I've been very reluctant to let my kids help in the kitchen with anything. Really, they are still pretty little. I've tried to let them help with mixing muffins, however, I end up with flour everywhere and kids sticking their faces in the batter and I just find it all very stressful and not enjoyable and therefore I kill the joy of it in my kids. blah.
Lately, I've been having lots of conflict with Adrianna always wanting to be in the kitchen. Usually she wants to be snacking. Constantly. It drives me CRAZY.
Yesterday I decided that if she wants to be in the kitchen so desperately, I would put her to work! She washed all the potatoes for dinner. She "made" the green beans (got the beans out of the freezer, put them in the pot and put water in the pot). She washed the dishes (minus the knives). It actually was helpful. And enjoyable. And I really do need to lighten up a bit!
While dinner was cooking, we made up a joint story. She wanted me to tell her a story, so I began but I made her fill in the blanks and create the story with me. It actually worked out pretty well.