Sunday, February 3, 2019

Easy Classroom Chocolate Fondue and a Valentine Freebie!

I could have called this post One Great Valentine Party because I cover the fancy treat, a cute hat that doubles as my teacher Valentine to students, and a crazy way of Valentine exchange, with a little Freebie thrown in for good measure. Here we go!

One of the BEST treats we have all year is "Chocolate Fondue" for our Valentine's Party. Ok. So I use the term "fondue" loosely... no flames are involved. snort It is more like chocolate dip... but it IS warm. And it is easy. And it is nut-free. And it is DELICIOUS!

Simply get a jar of Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie and Cocoa Swirl spread.

I tell you this stuff is wonderful in any form on anything you choose. I found out about it from the mom of a nut allergy student who could not have many forms of chocolate, but could have this stuff. What a find!

Put some in a safe container and microwave for ten seconds at a time, stirring in between ten second blasts. It doesn't take long to turn it into smooth, warm, liquid heaven. It mixes the two flavors into the BEST chocolate flavor. I put the fondue in little sauce cups, another reason why the chocolate should only be warm, not hot. If it cools down it is okay because once liquified, this dip won't harden again. Also put out whatever items you are going to let the kids dip– pretzels, bananas, crackers, marshmallows...  it's all good!

Then let the kids have at it! Voila! You will be the most popular teacher in the school. One of my parents gave glowing praise, "It figures you'd figure out a way to do Chocolate Fondue with five year olds! My daughter can't stop talking about it! I think we're going to be having it this weekend." Hee

If you don't have a Trader Joe's nearby, not to worry because I found it on Amazon! Click on the pic below to go there. And if nuts aren't an issue in your classroom, I'm betting good old Nutella would work, too, though I have not actually TRIED warming Nutella, so experiment first!
Click to find on Amazon

Now, take a look below at the kids' Valentine hat close up. I think they are the CUTEST things around and I use them as my Valentine to each kiddo. Here's how you can do it, too, with the help of my FREEBIE download.

Print out the "Happy Valentine's Day, Love Bug!" sheet on pink paper, one for each child, and cut the paper in half lengthwise. This message is printed on the back part of the headband, which you can't see in the photo. And it's printed in bubble letters so the kids can color it in.

Print out eye sheets on white paper– you get six pairs of eyes per sheet and each child needs a pair.

Include a small heart sticker, paper heart punch-out, or those press on foamy hearts for a nose. Do Love Bugs have noses?? Mine do!

Add two pipe cleaners or one pipe cleaner cut in half, or if you don't have pipe cleaners handy, just cut skinny strips of paper. They'll need four more hearts to make the antennae. The kiddos will sandwich the pipe cleaner tips in between two hearts to form antennae that can be taped to the hat's inside edge. As you see, the hearts don't have to be red or pink.

To turn the hat into a Valentine for my kids, I sign my name under the word "Love Bug" on the message at the back of the headband. Then I make little Valentine "kits" by rolling up all the parts into a scroll tied with red curling ribbon. I hand one to each kiddo as our party begins and let them cut, glue, color and tape their hats into place. It makes a lovely, wearable Valentine and a great valentine party activity.

Hat making is followed by the fondue, and then the big valentine opening event. We open Valentines with everybody sitting in a circle on the floor with their lunch bag mailbox of Valentines in front of them. On my signal everyone starts to take out their Valentines, one at a time, and when they figure out who it is from (it takes a while for five year olds to read five year old handwriting!) they then yell, "Thank you, So-and-So" across the circle. Then So-and-So has to yell back "You're welcome!"

You have never seen or heard such chaos!!! So much happy yelling. Warms my heart! I've done it this way for years and won't do it any other way. Then all the Valentines go back in their bag with any candy that came in Valentines, so it can all be taken home.

One heck of a good party, and a level of prep that I can handle. Try it! Bet you like it!

OH! Almost forgot! For the simple freebie hat download, just click on either of the photos with kids in hats! Kuddos to DH Jonathan for putting the hat handout together to my specifications. Life would be SO much harder without him... it's why I keep him around... well, that and a few other reasons. TeeHeeHee

As always, Pin Pin Pin please!!!

See you next time! News Flash– Next time is TODAY. I put together a compilation of dance party brain breaks featuring Black artists performing a wide variety of music over the years to use throughout February. This collection for Black History Month is coming out in a couple hours! You'll want it for easy reference. AND going BACK in time, don't miss my post with the Safe Youtube QR Code cards for students to use to watch Storyline Online! Click HERE for that one.

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