Loco for Cocoa

It's California freezing!! Which means it's a chilly 50 degrees. Brrrrrr....

We know some of you snow birds are knee deep in the stuff, relishing in school snow days. Meanwhile us California Girls scramble for closed toe shoes, long pants (those are longer than shorts and capris, we think) and traipse off to work in the bitter, BITTER cold...Up hill. In the pretend snow. Both ways.
We added that last bit.
For drama. ;-) 

So to warm us up a bit in this bitter 40 degrees (yes, it's getting colder as we type), we served up some hot cocoa in class.

Our blogging buddy and fabulous first grade friend Traci over at Dragonflies in First posted a great class reward idea a few weeks back. You can read about it {here}. We absolutely adored her cute labels, so we printed them out to create a class "Hot Cocoa Station" for our kiddos. As she says, we cannot call it a "Bar"...that would entail all sorts of naughtiness. And, we will not be partaking in any of that tomfoolery until at least 3:15pm 4:15pm 5ish, or so...
We have to admit, in the cocoa craziness we weren't able to snap a ton of pics, but here is the day before.
We went with blue and purple for winter and gathered some vases and glassware we had around the house to hold all the goods.
We added some ribbon and Traci's cute labels, stuck it all on a tray and voila!
Our cocoa stewed in a crockpot all day. We were supposed to stir occasionally, but kinda forgot. 
Teaching does get a little busy from time to time...
It didn't seem to ruin anything.
Here's the recipe we used:

Crock Pot Hot Chocolate
(Serves 8-10)
1 gallon water
1 cup cocoa mix
1/2 cup of marshmallows
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Stir occasionally on low heat

The kids absolutely loved it!
We do believe you could probably keep it super simple and just throw the ready packs of hot cocoa mix and water in the crock pot. With all the toppings it tastes great anyways! 

Afterwards, we wrote steamy stories titled "50 Shades of Grey" "How to Make Hot Cocoa" and stuck them on hand cut mugs. We added the steam with pulled apart cotton balls. 

Here's our Loco for Cocoa bulletin board. 
The mugs were made out of construction paper. 
We offered up 3 colors because it's all about coordinating we wanted to give them a choice.
You'll Need:
1 piece 9" x 6"
1 piece 3" x 6"
Cotton Balls for steam
Glue Stick
Writing Page
Colored Pencils or Crayons

Round the bottom corners of the mug with scissors.
Cut the handle by rounding corners and cutting out a curve from the inside.
Glue the mug and handle together. 
Gently pull apart the cotton balls to give it a steamy effect. 
Glue them to the top of the mug.

For the writing, we found this fabulous descriptive writing over at Kindergarten Smiles.
It was a great conversation starter for our Firsties, and got them using steamy words to describe hot cocoa.
 After we did some brainstorming, we sent them off to write stories about making hot cocoa. They cut the writing page out first so no words were cut off, then wrote their stories. That's a first grade trick. :) They used colored pencils to color the title, then glued them onto their mugs and voila!
In retrospect, we wish we gave them a picture part. We adore their illustrations and as Moms those are the school keepsakes...
Live and Learn! 
The nice thing is, we had that idea before we blogged, so we're sharing both with you! 

There's also an upper grade version for you folks who no longer need to write on the "roads".

Click any of the papers above to grab your own copies! 

Happy Winter! 
Head over to  Sunny Days in Second to see more wonderful winter ideas! 

Fluttering Through First Grade


  1. Love the hot cocoa bar, oops I mean station!! What a fun idea. I bet your kiddos loved it. I live in Florida and it has been super hot. I would have to have an ice cream station.


  2. That looks like a blast! I bet your kids went nuts!!! Love it!

    Oh, and P.S= you Cali peeps are wimps!

    Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade
    Mrs. Wheeler TpT

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Love Hot Cocoa! I am a California girl too and thought you might enjoy this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6t-EjrtD3U

  5. I'm found your blog through Sunny Days, and I am so glad I did. I love this post and your paper mugs turned out so cute :) Thanks for the freebie!

    The Brown-Bag Teacher

  6. SUPER CUTE!!! I'm afraid I would have been the kid that GRABBBED the Reddi Whip and squirted it all in my mouth!!! :) mmmm... love that stuff!
    It was 21 here today when we left for school, but my teaching partner still wore capris, she's BRAVE!


  7. I love all these great ideas. A hot cocoa station sounds like such fun! Here in AZ. we have to pretend it's cold too! :)

    Granny Goes to School

  8. Love this! I know your students must have had a wonderful time. :)
    Conversations in Literacy

  9. I LOVE you guys!

    It's just way too cold. Supposed to warm up a bit tomorrow. Thank goodness. I do not have the proper attire for this weather and since they are selling bathing suits in all the stores now... WHAT is up with that??? .... I cannot even go and purchase clothes for this weather!

    LOVE your mugs and all that fabulous writing. Your cocoa bar... I mean station.... looked absolutely fabulous!!

  10. We're in the middle of a cold spell too-what a perfect idea for a reward! :) My kiddos could use some inspiration right now. Thank you for sharing it! :)


  11. Thanks for linking up to show and tell this week and sharing such great ideas! It's about 80 for us here, but a big cool down is coming this weekend. Daytime temps in the low 70's! brrr...
    Sunny Days In Second Grade

  12. Hi Christy and Tammy!
    Oh my goodness this blog post is full of all things I love...EXCEPT for the bitter cold cuz you know I'm right down the road from you right?!?
    I LOVE traci - and her cuteness ( I remember her blog post on this ) and I love hot cocoa and I especially love your play on words LOCO for COCOA. You guys are the bomb!!! :0D
    I bet your kiddos had a blast! Stay warm...I think today was the warmest day of the week even though my friends made fun of me cuz of all my layers.
    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

  13. Thank you for the freebie! Found you on Sunny Days and am your newest follower! I love your bulletin board, Loco for Cocoa! I look forward to reading more and hearing about your wonderful weather! It's 17 degrees here!

  14. Thank you so much! We're studying winter/snow when we return next Tuesday (we're out today for our first snow day in two years) and this will come in so handy!

  15. Thank you so much for saving the day! I am doing HOT COCOA unit next week and I love (and am stealing) all your great activities!!! Thanks so much for a great post!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

  16. Hey girls! I am going to make this cocoa with my class tomorrow- Is the cocoa mix actual Hershey's cocoa or is that packets of hot chocolate mix? Do you know about how many kids it "fed"?

    Thanks girls!!

  17. Just came across this cute idea from First Grade Critter Cafe. Pinned the idea for next year, and I'm your newest follower! :)
    Teaching's a Hoot

  18. Thanks for the great ideas and freebie! We are really cold in Minnesota today - 43 below zero wind chills! Brrrrrr! Shelley


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