Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Review: Kate's Caring Gifts

This yummy review is thanks to Kate from Kate’s Caring Gifts. Last month she sent us one of the Make Your Own Chocolate kits regularly sold on her website to try out and give our opinion on. Since my daughter's birthday was coming up in a few weeks, I asked Kate if she minded me saving the kit until this month giving me a chance to have several girls do it together. She was very gracious and said "yes".

I will say now that I give the Make Your Own Chocolate kit a very big thumbs up on many different levels. As a homeschooler, I can use this kit to help teach not only a very yummy Science experiment but also culture, history, and the impact of what we buy and where we buy it from has on people’s lives. The instructions and stories that are included with the kit are so thorough that you could easily use this one single kit to form an entire unit study around South American studies and life.

This kit also makes a great consumable gift and party idea. If I were to recommend ages, I would say 11 and over for party use and any age as a family project.

We used the kit when my daughter's friend spent the night to celebrate her 13th birthday. It was easy for the girls to understand, follow, and succeed at with very little parental help at all. I think the only thing I had to do was help them decide when to put in the chocolate crystals and then I just made sure the goofballs didn’t mess up my kitchen too much! Everything else was easily handled by the girls and the results were fantastic.

What the girls ended up with were about 12 rich chocolatey little cups. You know the kind you can only eat a few of at a time? Oh yeah, THOSE ones. Let’s just say my first thought was “PMS’ing woman’s dream come true”. Yummmmy!

The Make Your Own Chocolate kit includes organic cocoa butter, chocolate starter crystals, confectioner’s sugar, paper candy liners, a thermometer indicator, the story of chocolate, and of course instructions. On the back of the instructions are several little cocoa facts and a story about a girl named "Lucia" and her family.

As a fun bonus, the company also includes two actual cocoa beans to try so you can experience what cocoa tastes like in pure form. Most children have never even seen an actual cocoa bean much less tasted one. I thought this was an excellent addition to include in the kit.

Kate’s motto is “People and Earth Friendly Gifts” but what she should also include is that many of the products she sells are educational as well. Besides the Make Your Own Chocolate Kit she also sells a Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kit, Make Your Own Gummy Kit, Adventure kits from ImagiPlay (wooden and hand painted), and much more. Plus, most products are organic so you can feel comfortable knowing what you are actually consuming when you eat, drink, or use these products.

To me, Kate’s Caring Gifts is a kind of one stop shop for the environmentally, economically, and socially aware shopper who is looking for chemical free and consumable gifts or products. With all the recent toy recalls it’s nice to know there is a site like this where you can find lead free and natural gifts for children and grown ups alike.

Thank you to Kate for allowing us to try out and review this kit. It was a lot of fun for the girls and something I will definitely be recommending to other parents who want to give something consumable for the holidays this year. Including myself!