a nice puddle on the floor below the chair they'll need to stand on. :)
Do you involve your littles in the kitchen?
I'd love to know how!