Fun-Sized Fridays: Explore Ice Cream Making


Learn to follow a recipe as we create ice cream!

Supplies: (per bag of ice cream)

  • 1 small plastic bag

  • 1 large plastic bag

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla

  • 1/2 cup of half and half or milk

  • 2-4 cups of ice

  • 1/2 cup of rock salt

  • ice cream toppings


1. Mix the sugar, vanilla, and half and half in the small bag.

2. Seal it tight.

3. Mix the rock salt and ice in the large bag.

4. Place the small bag in the large bag.

5. Seal the large bag tight.

6. Shake for 10 minutes, or until you have a creamy consistency.

7. Spoon into a bowl and add your toppings.


Growing up in small town Texas, making homemade ice cream is a staple of life. Now generally it involves Butterfingers or peaches and a large ice cream maker, but we've all made it in a bag as well.

This is a great activity for toddlers and young kids because it is so easy and the reward at the end is ice cream! We measured the ingredients before we began and placed them in separate bowls. Then the kids just had to follow our instructions on where to dump the bowls.

Your kids will love mixing the ingredients, and they will love eating the ice cream, but that shaking part in the middle gets a little tedious. It's fun at first, but then the ice starts to melt and they get wet, and their hands get cold, and their arms get tired, and suddenly this isn't as fun as they thought. So, you have to make a game of the shaking.

You can do a follow the leader and switch leaders like we do in the video. You can do Simon Says. You can turn on music and dance while you do it. The point is, make them forget they are shaking ice cream and make them think they are having fun.

When your done, have sprinkles, chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, cherries, etc. to put on top. It just makes it that much more fun.

This is an inside activity as the ice generally melts too fast on a hot day to do it outside. But be prepared to be wiping water off the ground as the bags sweat or your toddler inevitably drops their twenty times.

Insider Tips:

  • If your kid spills any of the ingredients or if you don't have enough, the ice cream will be disgusting. Caden spilled his sugar and ended up with frozen milk, which he would not eat. I don't blame him; it was nasty. Ashton had too much vanilla which I found delicious, but she wouldn't eat.

  • MAKE SURE THE BAGS ARE SEALED TIGHT. Cohen didn't seal her inside bag and the water and salt leaked in and ruined her ice cream. Luckily we had back ups.

  • Oh yeah, make back ups.

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