It all started innocently enough. I was making macaroons with my older son across the kitchen. We looked over and the little guy had a container of flour poised.
So we got him a bowl.
Then he kept "cooking," adding a bit more of each kind of flour, plus an egg, and some water. Soon enough, my older son thought his brother's cooking was more fun than his mom's, so I lost my helper. They added yeast, and used the mixer to get the right consistency.
They spent over an hour at this project.
We baked it, and they took a bite, then gave it to the chickens.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is a great activity. It wastes a bit of food (I took out the expensive flours early on- whew), and took ages to clean up (they helped with this, too). But it did keep them occupied and self-directed, and out of the hot sun for a bit. They even measured and got to imitate Mama cooking.
Though perhaps next time I will encourage them to use Play Doh instead...