Monday, May 28, 2012

Meal-Time Activities: Ziplock Bag Ice Cream {Summer Kick-Off}

Happy Summer! We decided to celebrate the end of the school year with a weeks worth of Summer Kick-Off posts. We're excited to get started sharing with you our favorite fun summer activities and ways you can help keep your kids from experiencing "summer brain-drain." 

Of course there is no better way to celebrate summer than with a big bowl of homemade ICE CREAM!
And this is by far the funnest way to make it. 

You'll Need:
Half & Half*, Sugar, Vanilla Extract, Rock Salt, Ice, Gallon-Size Ziplock Bags, and Quart-Size Ziplock Bags. 

*You may notice that this time we used whipping cream.  My husband accidentally grabbed that instead of half and half so I just mixed it with some skim milk and it worked fine. I've also been told that whole milk works too.   

1. In each small ziplock bag, mix together 1 cup half and half, 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons sugar. I usually tape the top of this bag shut with packing tape just to make sure the salt water doesn't get it. This is a great hidden opportunity for learning too. Have your kids read the recipe, measure, and mix their own ingredients.

2. Fill the large ziplock bags about half full of ice and add 1/2 cup rock salt to each. 

3. Place the sealed smaller bag inside the larger bag and then seal it as well. Get out as much air as you can, the closer the ingredients and the ice stay to each other the firmer your ice cream will be. 
4. Shake the bags until the mixture hardens. It has always taken between 5-10 minutes for us. If you are going to have your child shake it by hand, you'll need to wrap it in a blanket or have him/her wear gloves. Or, if you have a trampoline you can try it our summer kick-off way...jump it! We just set all the bags in the middle of the trampoline and had the kids jump for about 7 minutes. They loved it!
5. Take the smaller bag out, add mix-ins, and enjoy! We've even eaten it right out the bag before which is awesome for cleanup. 


*We've found that freezer bags work best. If the inside bag gets a hole in it you are left with some seriously nasty salty ice cream. 

* I put the small bags inside a cup so that the kids could measure and pour their own ingredients without a huge mess. 

*This ice cream is surprisingly yummy. Even my husband who is a self-proclaimed ice cream connoisseur loves it. Make a bag for yourself too so you don't end up sneaking multiple bites from each of the kids. Not that I've ever done that. :)
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