Knowing that young children learn best through authentic, hands-on experiences, the Matzah Bakery visited Basi Yaakov this past Friday. The children donned aprons and baker’s hats. They were given the opportunity to examine stalks of wheat. It was fascinating to watch as preschoolers, first-graders, and second-graders tried to remove the wheat kernel from the stalk by furiously banging the stalks on the table. The children were fascinated by the process of taking the wheat kernels, putting them in a hand grinder, and producing flour. A volunteer came up to pour in the special water that was prepared in advance, while another volunteer poured in the flour. After it was quickly mixed up, each child had the opportunity to roll out a ball of dough and punch holes in it, just as they do in a real matzah bakery!
Working the dough themselves helped clarify the meaning of preparing matzah within the 18-minute period. The children gained an appreciation for the rush when Am Yisrael left Mitzrayim.