Winter Fun with the Hot Chocolate Café

I surprised the kids this morning with a pretend Hot Chocolate Café.  So far, they’ve used it for several hours of creative play and it was so simple to put together, mostly with things I already had in our stash of art supplies, plus a quick and inexpensive trip to the craft store.

I got this wonderful idea from Preschool Playbook.  I used an old hot chocolate container and cut up pieces of a sheet of brown foam for the chocolate.  White pom- poms served as marshmallows.  A stack of cups, a handful of spoons and straws, a few items from our play kitchen and our toy cash register full of play money, and they were open for business.

It helps to have a college art major who lives in your basement when on winter break from college, because she can make you a really cool sign for your Hot Chocolate Café.  That would be my wonderful niece.

All three kids had a great time with this.  I’ve been reading a lot more lately about the importance of play in learning, not just for toddlers and preschoolers, but for kids of all ages, so I was glad to give my almost-7 year old the opportunity to spend a big chunk of his day today engaged in pretend play.

Serving hot chocolate to Daddy, one of their favorite "customers".

My two-year-old had fun pouring the “chocolate bits” from container to container and my four-year-old began to decorate the cups with bits of ribbon and tape and marker-drawings, making the project her own.

And, when we went out to the library, they couldn’t wait to get back and play with the Hot Chocolate Café some more.  We’ll leave it set up for a while, until I notice it’s no longer played with or get tired of picking up bits of “chocolate” from all over the house.  We already had to make a rule:  No feeding marshmallow pom-poms to the dog.  He does think they are food and he will eat them.

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This entry was posted in creative play, Early Elementary Years, homeschooling, preschool, toddlers. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Winter Fun with the Hot Chocolate Café

  1. Oh, that is super cute!! My kids got a play kitchen for Christmas and I’ve been bookmarking all sorts of ideas for felt food and projects. I love how it’s play and learning all rolled into one!!

  2. Mom says:

    Do you remember selling flowers at the Big E? That’s what your adventure today reminded me of. You sold little bokays of flowers (scraps left over from our arrangements) for twenty five cents. You would take the money, give change and get mad when the customers counted their change instead of just putting it away.

  3. Theresa says:

    What a great idea!!

  4. Rivka says:

    Wow, what an awesome and clever idea! I really love the stuff you come up with for your kids.

  5. Your hot chocolate cafe looks great. I’m so glad the children had so much fun with it. I have to say I was amazed at the amount of time our children spent there when we put ours together. Also, LOVED the hot chocolate squares–might have to add some of those next year. Thanks.

  6. bakingfairy says:

    WOW loved the idea 🙂 it is so different to the normal grocer`s shop or fruit shoP. Thank you for sharing :))

  7. You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by my blog! 🙂

  8. Linda says:

    That’s cute, love the sign! We played Hot Cocoa Shop in my Pre-k classroom all last week with a similar setup (not as cute a sign, though!)

  9. Darcey says:

    I love this idea! the pretend hot chocolate is so cute. I can see why your kids had fun with this. I’ve included your post on my weekly favorites here: http://play2grow.blogspot.com/2011/01/weekly-favorites-for-january-16-2011.html

  10. Amber says:

    Very cute idea, how fun! But also cruel a little because now I really, really want some real hot cocoa!

  11. That’s amazingly cute! I love creative people!! I bet that was so much fun!!

  12. Pingback: Mmmm… Hot Chocolate « Happy Home Fairy

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