Kids love making things! Creating gifts to give to teachers, friends and family will fill kids with a sense of pride and excitement. A “recipe in a jar’ activity is an inexpensive and fun way for kids to make gifts to celebrate the holiday season. Use the recipe below to get you started. You can also search the internet for other ideas or adapt your own recipes to make these fun, edible gifts!
What you need…
Quart-sized glass or plastic jar with lid
Recipe to attach to jar (see below)
Index cards or recipe card
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1-2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
What to do…
1.Discuss the Cookie in a Jar project with your child. Let him know you will be layering ingredients for making cookies. Ask him why he thinks he will only be putting dry ingredients into the jar?
2.Have your child assemble all the dry ingredients, along with measuring cups and spoons.
3.Ask your child to measure 2 cups of flour. Have her pour the flour into the jar. Show her how to tap the jar lightly on the table so that the flour settles evenly.
4.Have your child measure 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp baking soda and add these to the jar.
5.Let your child measure æ cup brown sugar, instructing him to be sure the sugar is packed down into the measuring cup. Have him spoon the brown sugar into the jar, packing firmly and evenly to create distinct layers.
6.Have your child measure æ cup sugar. Then add the sugar to the jar on top of the brown sugar, packing firmly and evenly.
7.Ask your child to estimate how many cups of chocolate chips it will take to fill the rest of the jar (It should take 1-2 cups). Let him add the chocolate chips using 1/4 cup increments, to check his estimate.
8.Seal the jar with the lid.
9.Give your child an index or recipe card and help her neatly write the instructions for the recipe on the card.
10.Punch a hole in the corner of the recipe card.
11.Help your child cut a length of ribbon long enough to tie around the jar. Let him thread the ribbon through the recipe card and tie it around the jar. Young children may need adult assistance with this step.
12.Encourage your child to give this special, homemade gift to a teacher or friend.
The Math/Science Connection…
Cooking activities offer children many real life connections to math and science. Measuring and estimating skills are practiced in the Cookie in a Jar activity. The baking soda in the recipe offers a wonderful science lesson. Discuss the job of baking soda in the recipe. Can your child name other leavening agents? Encourage your child to predict what might happen if the baking soda were left out of the recipe. Creating and examining the layers of ingredients in the jar offers insight into the formation of sedimentary rocks. What other math or science activities can you find in the Cookie in a Jar Activity?
The Recipe (to attach to jar):
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Blend together butter, egg, and vanilla. Empty jar of cookie mix into the butter mixture and mix until completely blended. Drop tablespoons full of batter about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 8 to10 minutes or until golden brown.
Looking to experience Hand On Science activities right here in our own area? Visit www.TheChildrensScienceCenter.org,where you and your children can “Explore, Create, Inspire.” TheChildren’s Science Center (CSC) is committed to building a place wherechildren can grow in their love of learning.
Robin Lundgren is a writer and Vice President of Aquarian Entertainment.