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Friday, June 11, 2010

Homemade Ice Cream

Did you know that several parts work together to create a whole?  Yep, they sure do.  That is called a system.  A fun way to explore this concept during these hot summer months is by making ice cream in a bag.

From personal experience with kinder kiddos, I am going to alter the directions a bit to ensure you get the best tasting results possible.

Before I give you the recipe, however, I want to share some additional learning concepts that can be explored while making ice cream.
  • 5 senses: Which of the 5 senses will we use to make the ice cream?  Question while making the ice cream.  Example: How would the ice cream taste differently if we used salt instead of sugar?
  • measuring:  Talk about how to read the measuring devices.
  • counting:  Count the number of scoops together.  Count while you shake the bag.
  • reading: Point to the words while mom/dad reads the recipe.  If old enough, read the recipe independently.
  • mixture:  Discuss the definition of a mixture (2 or more things that are mixed together).
  • systems: A system is two or more parts working together.  How is ice cream a system?  What other systems can you think of?
  • properties of heat and cold:  What could we do to make the ice cream melt?  How could we make the ice cream even colder?  What are some other things that are cold? hot?
The list is endless.  I usually choose only 1 or two objectives when doing a lesson with children.  For kindergarten, I chose  to discuss how ice cream is like a system and hot/cold. 

Now, on to the recipe...

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 6 tablespoons rock salt
  • 1 gallon size ziplock baggie
  • 1 sandwich size baggie
  • spoon
*optional* small plastic container, recycled glass jar, small cup or bowl

  1. Give each child a sandwich size baggie or small plastic container with lid.
  2. Have each child open their baggies/containers really wide.
  3. Measure 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla into each baggie.
  4. Next, measure 1 tablespoon of sugar into each baggie.
  5. Finally, measure 1/2 cup of milk into each bag.  Have children zip the baggies closed.  Be sure to check the baggies and make sure they are locked tight.
  6. At this point, give each child a gallon sized baggie and have him/her open the baggie really wide.
  7. Measure 6 tablespoons of rock salt into each baggie.  Be sure to count out loud with the children.
  8. Once all of the baggies have rock salt have the children place their ingredients baggie inside the larger baggie.
  9. Head outside and begin shaking the baggies.  This usually takes about 5 minutes.
  10. After 5 minutes, open up the larger baggie and check the consistency of the ice cream.  At this point, decide if it is done or if you need to keep on shaking.
  11. Once the ice cream is ready you may eat it directly form the baggie or carefully scoop the ice cream into a small cup or bowl.  The choice is yours.
Side Note:  When I did this activity with my kinder students, we had several baggies get rock salt into them.  Next time I do this with my class, I am going to use a small plastic container with a lid to ensure this doesn't happen again.  I might even have several students use the same container and take turns with the shaking.  The outcome will be the same.  The benefits though will be numerous: no crying about salty ice cream, learning to take turns, fair sharing the ice cream before eating, etc.

If you are a visual learner, please watch the video below from you tube.  It will show you exactly what to do.

Making ice cream is so much fun that children do not even realize they are actually learning something during the process.  Hope you enjoy this yummy summer treat!

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