A Hot Chocolate Prop for Children's Role-Play




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#2 son came home from school with a request for an old mug. His teacher said it was to be filled with fake hot-chocolate for a role-play corner about penguins (I guess even they feel the cold eventually), and would be ruined as a cup.

Ten second's inspiration, and twenty minute's work later, I'd saved the teacher a job.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

The teacher's plan (according to #2 son) was to fill the whole mug with brown-stained glue. That sounded wasteful, so I decided to provide the bulk of the "hot chocolate" with scrap.

  • Mug - any old mug will do, preferably plastic in case of accidents.
  • An old drink-can.
  • Something sharp to cut the can.
  • Some polystyrene packing (from under a frozen pizza).
  • PVA glue.
  • Cocoa powder.
  • Something to stir the glue.
  • Hot-glue gun.

You will also need materials to clean up - warm water, tissue and cotton-buds proved perfect.

Step 2: The Bulk of the Chocolate.

Trim the can to the height you need with the sharp thing - use the bottom of the can, upside-down.

Make it tall enough to fill up at least half the mug, but short enough to prevent children's lips touching the chocolate too often when it's in use (to cut the risk of passing infections).

Be careful of the sharp edges.

Press the mug into the polystyrene to mark a circle for trimming. Cut out a disc that will fit snugly in the mug.

Use the hot-glue to tack the can into the mug (it wouldn't do for the hot chocolate to rattle and clang, would it?). Put a ring of hot-glue on top of the can, and then quickly press the disc into place, keeping it as level as you can.

Step 3: Make the Chocolate.

Use the rest of the polystyrene as a sacrificial base - you can just throw it out instead of washing it.

Pour a large blob of glue onto the polystyrene, and sprinkle on some cocoa powder. Stir it in with the stick. It takes quite a bit of stirring, and you may have to add a few drops of plain water to make it runnier, but eventually you will have a gooey, chocolate-coloured blob.

Pour the blob into the mug, onto the disc of polystyrene. You will need to spread the mixture, and burst a few bubbles, but you should be able to cover the polystyrene in a layer of "chocolate" that will settle into a nice smooth surface.

Before the glue dries, you will need to wipe up smudges and spills. I found a combination of damp fingers and damp tissue paper to be perfectly adequate for most of the mess, with dampened cotton-buds for the mess close to the edge of the chocoglue.

Leave the glue to dry overnight, and voila - a role-play prop fit for any classroom.

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    24 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    very cool but I foresee practical jokes if you use this in a classroom, but where did you get that penknife!!

    1 reply

    PVA Glue....hehehe I had to Google it...Man, I've been using it for years, had no idea that is it's name...PVA Glue=White glue=elmers.... Great instructable !!


    11 years ago on Step 3

    interesting, but why not just use a cup of hot chocolate (or cold if the kids are really young) as a prop , ..... too messy????

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Step 3

    Too messy - it was made to be left in the "home" corner, which was dressed up to be "somewhere cold".

    home depot sells somthing like it as doe QVC and most camping stores its called a multitool when yu ask some one about it

    I won it in the last-but-one Valentine's contest. It's a Leatherman Juice XE6, laser-engraved. Actually, it's about time they were offered as prizes again...

    No, but if you buy an ordinary Leatherman online, you can get them laser-engraved with the text of your choice for free.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Cool, it's also a good prank. "Accidentally" knock the cup onto something important of your victim, just to see their reaction.

    1 reply