Kid Fun: Homemade Ice Cream 2 Ways

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This summer we are all looking for projects to do with our kids.


And if that means turning food into an activity – you bet we’re going to do it, especially during the 9 days.


Although there are a lot of gadgets and ice cream makers out there, we want to tell you that you don’t need to buy another machine or invest in any fancy equipment. We’re here to share a brilliant idea.


A dessert and science project mixed in one!



Not only is it a great hands-on project for when the kids won’t stop bugging you for another activity, but the fact that you can squeeze in a little bit of education totally makes it the perfect summer activity in 2020.


Oh, and it also is a good energy burner. Encourage them to go outside with their bag and shake the bag with all their energy.


The reward? They will be able to cool down with ice cream they made on their own. Worth it!


Activity 1: Ice-cream in a bag

The science behind it:



In short, coarse sea salt has the ability to lower the freezing point of ice. Adding salt to ice brings the temperature from around 32 degrees Fahrenheit to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In order for the dairy components of this recipe to freeze, the temperature has to be under 32 degrees Fahrenheit.


At this temperature, the ice now has the ability to absorb heat from the ice cream ingredients. As the ice absorbs more and more heat, the freezing process will begin. As your ice begins to melt, your ingredients will begin to freeze.



The reason we shake the bag is solely for the texture. The motion of shaking allows the ice cream ingredients to mix smoother by breaking up the larger pieces of ice, which in turn gives you smooth and creamy ice cream!



2 cups half-and-half cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 bag crushed ice

4 cups coarse salt


For each child:

2 pint-size resealable ziplock bags

1 gallon-size resealable ziplock bags

Gloves (helps deal with the cold and adds that science experiment feel)




1. In a large measuring cup, mix the half-and-half, whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until the sugar has fully dissolved.


2. Pour 1/2 of the mixture into one of the pint-sized ziplock bags, making sure you seal the bag with no air. Do the same with the second half of the mixture. For good measure, place in a second ziplock bag, once again sealing extra tight, squeezing out all the air.


3. Fill the gallon-size ziplock halfway with ice, adding 1/2 cup of coarse sea salt. Place the smaller ziplock with the ingredients inside and close the larger bag.


4. Shake the bag to make the ice cream! It usually takes about five to seven minutes until the ice cream forms.



Activity 2: Ice Cream in a Mason Jar

If the ice cream in a bag method sounds a little too risky for you, we have another easy option.

Grab one of your old mason jars, a couple of basic ingredients, and literally shake up delicious ice cream with no mess. (Yields about three servings.)



1 cup heavy cream

1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

A pinch of salt

A 16-oz Mason jar





1. Pour all the ingredients into the mason jar, screwing the lid on tightly.

2. Shake the tightly closed mason jar vigorously. After approximately five minutes you will notice that the cream will thicken and grow to almost double its original size.

3. Once it is fully thickened (it will look like cake batter) place it in the freezer for a minimum of 3 hours. Then get that spoon and let the kids dig right in!



This is definitely a summer activity your children won’t forget. Homemade ice cream for the win!!


Whether you dig in straight from the bag or transfer your ice cream to a cup or cone, don’t forget all your child’s favorite ice cream toppings!