I totally agree, but don't think it's a control issue so much I guess. For example, wasting food (throwing, play cooking, etc) is not acceptable for us, as we see it as "disrespectful of nature's bounty" (someone else used that phrase on MDC and I thought it was perfect) as well as disrespectful of the hard work and $$ dh and I put into buying, storing, preparing, and serving it. I think as a result, our kids have had very few, very limited bouts with food throwing or food mashing, etc etc (handled in a very GD way) - but they never learned to view food as a toy. I am also not someone who views playing with food (e.g., at the highchair) as being an absolutely necessary developmental phase like a lot of people do. Hogwash. They get plenty of sensorimotor development from playing with play dough, in the sandbox, in the mud, in the baby pool... - they don't need to waste our food to learn about gravity, textures, pouring, etc!!
So.. I definitely do encourage my kids to stand up on a chair at the counter and "help cook" but they're actually helping me prepare a meal, not playing with the food or wasting it in any way. Does that make sense? Unless I'm totally misunderstanding what you meant I just thought I'd chime in and say I agree with you 100% but don't see it as necessarily changeworthy!
As for tools, I also don't "believe" (for lack of a better word) in giving kids certain adult tools and letting them learn that they PLAY with them as opposed to use them. For example, my kids LOVE LOVE LOVE loading and unloading the dishwasher. So I have them help with things they can do, like loading in their plastic dishes or unloading smaller things. (In fact, they unload glassware too and have never dropped any, but usually I try to have them stick to lighter things.) But they're not playing in/with the dishwasher, they are actually helping. Or, when I'm vacuuming and they want a turn. I let them push it /pull it around as best they can, but show them how to use it, not letting them, for example, climb on the canister and play with the attachments or bang on it or anything. No, they don't do a terrific job
but they are doing as good a job as I could expect them to, and they don't treat the vacuum like a toy.
So I guess to make a long story short, I would generally tend not to buy, for example, a play plastic vaccum or a play cleaning mop/brush set or a fake toolbelt -- I think it totally takes away from their natural curiousity to help out doing REAL adult chores and activities and turns what could be a great learning experience into "just another toy" they'll ignore within a few weeks.
[Edited to add: The one thing (perhaps the only one) that they do have is a little wooden play kitchen from Magic Cabin (just a stand-alone cooktop actually) and wooden play food. They adore it, and it was an absolute necessity before they could stand up by themselves on chairs at the counter, for me to be able to cook a meal without two little ones tugging on my legs! Plus, the wooden food is so darn cute, I can't possibly resist.
Anyway, great thread. In all honesty, I think it's nearly impossible to be completely CC in a modern urban/suburban life with zero support from other family members (e.g., in assisting with childcare), but I have taken some great things from that book -- the two biggest things that come to mind are what I wrote about above (children learning adult chores and respect for adult things) and also an element of trusting their instinct/balance not to fall off the bed or down the stairs or off a jungle gym. Knock wood, they have NEVER done such a thing, and I do attribute that to a great extent to the fact that I don't swoop in and "rescue" them everytime they're near the edge of the bed or climbing up a ladder on their playset. And I try very hard not to constantly say "Be careful!" or "Watch out or you'll fall!" thought I admit that's hard for me, because of 31 years of conditioning! So I wouldn't say we're bona fide CC'ers, but have taken a lot from that book.