The craft of making Matzo Balls can be turned into a fun and educational cooking activity to do with preschoolers ages three to five. At this point, they already love to play with Play-Doh and mold it with their hands.
Here they can do all of the pouring and mixing steps that are on the box. After the dough has cooled for a bit in the fridge, which I will have to check on that particular step the next time I have a box, then you can take the bowl out, give each child a place mat or piece of wax paper with a glob of the dough on it, and let them play with it for a while.
While they are playing, you can read a story to them or tell them a shortened Story of Passover. You can ask them questions, such as what kinds of things do they like to put into their soup?
Fill a soup pot with water. Do not heat it yet! Place the pot in the center of the table. Show the children the pot and explain that the matzoh balls will be cooked on the stove, in the pot and not in the oven.
The children will need to roll their dough into balls and place them into the pot, one ball at a time to avoid splashing.
This is a sensory baking project, because unlike most in-school baking activities (i.e. cookies, cakes, etc.), this one allows the children to bake with their hands. They can feel the stickiness of the dough. They can describe the texture. They can smell it, and at lunch, they can each taste a matzoh ball with their lunch or snack.
The recipe contains eggs, so you’ll want to make sure that your students are not allergic. Otherwise you can try Matzoh Pizza which is fun, easy, and can be made in an oven, toaster oven or microwave.
*I have done this cooking activity in a three-year old classroom before. The preschool where I lead this activity is owned and run by the YMCA. It was Passover at the time, and of course, Easter time as well. There were many Easter activities and crafts going on, but of course, not the same could be said for Passover. So after discussing my idea with the head teacher of the classroom, she felt that it would be a great idea, especially since we also had a few Jewish children in our class.
Overall the activity was a great success. Children who wanted to participate, did. During lunch, they were offered a matzoh ball. Some liked it, from what I remember, especially the Jewish children, who knew what it was!
Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix – 1 Boxes (5 oz). Matzo Balls are a delicious treat that taste great in chicken soup or as a side dish. Enjoy all of our matzo ball, and matzo ball & soup products throughout the year. Makes 9-12 matzo balls Fat free Cholesterol free Lactose free & vegetarian Quality Since 1888 Kosher for Passover / Pareve Made in the USA
Matzo Ball and Soup Mix, 4.5 oz (Pack of 3)
Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix, 5 oz
Streit’s Matzo Ball Mix
Reduced Sodium Matzo Ball and Soup Mix
This Amazon page instructs you to buy the soup mix at another website (Soup Online), where the preparation directions and nutrition facts are available for viewing. There are also some consumer reviews.