Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hot Chocolate Theme for Winter Months

We found some great ideas on the web that can be put together for a hot chocolate theme during these cold days. suggests making fake cocoa mix and marshmallows using scraps of brown construction paper cut small and cotton balls. Fill your sensory table with the scraps of brown paper and some scissors, and let the children spend a few days practicing cutting skills to chop the pieces into small bits. Then create a cocoa making station using paper cups, plastic measuring spoons, and the “cocoa” and marshmallows.

The site also suggests using marshmallows as stamps in a painting activity. Marshmallows now come in extra large size, as well as the traditional mini and regular. You may even find other shapes in your grocery store. Set out a variety of marshmallows and white paint along with colored construction paper. Show children how to dip the marshmallow into the paint then stamp onto the paper. suggests using picture recipes to help children make real hot cocoa they can drink. This is a great opportunity to work on sequencing words like, first, next, and last. Children can measure the appropriate number of spoonfuls of cocoa into their cups, then measure the correct amount of warm (not hot!) water, then stir. Have children count as they add five mini marshmallows. Then use the experience as a writing or graphing prompt to record what children think about the cocoa.

Make hot chocolate play dough using this recipe from

2 cups of water

1 1/2 cups of plain flour

1/2 cup of cocoa

1 cup of salt

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 1/2 tablespoons of cream of tartar

Stir up all the ingredients in a saucepan, over a low heat, until the dough forms. Allow the dough to cool before sharing with children. The dough looks and smells good enough to eat, so make sure the children understand this dough is only for playing.

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