So you can probably tell that Eli really enjoys helping in the kitchen. If you have more than one kiddo, you could probably have guessed that Mabry wants to do everything her big brother does. Eli actually started out cooking dinner, but thought Mabry's cooking activity looked much more fun. I read about Bean Scooping a while back and it seemed completely impractical because of the mess. Kids are always making messes anyways so a "planned" mess seemed ok and it kept them totally occupied while I tried a new recipe from Pinterest.
I had part of a mixed jar of beans and let them go to town "cooking." I have figured out that area rugs are a good way to contain a mess to a certain area. I tell the kids they have to stay right there if they want to "cook," sometimes they need reminders, but it works well overall. This was on the mat in our kitchen, so I just gave it a quick sweep once they were in the tub after dinner.