We have been super busy getting ready for Pesach! Here is a first peek at some of the activities and explorations we’ve been doing every day.

We learned that at the seder on Pesach we drink 4 cups of grape juice. As all the children are familiar with kiddush and grape juice from Shabbat, they were very excited to make their own grape juice by hand! We used our finger muscles to squeeze the grapes. We noticed that the juice wasn’t purple like the grape juice that comes from a bottle, but it still tasted yummy. It would take a lot of grapes to make enough juice for so many cups of kiddush!

We always say borei pri hagafen before we drink our grape juice.

We decided to use grape juice to create a special seder object – an afikomen bag. We rolled up the pieces of material and put rubber bands on it so we could tie-dye it. We remembered that we tie-dyed shirts for Thanksgiving a few months ago and were excited to do it again.

We also have been learning all about matzah. We talked about challah and that when it bakes, it gets big and puffy and soft. Why does that happen? We remembered the ingredients we put into challah dough – flour, eggs, oil, sugar, salt, water, and yeast. The yeast is what makes the challah rise. We did an interesting experiment to show what that means. We had two water bottles. In one of them we put yeast, sugar, and warm water. In the other one we put only water – because in matzah, there is no yeast or sugar, only flour and water. Then we stretched balloons over the tops of the bottles and waited to see what happened. Guess what? The one with the yeast made the balloon blow up! The other balloon stayed flat. Just like matzah.

We learned that on Pesach, we don’t eat any challah or anything else with yeast. Only flat matzah!

After that, we made our very own matzah. We knew we had to work quickly because matzah is made in only 18 minutes. We mixed flour and water – no yeast! – and kneaded the dough. Then everyone took a piece and flattened it to make either a square or a circle, and poked holes in the dough with a fork to help it cook faster.

  

Then we put it in the oven!

Some children enjoyed tasting it when it was baked. We did a taste test with our homemade matzah and store-bought – they thought both were crunchy but the store-bought was definitely the favorite. 🙂

    

We also had a pretend matzah oven right in our classroom, and matzahs to “bake” in it.

For one last matzah activity, we used pieces of real matzah to stamp with brown paint. The texture the matzah makes is so cool! You can see the pattern from the holes on the paper.

Lots more Pesach explorations to come!