My mother and I spent a few hours the other night checking out two fun make your own candy kits for kids – Make Your Own Chewing Gum and Make Your Own Chocolate. Both are geared for kids ages 8+ and a perfect way to learn a little science, cooking, and have fun while you’re doing it.
Unfortunately, I left my mom in charge of reading the directions on the Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kit. As a result, I am now short two spoons, one glass bowl that I loved, and a cutting board that wasn’t very old….that’s because she missed the very important instruction which directed her to use the disposable pan included in the kit instead of our own container and plastic spoons.
It turns out gum base is REALLY sticky! When it’s heated in the microwave it smells like you’re cooking a tree, which technically, you are. Gum base is the natural sap from the Sapodilla tree which is found in the rainforests of Central America. While you’re working with the very hot and sticky gum (definitely an adult job), you can talk with your 6th-8th grader about where the base comes from, how it’s harvested, and the other ingredients added to make the gum base a palatable and sweet gum they know and love.
The Glee Gum website has an entire lesson plan available for homeschoolers, teachers, and parents that want to make this fun activity a learning one as well. This was a fun kit and the gum really is fabulous tasting. It’s a great way to teach kids where food comes from.
The Make Your Own Chocolate kit is a bit easier to work with. It includes two cacao beans so kids can see where the chocolate originates and how it becomes the candy we all love. The included lesson plan teaches tempering and the history of chocolate including the legends surrounding it. On the Glee Gum website is additional historical information as well as lesson plan options. The kit is geared for ages 8+ and grades 5-8, but could be done with younger children with parental supervision.
Purchase the Make Your Own Kits Online
Both kits can be purchased at GleeGum.com as well as a third kit to make your own gummy candies. The kits, including the Make Your Own Gummies Kit, are just $13.95 each. Additional refill sets are available separately.
Plus it’s the home of Glee Gum, the only natural gum with no artificial coloring or flavoring, no preservatives, and no aspartame. It’s also sweetened with Fair Trade cane sugar and brown rice syrup. Their sugar-free gum is sweetened with 100% xylitol which is gleaned from the American birch and beach trees an which has additional dental benefits.