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Just The Summer Thing

We are blessed in having my dad and his wife as a part of our merry band, backyard neighbors, for six weeks in the summer. They live in North Carolina the rest of the year, but darling grandchildren have lured them out here for more and more time each summer, and my family is thrilled to host them and their RV.

We are doubly blessed that my dad’s sweetie, whom the kids call Muzzy, was once upon a time a teacher at the excellent Duke School for Children, and brings all those skills and enthusiasms to our home for fun and learning. It pretty much rocks for my kids.

Today it was hot (for here, which is not hot for many places). In the mid-eighties. Brother-Bug had a friend over for the day and Muzzy busted out a cooking & science project;

Making Personal Ice-Creams

Can you think of a better thing to learn with on a hot summer day? Here’s the deal:

You will need materials:

A small recycled can (clean!) – tomato paste or small juice sized – one per child
Cup measures (1/4 cup and up)
Measuring spoons
A bowl or container almost as tall as the can, and much wider – one per child
Aluminum foil
Wooden tongue depressors or popsicle sticks – longer than the can’s height – to stir with.

Reading directions…

You will need ingredients:

Whipping cream or half -and-half
Rock Salt
Crushed ice

(For a non-dairy option your could simply use a favorite juice to make sorbet. Lemonade would make a lemon ice, for example. You could use yogurt instead of cream for frozen yogurt…)


Into each can put:
1/4 cup cream
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
A very small pinch of salt

Learning measuring and fractions…

Muzzy had lovely print-outs with the directions and she encouraged the kids to read the directions to her as they worked. 

Stir the milk mixture until the sugar is dissolved.

Cover the top of each can with a piece of foil so that no salt or ice can get in.

Lots and lots of salt is required… but why?

Put each can into a larger bowl/container.

Put crushed ice around the can, filling the bowl as full as possible.

Stirring, stirring, stirring…

Add lots of rock salt, but don’t go all the way up to the top of the can. You want some of the can to stick out to prevent salt in the ice cream.

Rinse any salt off hands!

Carefully uncover the can – don’t let any ice or salt get in!!

Just beginning to freeze…

Let the cans sit and get cold for a few minutes.

When the edges of the cream begin to freeze, start stirring with the tongue depressors. Scrape the sides and the bottom as throughly as possible.

We used plastic spoons to stir, because we didn’t have tongue depressors. This was a little hard for the necessary scraping. We strongly recommend an actual wooden stick. 

Keep stirring until ice cream is formed. It might be necessary for kids to taste their ice cream as they go. It can take 10-15 minutes to get it “all the way ice creamy” (to quote Brother-Bug).

Add ice and rock salt as you go, to keep the bowl full of cold.

As we stirred we made up a song about ice cream, talked about the condensation on the outside of the large bowls, and why we need salt on the ice to make ice cream (do you know why?). You could also read a book about ice cream, play a game, or ???

Almost frozen!!

Finally, after you stir and scrape and stir and scrape, it is ready to taste. If you want it to be harder, more frozen, you can put it in the freezer. After all the long stirring, my little folks opted for soft-serve.

Ready to eat! Finally! That fifteen minutes felt like fifteen years…

As I mentioned earlier, we made up an ice cream song, which I am including here. We sang it to the tune of “Hungry, Hungry, We are Hungry”… and it ended up that the kids mostly made up their own tune anyway.

Notice that some of the lyrics (the flavors) are bold. Muzzy made the structure of the lyric and the kids filled in the flavors – real and funny flavors. Take that and make it your own if you want!

We Like Ice Cream

Sister-Bug didn’t help but she still enjoyed…

Ice cream, Ice cream,
We like ice cream.
Ice cream, ice cream,
Here we come.
We like chocolate,
vanilla, and marshmallow,
peanut butter pickle,
chunky ice.

We like lemon,
orange, football.
We like cherry,
turtle, too!
Ice cream, ice cream,
We like ice cream
’til our lips are turning blue.

So that’s it. Simple. And it makes only about a quarter-cup of ice cream for each person, so it isn’t a huge sugar treat – just enough sweet for a kid to really enjoy. All in all, it was a perfect project.

A perfect ice cream for a hot day!

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: First-Grade Launched! « Another Day – Another Mom

  2. Pingback: August Kindergarten Review: Food « Another Day – Another Mom

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