Officrèche Blog

5 ways to use left over Easter eggs

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If your children have been inundated by the Easter Bunny this year, you might be tempted to either gift some of the chocolate, or store it away for a rainy day. The fact remains you won’t want them to eat it all in one go, so here are 5 ways to use left over Easter eggs- with a twist!

5 ways to use left over Easter eggs~

Practise mark making and early writing skills

Stick with me here. Early writing practise is all about making marks and patterns with a variety of objects- fingers, paintbrushes, sticks, etc. Children don’t need to sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil to learn how to write! Lots of other objects can help to improve fine motor skills and often the more tactile the experience, the more they are likely to sit for longer periods to practise.

If you have left over Easter eggs, try melting some (a great opportunity to talk about heat, melting and changes of state from solid to liquid) and spread it thinly over a plastic tray or chopping board.

  • encourage children to use a variety of objects to practise mark making.
  • draw letters, numbers or shapes in the chocolate for children to recognise and copy
  • place silver foil underneath the chocolate for an extra sensory experience
  • encourage children to use their senses- talk about the way the chocolate smells, looks, tastes etc
  • talk about what happens when the chocolate begins to cool again

This post uses icing in the same way and has some ideas for encouraging early writing skills.

Make modelling chocolate

This is a lovely tactile activity that you can easily do at home and one that helps to flex those fine motor muscles too. Mix your melted chocolate with a couple of spoonfuls of golden syrup, a sprinkle of cornflour and a little fondant icing to firm it all up. The result is a wonderfully sensory dough that children can manipulate into all different shapes and sizes.

  • make a simple model for children to copy
  • use play dough mats
  • ask children to make shapes, letters and numbers with their dough

Play chocolate shops

If you’ve saved chocolate boxes for the children to play with, its time to get them out! Even better if they still have the plastic inserts inside! Alternatively, any variety of cardboard boxes can be used for this activity.

  • melt your chocolate and allow to cool until it is warm and thick rather than hot and runny
  • help your children to push the chocolate into the plastic inserts, or use silicone moulds or ice-cube trays if you don’t have any from chocolate boxes
  • once the chocolate cools slightly, your children can either pop them out of the moulds for a messy chocolate shop, or you can leave them overnight to set

When you have your chocolates in their boxes, you can play shops!

  • encourage your child to price their chocolates and show them the coins that match the price
  • role play customer and shop keeper
  • encourage simple counting and adding skills

Paint with chocolate

Experiment by mixing your melted chocolate with a variety of materials and using different tools to paint with them. Choose lots of different brushes- paint brushes, wall paper paste brushes etc- and talk about the different textures and effects the chocolate paint makes. Some materials to mix with the paint include:

  • sand
  • flour
  • oats

Use a piping bag as an alternative to brushes so that your little ones can really flex their fine motor muscles. If you paint onto grease-proof paper you can freeze your creations, take photos and print them to display. Here are some more ideas for painting with chocolate.

Make chocolate gloop!

Gloop is a wonderful sensory material and one that never ever fails to mesmerise children. All you need to do to make it is to mix corn four and water until it becomes stretchy gloopy and fun! For chocolate gloop, add some cocoa powder to the mix, and then some chunks (or grated) chocolate for a different texture.

Your gloop can be made to:

  • create swamps for dinosaurs
  • stretching as high as you can- get a tape measure to check how far it goes!
  • explore textures, smells and appearances- the gloop will appear to be a liquid but you will be able to pick it up as a solid. Once the heat from your hands hits it, the gloop will again turn back to a liquid!

Take a look at this post for more ideas on playing with gloop.

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