Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Winter Hot Cocoa

It actually does get, um, well, chilly in Southern California.Growing up in Massachusetts, where 40 degrees could be a heat wave, I do find it amusing that we all bundle up here when it gets below 70. But, anyway, we have been talking about how "cold" it is during winter. What's a great way to warm up in the winter?
Drinking hot cocoa!

In preparation for making our hot chocolate, we introduced a song in circle time called "Hot Cocoa." It was borrowed from Deborah Stewart's awesome Teach Preschool blog called "Little Fingers that Play." I printed up the pictures for a visual and we sang it!

"Hot Cocoa" is a great song to reinforce the vocabulary words, to talk about the word "hot" (we all took turns touching the picture of the cup and pretending it was hot. 'Ouch!'), and to practice counting to 5. I especially love that each time you add a marshmallow, you say "yum" that amount of times (like for 3 marshmallows, we say "yum! yum! yum!"). It was a great way to listen and count words…hooray for phonological awareness!!

Next, we headed to our small groups table, gathered what we needed and made our own hot cocoa!

Sequencing- including the concepts of First and Last
Concepts "hot" "empty"
Turn Taking
Counting to 5

First, we looked at our photo sequencing cards several times, emphasizing the concepts of "first" and "last." 

Sequencing is an important skill for preschoolers to have, as it helps organize their thoughts and helps develop story retell skills. 
Next, we talked about the items we needed-- an empty cup, hot cocoa powder, hot water, as spoon to stir (oooh! great time to work on /s/ blends!! not a poon--a sssspoon!) etc. 
Then, we followed the sequencing cards to make the cocoa.

First, we have an empty cup

Next we pour in the chocolate, 

Then we pour in the hot water, 

Last we stir it!

The kids were encouraged to talk about each step of the way. They also got to participate by pouring, touching, stirring, etc. 

Finally, they requested their hot cocoa! ("I want cocoa").

But, there was more!! The delicious marshmallows! We referred back to Deborah's "Hot Cocoa" song and each child counted out 5 marshmallows for them to add to their cocoa.

 This was a fun activity that got all of the students fully involved and talking. And it was tasty, too! 
Yum! Yum! Yum! Yum! Yum!

Keep warm!



  1. This is so awesome - even better then I could have imagined. Thank you for sharing this with me. I am going to add a link to this post on the song! Your approach to integrating music and language and math and cooking and sequencing is spectacular.. I can't tell you how impressed and appreciative I am for using my song as part of this awesome learning experience!

  2. Deborah--
    Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it :)

  3. Visiting via Deborah's blog. She is right...great ideas!

  4. Music, math and science and food! Love it and Love Discovery Toys - I've been a consultant for almost 17 years and all those toys are now in my classroom!

    Your "Targets" can also include safety since I'm sure you talked about being careful with hot water on the stove or out of the microwave :)

  5. We had a hot cocoa station in our classroom...next to the ice rink:) We had several plastic mugs, crumpled brown paper and then used cotton balls for the marshmallows. The kids took turns "selling" the cocoa to the customers after they visited the ice rink.

  6. Do you happen to have a printable copy of the hot chocolate sequencing cards?