Naturally Educational » 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), All Ages, Ecology, Featured, Home Arts, Science, Summer, Taste » Jam, Jelly, and Preserves
We have the good fortune to live near an organic farm (Garden of Eve) owned by young parents. The mom runs a summertime “Mommy & Me” that includes a circle time and a farm “chore”. One week the children picked blackberries and turned them into jam!
The process was fairly simple:
- Pick the berries
- Wash and dry the berries
- Meanwhile, sterilize glass jars in boiling water
- Crush the berries in a bowl
- Add mixture to a pot and pour in pectin according to the recipe
- Bring to a quick boil and stir
- Add sugar according to the recipe and bring to a boil again
- Ladle jam mixture into the sterilized glass jars.
Since we did not plan to keep the jams for a long time, we did not process them in a Boiling Water Canner.
Books About Jelly, Jam, and Berries
Jamberry (ages 0-3)
My daughter’s favorite book when she was a baby, Jamberry is a rollicking, rhyming journey through the land of berries. With just the right amount of playful silliness, a boy and his bear pick blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries for jam. Their journey through Berryland ends in an explosion of flavorful berries as delicious fireworks fill the night sky.
Blueberry Shoe (0-3)
A clever story that makes a connection between a young family’s berry-picking and the natural environment. A young toddler loses a shoe hiking with his family and the local wildlife makes use of his unintended gift. When he finds it again the following year, he brings a bit of nature home with him. Amazon has this listed as a book for 4-8 year olds but despite the more advanced vocabulary, the simple sentence structure, short pages, and beautiful woodcut-style illustrations will keep younger children’s interest.
Jam and Jelly by Holly and Nellie (Ages 4-8)
This touching story focuses on the bond between a mother and her daughter. Holly’s mother wants to make sure she does not miss a single day of school for lack of a warm winter coat and boots. So, the pair gather the bounty of the forest to make and sell jams and other berry treats. I love the focus on the importance of education, personal responsibility, and hard work.
- Mathematics: Measure out the ingredients.
- Science: What makes berries sweet? What is pectin and why is it important in making jam? Which fruits are highest in natural pectin? Why do we boil the jars?
- Ecology: What other animals eat the berries? What is the difference between cultivated and wild berries? (Remind children to never eat berries without confirming with an adult that the berries are safe to eat.)
- Colors: Even young toddlers will enjoy identifying which berries are ripe and which are not yet ready based on the color.
Filed under: 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), All Ages, Ecology, Featured, Home Arts, Science, Summer, Taste · Tags: Berries, Cooking, Food, Jam, Jelly