Homemade Presents Children Can Make: Red Beans & Rice Kit

Image shows a large mason jar filled with beans and rice, with a colorful ribbon holding the instructions for making red beans & rice.
Presents Children Can Make!
Red Beans & Rice Kit


Red Beans and Rice is a hearty southern favorite that’s easy enough for any child, including special needs children, to create.  In Homemade Presents Children Can Make:  Red Beans & Rice Kit, you’ll learn how to lead your children through filling a mason jar with the ingredients for this recipe. These kits make terrific presents for Christmas, Mother’s Day, or birthdays.  Children are so proud when they can make presents for their family and your family will love eating this dish.   Everybody wins!  You can also keep these kits in your pantry for emergency food.  They’ll keep for a year or more.


Supplies and Ingredients:

  • 2 c. white rice
  • 2 c. dried beans (any variety)
  • 1 T dried onions
  • 1 beef bouillon cube (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  •  Quart size Mason jar, wide-mouthed preferred
  • 1 gallon size food storage bag with twist-tie
  • 1 sandwich size food storage bag, fold-over style with twist-tie
  • Label printed from this PDF Red-Beans-&-Rice-Label, with hole punched for string
  • Twine or ribbon to attach label, about 2 ft. long
  • Canning funnel or funnel made from rolled paper
  • Scissors
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Adult:  Your child will first make the spice packets to go in the kit and then later assemble the full kit.  Set up your supplies for the spice packets as shown in the picture.

Image shows a red tray with 10 little cups of spices, a bowl with a plastic baggie in it, a scissors, and a twist tie.
Organize your spices and supplies this way to make the spice bags.

The basic process is to put all the spices in a sandwich size fold-top baggie, get most of the air out and close with a twist-tie. Cut off the excess plastic bag.  It is easier for your child to work with the baggie if you put it wide open inside a small bowl.  Depending on the age & ability of your child, they may be able to do the measuring themselves.  If so, great!  If not, I have shown the spices already measured in small containers ready to be put in the baggie one by one.  The picture slideshow will walk them through it.


Child:  Click on the pictures in the slideshow to see how to make the spice packets for your kit. It’s okay if the bay leaf gets broken.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Adult:  Now get the supplies ready to assemble the full kit, just like in the picture.

Image shows a red tray with a canning funnel, a cup with beans, a cup with rice, a packet of spices, a mason jar with a plastic baggie in it, the lid for the mason jar, and a twist tie.
These are the supplies to put together the Red Beans & Rice kit. You need scissors, too.

Your child may need help with twisting the baggie closed or using the twist tie.  The basic process is quite simple.  You put the rice in a plastic baggie on the bottom of the jar.  It is easier to put an empty baggie inside the quart-size mason jar and then pour the rice into it.  A wide-mouth jar is better, but the regular will work fine.  Get most of the air out of the rice baggie and close it with a twist-tie.  Cut off the excess plastic.  Pour the beans into the jar right on top of the rice bag.  The beans do not need to be in a baggie.  Then you put the spice packet on top and close the jar.  The kit is made.


Child:  Click on the pictures to learn how to get all the food into the mason jar.  Ask for help with the twisty ties.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Adult:  Once the kit is made,  you can decorate the jar any way you like.  Some people like to use fabric on the top or enclose the whole jar in it.  I have shown a double ribbon with the label attached to it.  Your child may need help tying the ribbon.  You can also print the label out on a sticker if you prefer.  After the label is attached, the kit is ready to be given as a gift.  Here is the set up for the ribbon method I have chosen.

Image shows a red tray with a mason jar filled with red beans & rice, 2 long pieces of ribbon, and an instruction card.
Collect the supplies to decorate the red beans and rice kit like this.

Child:  Follow the pictures to tie the label to the jar and finish your homemade present.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These homemade presents make excellent gifts for teachers either at the winter holidays or at the end of school.  They do not cost that much to make, which is nice if you have a lot of people to give gifts to.  The Red Beans and Rice recipe can be vegetarian simply by using vegetarian sausage, so it is appropriate for everyone even if you don’t know their preferences.  I keep some in my closet as emergency gifts for when I suddenly need something and don’t have time to shop.  I hope you find it as useful and delicious as I do.

The basic idea for this recipe came from An Oregon Cottage.  Here is a PDF with the basic instructions to make the kit Red-Beans-&-Rice-Directions.


© 2013, Margaret. All rights reserved.