One of my favorite things about winter is HOT CHOCOLATE! I have such warm memories from my childhood of coming in after hours of playing out in the cold and being greeted by my mom's homemade hot chocolate!
This book, Frozen Noses, by Jan Car is a simply beautiful illustration of the flurry of fun children have in the snow! (*Amazon affiliate link)
It lends itself beautifully to sequencing activities such as how we get dressed to go out in the snow, the steps to making a snowman, and then what we do when we come back inside and make hot chocolate to warm up after a cold day in the snow. Here is a link to a fun hot chocolate sequencing activity I found over on the Fox Toy Box blog.
|Hot Chocolate Sequencing Activity|
Here are a few of my favorite hot chocolate sensory activities I found on Pinterest. You can find me on Pinterest too by following this link! I would love to continue sharing ideas with you there!!!
Imagine the response you would get if you set out these supplies and, to their surprise, the children open the hot cocoa mix and find none other than CHOCOLATE PLAY-DOH!!! This idea came from Deborah over at Teach Preschool. Deborah shares several other hot chocolate ideas in her blog including this one...
She simply added a few drops of chocolate extract to some brown paint for chocolate scented paint! Provide the children with some mug shapes, cotton ball (or real) marshmallows, and a paint brush and they will be busy exploring for hours!
Draw children into the dramatic play center by adding a Hot Chocolate Shop! This idea was shared by the Preschool Playbook. Look at all the great supplies she added to help the children get started! There's a sign, cash register, recipes, cups, Nesquik containers, spoons, tea pots, cookies, plates, cotton balls (marshmallows), and milk!
Of course your hot chocolate activities won't be complete without an opportunity to teach the children some relaxation techniques to help children (teachers and parents too) keep their cool while they are inside for the remainder of these looooong cold months!
When I am teaching children to relax by taking their deep calming breath I find it helpful to give them concrete items to help them practice! The younger the child, the more concrete it must be so I came up with this idea for a "Breathing Mug"! You can learn more about how to create "Brain Smart" activities throughout the day over on the Conscious Discipline website!
Make your own breathing mug by following these steps:
1. Cut a mug shape out of craft foam.
2. Add some brown construction paper at the top to imitate the look of hot chocolate.
3. Spread some liquid glue around on the brown paper.
4. Sprinkle with dry hot chocolate mix like you buy at the store.
5. Using one cotton ball, stretch the cotton out to make it look like steam and glue it to the back of the mug.
6. Secure the "steam" in place by gluing another piece of brown construction paper to the back of the mug just as you did on the front.
7. Glue on several marshmallows, let it dry and you are good to go!
Gather a small group of children around and have them practice deep breathing by "smelling the hot chocolate" and then "blowing off the steam (cotton)". Once they have grasped the concept from a sensory standpoint, it is time to let them practice on their own with these breathing sticks.
To make your own set of breathing sticks simply print out this free printable and follow the instructions. Give one to each child and guide them as they "smell the hot chocolate" and "blow off the steam". These are a great tool for children to take home so they can continue practicing with their parents!
Go ahead and warm up your classroom or home with these "HOT" ideas that will make your imagination stir as the whole room begins to look, smell, and feel like a Hot Chocolate Shop! That's not all...for more ideas that are sure to warm your heart click on over to my blog at www.ignitelearinngllc.blogspot.com and ignite learning with more Hot Chocolate Fun!
(This blog post is submitted by Jenny Spencer. Jenny is a Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor and former early childhood teacher who blogs over at www.ignitelearningllc.blogspot.com and provides training opportunities for parents and teachers on the concepts of Conscious Discipline. Jenny is passionate about helping teachers and parents plan meaningful activities with that will ignite learning for their children and help them become life-long learners!)