The toys are unwrapped, the excitement of Christmas is past, the kids are bored.  What do you do?  Use this time to extend a child’s science literacy with a fun treat.  Make ice cream.

Steps to Success:

( Note:  All underlined words are important science, math and reading literacy skills your child will be practicing.  Words in italics are great vocabulary words.  Try to include them  in the conversations you have with your children.)

  1. With your child, search the internet for homemade ice cream recipes. Read recipes. Ask questions as you browseCompare ingredients. Predict which recipe would be good for your family to make and why.
  2. After your selection is made, gather appropriate measuring tools for the task. Collect ingredients.
  3. Use zip lock bags for the ingredients as your mixing bowl.  Insert that bag inside a larger plastic bag  that you have added ice, snow or salt.  Predict what will happen.  Record the predictions. Have the kids start kneading the bag. This might be too cold for little hands, so consider getting out the mittens or rubber gloves.  Observe and record the changes in the liquids at 3 minute intervals.
  4. 4. Discuss the role of salt.  (Lowers  the freezing point of water, which makes it possible to freeze the ice cream.  Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, ice cream at 27 degrees Fahrenheit. (Hands On Science by Lynne Kepler) When the ice cream changes from a liquid to a solid, it’s time for the ultimate test:  the taste test.