Who doesn't love a good hearty soup on a cold (almost) winter day? I always joke to my kids about various Torah portions and their "perfect timing." For example, it works out well that the story with Avraham greeting the 3 men who were sitting under a tree takes place in the fall, when the foliage is so beautiful and glorious. Leads to some great tree crafts. In this parsha, Eisav sells his birth right to Yaacov for a bowl of lentil soup. So while my son was napping, my daughter and I whipped up a nice big batch to last us several days, perfect for the sudden shift in weather. Besides being delicious, lentil soup is super healthy. In addition to all the wholesome vegetables that go into it, lentils alone are a great source of iron, protein, and fiber.
Supplies (aka Recipe):
- garlic (I prefer cloves, but you can use powder as well)
- yams or sweet potatoes
- lentils (anywhere between 1 - 3 cups, depending on the size of your pot)
- salt & pepper to taste
- optional: ginger (I love using fresh ginger, it adds great flavour to soups, can also use powder)
- optional: beef marrow bones
When I cook, I often use whatever ingredients I already have at home, and I base quantities on our family's taste. I came up with the above recipe for lentil soup based on what I have in the pantry. I made it fleishig (with meat) because I had an extra package of beef marrow bones that I didn't put in the cholent on Shabbos. But I've also made pareve (vegetarian) lentil soup and it tastes great! I like to saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients, it adds a wonderful flavour to most soups. But if you're short on time, you can certainly skip that step.
Lentil Soup - Pretend Play
Just like his big sister, my son also had a go at making his own lentil soup! You can also play a game where you ask your child to pass you a variety of vegetables based on their name or color.
- play food
- bowl & ladle
Yaacov and Eisav Puppets
We made Yaakov and Eisav puppets to use as we talked about the parsha. My friend sent me the templates for these puppets, I wish I could link the project but I don't have the name of the website. You can cut your own. We used red yarn for Eisav, and identified Yaacov with his kipa and tzitzis. We also used scraps of fabric for his arms when he went to Yitzchak for the bracha. If you have velcro on hand, you can attach the fabric with velcro and put it on when talking about the specific scene involving the bracha. Alternatively, you can glue it on.
- A cut out of 2 puppets (preferably on cardstock paper to make it sturdier)
- kipa and tzitzis images
- scraps of fabric
- red yarn
- googly eyes
- popsicle sticks
- optional: velcro
Song about the Names in this Parsha
A great song to learn the names in this parsha:
Yaacov and Eisav were twin brothers,
Rivka their mother, Yitzchak their father.
Do you think they were the same?
No no no, say that again.
Shapes: Differences & Similarities
Taking cue from the above parsha song the kids sang almost every day, I thought it would be a great week to learn about (for my toddler) and review (for my preschooler) shapes. We discussed what they are called, their unique characteristics, their similarities, and their differences. My 2 year old enjoyed working on a shapes puzzle (by Melissa and Doug). I had precut each shape in a small and large size for my 4 year, she matched each one, and then glued them down when I called out their name. If you'd like, you can write down the name of each shape beside it.
- 2 colors construction paper