Alex also likes to "help" in the kitchen. He is not quite old enough to start doing the dishes, but sometimes I will let him stand on a chair at the sink and play with plastic cups in the water. He also has his own cupboard that is full of nothing but Tupperware and plastic containers. His favorite thing to do is to climb inside it and throw everything out onto the floor. I'm not sure how he thinks this is helping me, but he is quite industrious about it, so obviously it is something that needs done in his mind.
Now, if only I knew how to make the "helpful" stage last forever.