When I'm preparing dinner, the girls sometimes play among themselves, especially if the weather is conducive to them being outside. Sometimes, though, they like to be with me in the kitchen. With the older two, I usually give them age-appropriate jobs to do - the 7-year-old can measure, peel, and mix quite competently, while the 5-year-old is great at gathering up ingredients and adding seasoning.
Sometimes, though, they just want to be creative, unwind, chat, and play. And that's OK too.
That's when they make their vegetable art with the peelings.