Cooking and Learning Spanish with Kids: A Homemade Chocolate Syrup Recipe!Mari Hernandez-Tuten
Cooking with my kids gives our familia so many opportunities to connect, and for some reason, they are much more motivated to eat what they’ve made themselves! As of late, I’ve decided to take advantage of our cooking time by making it educational and adding a bilingual component to it which helps build positive and practical associations with Spanish.
One of the ways we are practicing our Spanish language vocabulary en mi casa are hands-on activities to get our children to practice vocabulary words. I’ve noticed that my kids are much more motivated to practice their Spanish language skills when the vocabulary is attached to an experience or activity they enjoy — cooking.
For this to be a fun language learning experience, make sure you listen to the lyrics of the song below here from Daria World Music for Children so that you can hear how to pronounce the words and figure out the rhythm.
There are various versions of this popular Mexican nursery rhyme. I grew up listening to my mom singing it amongst many other great nursery rhymes. Recently, Dora the Explorer made it popular with her “Chocolate Tree” episode. There’s also this fun video, but the lyrics are slightly different from what I have shared below.
In our activity, we first shared with the kids this traditional Spanish song called “Bate, Bate Chocolate!” It goes like this:
Uno, dos, tres CHO
Uno, dos, tres CO
Uno, dos, tres LA
Uno, dos, tres TE!
Chocolate, chocolate, bate bate, Chocolate,
Chocolate, chocolate, bate bate, Chocolate
We watched a video of the song and then added a little dancing fun to it. In English, the song basically means “stir the chocolate.” The word “bate” means stir, beat, or mix. “Uno” is one, “dos” is two, and “tres” is three.
Once we got our wiggles out, we got to cooking.
Homemade Chocolate Syrup Recipe
– 1/2 cup cacoa or cocoa powder
– 1 cup water
– 2 cups sugar
– 1/4 tsp. vanilla
1. Let your child place all of the above ingredients in a saucepan.
2. Place the pot over low to medium heat.
3. Depending on your child’s age, you may or may not want them near the stove. Regardless of who’s doing the mixing, make sure you sing the song as you mix it.
4. Let it come to a boil, mixing the whole time.
5. Remove and pour into a jar.
6. Pour over your vanilla ice cream or make hot or cold chocolate milk with it and enjoy!
This sure beats all of the added ingredients you can’ t pronounce in store-bought syrup. Bonus: It’s easy and muy delicioso!