Holiday Gift Ideas for Six-Year-Olds

The high cost of hot chocolate made it a strictly aristocratic beverage until 1828 when 1828, when Coenraad Johannes Van Houten of Holland figured out how to make instant cocoa by pressing cocoa butter into a powder. (Photo & history lesson via The Neo-Victorian Parlour)

The high cost of hot chocolate made it a strictly aristocratic beverage until 1828, when Coenraad Johannes Van Houten of Holland figured out how to make instant cocoa by pressing cocoa butter into a powder. The Victorians enjoyed their hot cocoa so much they created a specialized version of their beloved tea pot to make it. Naturally, they called this mutant tea pot a chocolate pot. The pots featured a wooden or ceramic handle for pouring as well as a whisk for frothing the milk, cocoa, and sugar. Some chocolate pots even came with a set of matching cups. (Photo & history lesson via The Neo-Victorian Parlour)

It’s the week before Thanksgiving, which means it’s time to start thinking about gifts your kids can make to give to their friends and family this Christmas.

I came across this yummy recipe for a hot cocoa mix buried in a comment chain on some random cooking chat board* earlier this fall. It makes vats and vats of mix, which means your kids can make enough to give to everybody — even themselves.


*I would love to be more specific about this credit for this recipe, but try as I might, I can’t find the original comment again.

If you recognize this recipe, please leave me a comment identifying the board where I found it or email me with the link and I’ll happily give the author of this recipe the credit she deserves.

Rich & Creamy Cocoa Mix

Making the Mix


  • 25.6 oz box of nonfat dry instant milk
  • 2 lbs Nestle quick chocolate milk
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 8 oz powdered creamer
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cocoa powder


  • Mix everything up in several very large bowls.

Drinking Your Cocoa:

  • Fill one-third of your cup with mix and add enough hot water to fill the mug.

Giving Away Your Cocoa:

You’ll need:

  • A spoon
  • Mug or two for testing
  • Your prepared mix
  • One 1-pint jar for each gift recipient
  • Wide-mouth funnel (or coffee filter)
  • 1/4 cup measuring scoop
  • A large airtight container to store any leftover mix


  1. Use the spoon to fill one-third of your mug with mix and add enough hot water to fill it.
  2. Drink your hot chocolate.DoIHaveToDontlikeit
  3. YouDontLikeItOnce you like the hot chocolate, pour your remaining dry mix into 1-pint jars with tight-fitting lids. To avoid making a mess, use a 1/4-cup measuring scoop to pour the mix through a wide-mouth funnel.Funnel
  4. Seal the jars tightly.
  5. Pour the leftover mix, if you have any, into an airtight container for storage.

Optional: Decorating Your Gift Jars

You’ll Need:

  • Fabric in festive holiday patterns
  • Matching ribbons or raffia
  • Small salad plate to use as a template
  • Pencil or fabric marker
  • Scissors
  • Gift tags
  • Printouts of the ingredient list and instructions for making the hot cocoa
  • Optional add-ons, like candy canes or small wooden spoons


  1. Place the fabric face down on your table.
  2. Use the small salad plate and the pencil or fabric marker to trace several 7 to 8 inch circles on the fabric.
  3. Cut out your fabric circles.
  4. Drape the fabric over the top of the jar.
  5. Tie the fabric around the jar with a bit of raffia or ribbon.
  6. Slip the gift tag onto the ribbon or raffia before tying the bow.Stickers
  7. If you’d like to include a little extra something with your cocoa, cinnamon sticks and a little wooden spoon would look very cute tied to the jar next to your gift tag.

Related Links:

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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