Ice Cream Science

Ice Cream Science

It’s hard enough having to socially distance ourselves right now from everyone, but to not be able to go outside and play makes this extra challenging. It’s 40 degrees and overcast, so not terribly cold, but still not warm either. We’ve managed to take a short walk around the neighborhood most days just to get some fresh air, but it would sure be nice if it was sunny and 60 and the kids could just run and ride bikes and play yard games!

Nothing better than a fresh bowl of homemade vanilla ice cream!

Anyways, today’s fun Science lesson was about making homemade ice cream in a baggie with rock salt and ice. Super easy and delicious! We explored why you need salt with the ice – Adding salt lowers the freezing temperature of the water as the ice melts, allowing the temperature of the mixture around the ice cream to get colder. We also worked on some math skills with reading a recipe. Bonus!

Ingredients to make one large serving of ice cream:

  • 1 cup milk (the higher fat content the creamier the ice cream)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups of ice
  • 4 Tablespoons rock salt
  • 2 sandwich size baggies
  • 2 gallon size baggies
  1. Mix the milk, sugar, and vanilla in a sandwich size bag. Seal it shut, pressing out as much air as possible. Put the baggie inside the second sandwich size bag.
  2. Put approximately half the ice and rock salt in the larger gallon size bag. Add the smaller baggie of ice cream ingredients. Fill rest of bag with remaining ice and salt. Seal bag shut and place inside the second gallon bag.
  3. Now’s the fun! Wrap a kitchen towel around the bag of ice (it will get super cold!) and shake away. After about 10 minutes of vigorous shaking, you’ll have ice cream!
Don’t forget to double-bag your ice cream mixture! You don’t want any of the salty water leaking in, or the delicious ice cream ingredients leaking out!
Ice cream in progress!
Isn’t science delicious?!
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