Making gifts in a jar with your kids is a great way to exercise fine motor and close reading skills. For older kids, the precise measurements reinforce addition, subtraction, and basic math skills. Plus, cooking with kids encourages them to try new foods — research shows that kids are more likely to eat something that they helped prepare.
Purim, the holiday that celebrates the rescue of the Jews of Persia from annihilation, is just around the corner. One commandment, or mitzvah, associated with Purim is giving out mishloach manot, or Purim gift baskets. If you've never made mishloach manot, or you're looking to change up your gift-giving routine, here are seven really fun gifts in a jar that you can make with your kids. Each of these stands up well as it's own mishloach manot or can fill in as a component in a bigger gift.
Learn more about the history behind mishloach manot.
Pickles and sauerkraut are a snap to make and kids can have lots of fun experimenting with different flavor variations. Start basic with a quick dill pickle or a super fast sauerkraut before moving on to fancier items like spicy green beans or kimchi. New to pickling? Visit this 101 Guide from The Kitchn.
Layer the dry ingredients for a delicious bread mix together in a jar, add a ribbon and an instruction card (good handwriting practice for elementary school aged kids), and you're all set. Try this dairy-free Rosemary Focaccia or adapt one of these easy challah recipes. You can also take a shortcut and gift some premade mix to make JewishBoston's Shabbat Shortcut Challah.
Everyone likes soup, right? Even if your kids eschew hearty warm meals, they'll be happy to help put together dried soup mix gift sets. If your little ones are learning colors, layering the ingredients provides a great moment to stop and review. For older kids, you can find a recipe online or visit the library to explore cook books and recipes from other cultures. You can also put together your own mix of beans for cholent and pair the jar with a copy of Chik Chak Shabbat.
JAM OR MARMALADE
Jellies, jams, marmalades, and nut butter recipes often involve some kid-helper appropriate steps, like smashing, mashing, and mixing. If you've never tried your hand at this before, use a super simple recipe like this one from Nosh.It.
Granola is the secretly healthy snack you can sneak to your kids anytime. The best part about making granola? Most recipes have a fair amount of wiggle room for improvisation and experimentation--perfect for your curious and budding little sous chefs / mad scientists. Try this recipe to get started.
image via Vegan Richa
Make a batch of your favorite cookies and package them in a jar or layer the dry ingredients of your favorite recipe so a friend can make their own. The site Vegan Richa has a sizeable list of gluten-free, dairy-free desserts and other mixes to package in your gift jars. You can also make some hamantaschen to transport in your jars. The Better-Than-Best Purim by Naomi Howland includes a wonderful recipe at the end of the book.
image via Mommypotamus
Making seasoning mixes with salt opens the door to talk about different kinds of cooking and cuisine. Brainstorm recipes together while you make your mixes. The blog, Mommypotamus has four basic recipes to get you started.
Don't forget to finish off your jars with some fancy ribbon, custom labels, or a gift tag. See books about Purim to learn more about the holiday.
Are you going to make mishloach manot this year? What are you including? Share photos with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
February 7, 2017