There are three great kits to choose from in this series, Make Your Own Gummies, Make Your Own Chewing Gum and Make Your Own Chocolate. In the process of learning how to make these candies, children are also being taught about the rainforest, ethnobotany, chemistry, mathematics and measurement, ecology and environmental issues, home economics, nutrition, the oceans and so much more!
The Make Your Own Gummies kit uses carrageenan, which is extracted from seaweed, so this is also a great kit for vegetarians, like all of the Make Your Own... kits. In Japan and China people have been harvesting these "sea vegetables" for years, and are well aware of the fantastic properties of these natural products. By boiling the seaweed the carrageenan can be extracted, and after adding the sour mix, a little sugar and some molding starch, your family can be on its way to enjoying tasty gummi bears, gummi fish or any other shape that a mold can be created to make. This kit is intended for children of 8 years and above.
With the Make Your Own Chewing Gum kit, your children are now learning about chicle, which comes from the sap of the Sapodilla tree that grows in the rainforests of Central America. You can even make this gum in the microwave! It is very easy to do. Each kit makes about 50 pieces of gum with a tutti fruitti flavor. Once, all chewing gum was made from chicle, but today's mass-produced chewing gum is made from synthetic materials. Chicleros were the harvesters who would climb these trees with their machetes to harvest the sap for chicle. When you buy one of these kits, you are encouraging these chicleros to protect their trees from the onset of expansion.
Central and South America also feature in the last of this series, the Make Your Own Chocolate kit. Has learning ever been this fun or delicious? You and your children can make your own dark chocolate from scratch, using organic cocoa butter. Just melt the cocoa butter, add the cocoa powder and sugar and when the chocolate reaches the right temperature, just add the starter crystals to get the chocolate to "temper." In the process, learn why cacao beans, the main ingredient of chocolate, were so important to the ancient Aztecs. So important, they related that the cacao beans were a gift of their god Quetzalcoatl from paradise, and that partaking of "xocolatl" would bring them wisdom and knowledge.
These three kits are just some of the great natural and earth-friendly products that you can find on Kate's Caring Gifts. To find out more, you can visit their website at http://www.katescaringgifts.com. K.Z.