Warm Up Makerspaces This Winter with a Hot Cocoa Bar

By Sara E. Hoffmann, School & Library Series Managing Editor

What are chilly February days perfect for? Making something warm and delicious in a makerspace, that’s what! Courtesy of Lerner Publications’ Party Time series, below are instructions on how you can transform a makerspace into a hot cocoa bar for an afternoon.

Party Time! series
Party Time! series

Kids will love creating their own custom drink—and letting them top cocoa with pre-made, prearranged goodies gives even inexperienced makers the satisfaction of having made something with their own hands…without needing to wrangle with measurements or read the names of ingredients.

And if your makers are ready for more of a challenge, see below for some playful, creative recipe books from Lerner that can help turn your makerspace into a fun and very kid-friendly kitchen.

Hot cocoa bar how-to

  • Grab your favorite powdered hot cocoa mix—either homemade or store bought works.
  • Make sure you have easy access to either milk or water, depending on which you plan on using in the cocoa—and a way to heat it up.
  • Collect a clean, sturdy, easy-to-hold mug for every maker, plus spoons for stirring.
  • Now comes the fun part! Collect a bunch of cups or bowls and start filling them with cocoa toppings. The sky’s the limit. Marshmallows are a classic, but some of my favorite out-of-the-box options include: crushed cookies, nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew), puffed chocolate cereal, candied ginger, caramels, butterscotch chips, and chocolate kisses.
  • Set up your cocoa mix, mugs, and the lineup of yummy toppings. Now you’re all set! Invite the makers in to create their dream cup of cocoa (with proper supervision to help kiddos avoid any allergens and safely handle the hot drinks, of course). Your makerspace is sure to be the most popular spot in the library.

More titles for foodie makers

Now here are those books I promised you for even more fun makerspace food-and-beverage-themed events:

You're the Chef series
You’re the Chef series
Little Kitchen of Horrors series
Little Kitchen of Horrors series

Plus a bonus title on gardening using kitchen scraps, in case you’re looking for more hands-on fun or wondering what to do with any leftovers:

Dig In!
Dig In!

For more makerspace activity ideas, check out this blog post.

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