Monday, November 21, 2011

Make Your Own Chocolate Kit {GIVEAWAY}

My kids and I have had the absolute best time studying about chocolate. It was hard for me to remember not to get too detailed for my kids, who are only 5 and 7 years old. But I was really pleased with the mini-unit study that I created for them.

In our exploration of the world of chocolate, we started off with the book, Smart About Chocolate: A Sweet History by Sandra Markle. This book is written for children and was perfect for my two. It covers everything from the characteristics of the cacao beans (bitterness, color, etc.) to its historical roots in Central America with engaging stories about the Maya and Aztecs. I loved how the books shared brief stories about Montezuma (Did you know he drank more than 50 cups of chocolate a day?!?), Prince Philip of Spain, and Milton Hershey.The book also discusses when - and how - milk chocolate was formed.

Smart About Chocolate also includes a fun recipe, surprising facts, a book list, and even an experiment for little scientists. The illustrations are funny and engaging and had my kids giggling from the very beginning. I totally recommend this book.

After reading this short book, we spent some time online at the Field Museum's website going through the interactives. I also used some of the activity/coloring pages on chocolate from this website (they're in English).

But the best part of our study was making chocolate ourselves. While researching my lesson online, I found a Make Your Own Chocolate Kit from Glee Gum. I purchased it from Amazon. The kit comes with the ingredients shown in the picture above. This includes organic cocoa butter, cocoa powder, confectioner's sugar, starter crystals, a temperature indicator, two cacao beans, and paper candy liners. 

The instructions were easy to follow - but you have to follow them exactly! Making chocolate is not a simple process. While we were waiting for the chocolate to cool, we nibbled on the beans and immediately spit them out complaining about the taste. I thought this was a simple, but effective way of showing how important the process is of adding the other ingredients to combat the bitterness of the bean.

They also allow time in the process for adding extra ingredients such as marshmallows, nuts, etc. We chose to add peanut butter to 1/3 of our candies. And afterwards we had a "taste test." The girls loved the peanut butter chocolate combo, while my son preferred the straight chocolate.
Not only was the kit fun and educational, it's also all-natural and eco-friendly. Although the kit comes with the story of chocolate, you can also find an educator's guide and sample lesson plan on their site.

We really had the best time doing this!

If you'd like to find a store in your area that sells this, or any of the Glee Gum kits, check their online store locator.


After we had so much fun with this project, I wanted to share. So I contacted Glee Gum and asked if they'd be willing to offer a kit or two as a giveaway. They graciously agreed and are offering one Make Your Own Chocolate Kit to a MommyMaestra reader.

To enter, simply leave a comment below.

The deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Wednesday, November 30th. The winner will be chosen using and contacted via email - so be sure to leave a valid email address in your comment!
And to increase your chances of winning, you can:

1.) Blog about this giveaway and include the link to your post in the comments below.

2.) Follow me on Twitter and tweet the following: Win a Make Your Own Chocolate Kit from MommyMaestra! @LatinMami #chocolate #homeschool #giveaway

Don't forget to let me know by posting a separate comment for each entry!
By entering this giveaway, you agree to the Official Sweepstakes Rules. No purchase required. Void where prohibited.

¡Buena suerte!

Disclosure: This giveaway is offered in collaboration with Glee Gum. I have not been compensated in any way for offering this giveaway, and it results from my contacting them and asking for a contribution to our Chocolate series.


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