As the school year comes to a close and summer begins, I find myself wanting to do as many activities with the kids as I can. (It’s been a long winter in Maine!) Searching online events calendars this week, I found an inexpensive chocolate factory tour–$4.50 USD each–going on nearby and we checked it out–what a great time! We had plenty of samples and it was fun for all ages; it’s also a little too early for our flood of tourists, so it wasn’t at all crowded.
Chocolate Factory Field Trip
We homeschool, and I’m always looking to extend the learning experience. Several fun activities occurred to me to tie in with the chocolate factory tour:
I’ve been eyeballing this cute learning toy for awhile–match shapes and colors!
We read this book and also watched the famous chocolate factory episode of I Love Lucy. It was fun to compare the book, show, and real factory. Surprisingly, Curious George had a lot in common with the real thing…and he and Lucy both got sick trying to pack chocolates from a conveyor belt! (Be prepared if you haven’t seen this Lucy episode in awhile; some of the things said about gender roles are dated and awkward, but may provoke important discussions with your kids!)
I have not read this one, but it looks like a great early introduction to the science, history, and ethics of chocolate. This might be a nice one to read in preparation for the factory.
Do an experiment on which kind of chocolate melts the fastest; the factory tour may give you enough info to form a reasonable hypothesis first. (I got this idea from Work At Home Mums)
Research the countries come from (Central and South America; Ivory Coast) and try recipes using chocolate from those countries. Study the health benefits of chocolate.
Research and write a paper on cacao harvesting and fair trade, finding examples of those who do things ethically and those who do not. If you have more than one student, perhaps even have a debate on whether it is morally essential to buy only fair trade chocolate.
Just for fun
Watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, of course! (And/or read the book.) Pinterest has many activities and curriculum units tied to Willy Wonka (as well as some other fun chocolate school activities, such as chocolate explosions!)
Do you have any other activities that would go well with a chocolate factory tour? What other great educational tours have you taken with your children?