Creating Herb & Spice Mixes

Creating Herb & Spice Mixes


Using a mortar and pestle, children will work with their families to create personalised herb and spice mixes to then be used in future cooking experiences. Children will measure and select herbs and spices, place these in the mortar and use the pestle to then grind and mix the ingredients to create the desired blend. These spice mixes can be used for future cooking experiences or could be given as gifts to loved ones for birthdays, Christmas or other special occasions.

You will need:

1 x Stone mortar & pestle.

Glass jars for storage of spice mixes and labels for each.

Tuscan spice mix ingredients – Dried basil, sea salt flakes, dried rosemary, dried oregano, dried thyme, powered garlic, fennel seeds, black pepper – quantities according to your taste, but start with a teaspoon of each.

Mexican spice mix ingredients – Chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, paprika, dried cumin, powdered garlic, onion powder, sea salt flakes, black pepper – quantities according to your taste, but start with a teaspoon of each.

Baharat (Middle Eastern) spice mix ingredients – Paprika, dried cumin, black pepper, dried coriander, cinnamon, dried nutmeg, dried cardamom, cloves – quantities according to your taste, but start with a teaspoon of each.

Promote learning by:

Using the mortar and pestle to grind and blend the herbs and spices together will promote the use and refinement of children’s fine-motor skills as they will need to grip the pestle, hold the mortar and apply pressure in a grinding motion to mix the spices. Fine motor skills will also be demonstrated through the children scooping the blended mixture into the glass jars for storage.

Language development will be promoted through naming and identifying each of the herbs and spices. In addition to this, families can identify the country of origin of each herb or spice and plot the location on a world map to emphasise diversity. For older children, this can also be the beginning of valuable History experiences (for example, learning about the Silk Road trading) and Geographical knowledge of places around the world.

Writing development will be promoted through children handwriting or shadow writing (copying or tracing) labelling each jar with the name of the spice mix.

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