This is the way we work at our house.

This is how I clean my house:

I turn on the water in the kitchen sink.

Me: (in my staged-panicky voice):

"Oh no! Would you just look at this messy sink! What ever shall we do!"

Addie:"Oh!!! Mommy!! I want to do the dishes!!"

Ian: "Ditheth, Ditheth!"

Good to go. Chairs at the sink, and they will last 1/2 hour while I vacuum, fold laundry, clean counters, etc. Granted, there is a river to clean up after wards (a soapy river), but I have a clean house!

This is how I make dinner:

Me (in my overly-distressed voice):

"Oh no!! Dad is going to be home soon, and we have got to make dinner fast!"

Addie: " I want to make dinner!"

Ian: "Make dough!"

Great! Chairs at the counter, I hand them any thing I can find. The other night it was lime rinds, hot pink sugar cookie sparkles, frozen peas and salt. Mmmmmmmm. I can work at the stove without little fingers getting dangerously in the way, and It makes my cooking look REALLY good:)