Monday, July 23, 2012

Ch Ch Ch Chocolatey good!

Long before there was J K Rowling, I buried my nose in Roald Dahl. My aunt would bring my brother and I to the library in the next neighbourhood (we did not have such convenience of community libraries then!) and this was definitely a key weekly highlight for me.

Roald Dahl never fails to bring me on a magical journey whether it is in a Glass Elevator or into the life of Mathilda.

Thankfully, Dumpling is a great fan of Roald Dahl's titles and like most children, Dumpling loves her desserts and chocolates too. So it is no surprise that she loves the book - Charlie and the Chocolate factory. We have also watched both versions of the movie "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" during our movie nights.

Even after so many years, as I revisited the movie and the book with Dumpling, I still long to be in his factory where I can swim through his chocolate river, taste his 3-course gum (minus the violet incident of course ;p ) and hatch a chocolate chick. His imagination is simply amazing.

As we read the title, we also extended the book to a short learning theme on Chocolate. I worked on a few areas with Dumpling for phonics and this includes an evening of /ch/ /ch/ - naming and playing word games which starts with the diagraph /ch/ - chocolate (but of course!), cheese, chicken, chalk, etc. It was fun fun fun! So the whole week was a chocolate filled week! But what totally tipped the game for Dumpling was a chocolate workshop!

After calling friends and reaching out to various channels, I was very happy to have found Stephanie, from Chocolate Space, who was able to customize and conduct a session for the kiddos. Dumpling was thrilled beyond words as we she waited impatiently for the big day to arrive!

The session started with Stephanie giving us a background of the cacao tree, introducing us to the proper terms and explaining more about the cacao fruit and seeds. I am very thankful that Stephanie was able accommodate my request to bring them in for the session for the children to view, touch and smell them.

The workshop was a very interactive session as the children were invited and encouraged to participate in hands-on activities and various forms of chocolate tasting.

Just some of the activities we did: mummies looking on as the kiddos await their turn to create their own "cacao tree".

Brownie tasting :)

Items in our learning pack which Stephanie provided where the kids had a blast at creating their own chocolate pets using the Magic Choc! It is like play dough but only with real edible Belgian chocolate!

KJ: My chocolate "ball" for the body!

The evening definitely ended on a sugar high note for us. The kids enjoyed the quick facts , the tasting and the hands on moulding (and more tasting) bit.

For us, we continued on over the following day wrapping up our chocolate week with a cup of hot chocolate made with coco spoon which was included in our learning pack. Made by melting the chocolate spoon in hot full cream milk, it was a perfect yummilicious ending to our week. :) I am definitely looking forward to working with Stephanie on another workshop.

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