Babies love to imitate those around them, and Erik is no exception. He wants to be where I am, and doing whatever it is that I am doing. The other day when I was cooking dinner, he really wanted to be involved, and was really getting in the way. Then I decided, why not let him join in? I put him in his high chair in the kitchen near where I was working and gave him a few items to keep him busy.
Now there are a few draw backs to this type of thing. When you've got a toddler for a sous chef things can get a little bit messy. Your cooking technique is not going to be at its best. You will be a bit distracted and can't count on things coming out exactly like they should (I tend to forget or skip ingredients when I cook distracted so I never know what's going to happen).
BUT, there are some major benefits to this as well, such as: building fine motor skills hand-eye coordination and awareness of spatial relations through manipulating tools and ingredients, learning new words as you tell baby what it is he's tasting or holding, building self worth as you show your child that you want him by your side and trust him to help you with your work, increasing sensory awareness through new tastes smells and textures, and teaching social interaction as the two of you work together.