She has for a long time pretended to cook soup in our kitchen by putting water in a bowl and adding various seasonings. Occasionally, she uses a kid's knife to cut up a carrot or an apple. This game definitely leads to a few extra dishes and a little spilled water but it is not a big deal.
Today I assumed she was making soup in the kitchen. In fact, she did make soup and served me a bowl. But she also decided she wanted to make cupcakes. She pulled out a pan in which she could put cupcake holders. She found cupcake holders (I have no idea where they came from). She then made dough. She pulled flour out of the pantry and milk out of the refrigerator and mixed them together with a little sugar. It wasn't exactly cupcake batter, but she made full-fledged dough--really sticky dough.
When I arrived in the kitchen that dough was everywhere. It was smeared on the counter. It was heaped on the refrigerator door handle (because she had "responsibly" placed dough in a container and put it into the refrigerator in case she wanted to play with it later). It was on the floor and on the cabinets of both sides of the counter peninsula that we had carefully detailed last week. It was even in the sink of our main floor bathroom because that's where she washed her hands.
I made this discovery just before it was time to pick up Clare from dance camp, so I calmly put the dough-covered dishes in the sink and threw away what I could. I wiped down the counters and cabinets. It was hours before I could bring myself to face those dough-covered dishes again. As I cleaned up her mess, I found myself both frustrated and impressed that she decided she wanted cupcakes and tried her best to make them herself. That being said, I also informed her that she could use those self-sufficient skills to help clean up her mess. She might not be the best at scrubbing dough off a counter, but she's a wiz with the steam mop.