What Are Fun Things To Do With Chocolate For Kids?
If you are interested in working with and eating chocolate, chances are your kids are going to show some interest as well. When you do want to kumbaya, there are a variety of activities you can do together. For instance, making various flavored bark would please both of you. But what if you’re not too keen on sharing your $10 bar of chocolate with them, and definitely unwilling to let them come to your wine and chocolate tasting party? The good news is, you do not need to share as kids can have their own arsenal of fun chocolate activities.
Children can make a variety of food crafts with chocolate as well as gifts and pieces of art. Kids especially love producing (and eating) novelty items. While creating and consuming chocolate is exciting, so is using chocolate in non-edible crafting projects. Whether you are playing with your child, or providing a side-by-side activity, both of you can have fun, make memories, and perhaps make something chocolaty to share with others.
While allowing a child to bake brownies from a box is both easy and tasty, there are so many more ways to provide activities which help in the exploration of chocolate. This article will suggest ideas that, depending on the age and skill level of your child, will prompt creations with chocolate.
When my grandson was four years old, he introduced me to a stranger by saying, “This is my grandmother. She eats chocolate every day.” Guilty. Just this morning I mailed a candy bar containing a “golden ticket” to him. This is in preparation for our Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Day in the near future. Besides the obvious effects of working with a delicious medium, I have seen children become inspired and excited during the process of creating and playing with chocolate related activities.
- Chocolate Slime: Slime continues to be a popular sensory activity with kids. Given that many of us have learned to make it at home, it is only natural that chocolate be invited to the party. Many of the homemade slime recipes use white glue or liquid starch as a base, obviously something you would not want your kids to ingest. You can make a “safe to taste” slime by using a pudding mix and/or cornstarch as a base. Most recipes use cocoa powder rather than melted chocolate to flavor it.
- Chocolate Play Dough: Dough is more “shapeable” than its cousin slime, and though you won’t want to serve it for dessert, it is safe should your child care to sample it. The base is usually flour, with salt, cocoa, oil, and water added.
- Chocolate Clay: Made with two ingredients, this is an excellent side-by-side activity to do with a child. Also called “modeling chocolate”, it is made with just two ingredients-chocolate wafers and corn syrup. It is desirable to eat, though sweet, and can be shaped, molded and rolled. (See my article on chocolate modeling clay)
- Chocolate Lip Balm: Let’s hope that one would not eat lip balm, but with cocoa butter as a base, this activity is kid-friendly. Lip balm can be made with both white and dark chocolate. The biggest challenge is finding the little containers to store the product in. Kids might enjoy making this as a gift.
- Kisses: One of my favorite activities has been to make a giant “Hershey Kiss” by pouring melted chocolate into a plugged funnel. It is then wrapped in foil and a customized message is printed on paper or tissue paper. Kids are delighted with the size and it is an easy kitchen craft. Molds are available to make standard sized kisses as well. Lastly, provide your kiddo with a bunch of blank white circle stickers for them to make their own customized kisses. Just adhere them to the bottom of pre-purchased candy.
- Chocolate Painting: All ages can enjoy creating a masterpiece with melted chocolate. Little ones can use the cooled melted chocolate as fingerpaints on cardstock while older kids can use new paintbrushes and a variety of colors to create. Chocolate wafers come in a rainbow of colors and are inexpensive, but you could also taint white chocolate to provide an assortment of colors. Cardstock is a good option as a canvas, but acetate sheets (clear plastic sheets) are an excellent choice. You can place a coloring page atop the see-through sheet as a guide. You can also use a clear, plastic page protector. Best of all, once the chocolate hardens, it can be peeled off and eaten. The sheets can be reused.
- Pudding Pictionary: Instant chocolate pudding is your canvas and it is spread on a flat surface. Kids use their fingers to “draw” a picture for others to guess.
- Chocolate Tinker Toys: Using thin pretzel sticks along with melted chocolate acting as a glue, your child can create 3-D sculptures. The younger kids can make a flat design, while those with a little more dexterity can make a stand-alone creation. The best part is eating the sculpture upon completion.
- Cocoa Stencils: Place a stencil on a piece of cardstock and use a small strainer to sift cocoa powder over the stencil.
- Chocolate Chow: There are many, no-bake cereal recipes that appeal to kids. One popular one is “Puppy Chow” or “Nutty Buddies”. Another variation is chocolate rice crispy bars or chocolate oatmeal balls. Google your favorite cereal to find recipe suggestions.
- Chocolate Fudge Bombs: Admittedly, this is just a truffle, but “bombs” appeal more to kids. Prepare some chocolate “guts” by warming one can of sweetened condensed milk with 2 cups of chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Spread flat in some plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes. Kids can then roll them into meatball sized balls and then roll them into the sprinkle of their choice.
- Chocolate Box: Without any fancy equipment, children can make a box out of chocolate by “gluing” chocolate bars together with melted chocolate. Start with a solid base and set a melted chocolate foundation before erecting the sides of the box. Fill with chocolate treats.
- Chocolate Cow Patties: A variation on bark, patties made from melted chocolate are easy to pour on to wax or parchment paper and then embellished with chopped nuts, pretzel pieces, crushed cookies, sprinkles, or dried fruit.
- Chocolate Literature: Take a break from the chocolate ingredients to delve into a story related to chocolate. There is no shortage of books for school-aged children. Some suggestions are
- Curious George Goes to a Chocolate Factory
- No Monkeys, No Chocolate
- Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Fever
- The Chocolate Touch
- Pretzel Wreath w/ Flipz: Draw a circle on a piece of waxed or parchment paper. Using melted chocolate as glue, arrange Flipz Pretzels on the circle to make a wreath. Complete with a Pull N Peel Licorice bow if desired.
- Chocolate Games:
- Guess the # of chocolate chips in the jar.
- Have a relay with mini M & M’s on a spoon.
- Play chocolate bingo.
- Stack the OREO’s to see who can make the highest tower in a minute.
- Play a chocolate memory game either with cards/pictures or with chocolates items (covered with a red cup).
Whether you’re celebrating National Chocolate Day (Oct. 28), or just feel like thinking outside the box of chocolates, there are fun activities you can do as a family or as individuals that feature chocolate. Children will enjoy working with a new medium as they discover many of the ways they can use chocolate in play.
About THE AUTHOR
Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.Read More About Lori Gilmore