Inspiration struck in the baking aisle as my oldest stood fascinated by all the different types of chocolate chips. “There’s dark chocolate, milk chocolate, semi-sweet- that’s good for cookies- butterscotch, white chocolate…” I explained as she grabbed up the different bags.
“Mom, can we try some?” She asked, already holding four bags of candy chips. Of course, I said yes! I love when my kids get excited about something new. Suddenly, their world expands and their excitement is contagious.
Later in the week, among an array of candy melts and sprinkles, my oldest enjoyed complete creative control. She picked which candies to melt and what else to add to her candies, while I melted the chocolate in the microwave (which can get hot!).
She loved the creative control and playing with chocolate. I loved that this snacktivity inspired her creativity, strengthened her fine motor skills, and taught her a new cooking technique.
- Melt candy pieces in the microwave. Start with increments of 30 or 45 seconds, and use a potholder or towel because your measuring cup/bowl will get hot. My daughter experimented with dark chocolate, white chocolate, and butterscotch combinations, so we made a few small batches.
- Stir and carefully fill candy mold. My daughter spooned the melted chocolate into each mold, adding sprinkles to some. You may want to experiment by adding nuts, coconut, raisins, peanut butter, or crispy rice cereal. We used a novelty silicone mold that we had, so our candies looked like ice-cream cones.
- Freeze. Once complete, put your candy mold in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes until the chocolate is hardened.
- Pop the candy out of the molds and serve. We arranged ours on a plate and stored them in the refrigerator (it was a really hot day!). After dinner, my little proudly gave everyone a piece of her homemade candy.
I love that this activity is open-ended and leaves a lot of room for kids to experiment with different candies, nuts, and other flavors. After tasting some of her chocolates, we discuss what flavors work well together and what we may try differently next time. For instance, no one was a big fan of the white chocolate, so going forward we may only use it to drizzle a small design on top.
From an educational/STEM perspective, we talked about melting points. Chocolate and ice cubes melt very easily, even in you hands. Other candies, such as lollipops have a higher melting point, so they don’t melt in you hands, but would melt if heated over the stove. Everything has a melting point.
Additionally, I touched a little on the difference between mixtures and solutions. While the chips are unmelted (and can be separated), they form a mixture. However, the melted candies cannot be separated, which makes a solution.