One of our favorite science activities for kids is learning how to make ice cream in a bag! The post also includes a free printable for kids to use to record their observations and notes.
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Making ice cream in a bag is such a fun science activity for kids. Besides ending up with a yummy homemade treat, kids also have the opportunity to make predictions and observations throughout the ice cream making process! (This post contains affiliate links.)
How to Make Ice Cream in a Bag
Materials for Making Ice Cream in a Bag
- One gallon sized baggie
- One quart or sandwich sized baggie
- 1/2 cup rock salt
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Flavor: a few drops of vanilla or a squirt of chocolate sauce (optional)
- Free Printable Record Sheet (optional)
Procedure for Making Ice Cream in a Bag
1. Place the cream, sugar, and any flavoring you’re using into the smaller baggie. Seal it tightly and be sure there are no leaks. (We put ours inside another baggie as a precaution.)
2. Fill the large baggie about a third of the way with ice and pour in the salt.
3. Place the smaller baggie inside the larger one. Add a bit more ice (so the bag is about 2/3 full), and seal the large baggie with both the small baggie and ice inside.
4. Use your hands to move the baggie around continuously. Check the ingredients occasionally to see if the mixture resembles ice cream.
5. Your ice cream should be done in about 20-25 minutes. Eat and enjoy!
Question to Spark More Curiosity & Critical Thinking
1. What state of matter is the mixture at the beginning of the experiment? How about at the end?
2. What happened to the ice in the large baggie as you were making the ice cream? Why do you think this happened?
3. Why do you think salt is necessary in this activity?
What’s Going On?
Salt lowers the freezing temperature of water. When you add salt to your ice, you’re creating a mixture that is colder than just the ice itself. This colder temperature causes the mixture to freeze and become ice cream!
Want to go even further?
Even more activities to inspire creativity and critical thinking for various ages.
1. Experiment with different ratios of salt to ice and see how it affects the freezing of the ice cream.
2. Measure the temperature of the mixture before it freezes and after. Compare the two temperatures.
3. Based on this experiment, why do you think salt is sprinkled on icy roads in winter?
4. Here’s a fun experiment using ice and a string!
5. Here’s another fun science experiment using ice!
Related Children’s Books (Fiction & Nonfiction)
What is the World Made Of? by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
Should I Share My Ice Cream by Mo Willems
Ice Cream: The Full Scoop by Gail Gibbons
Be sure to check out STEAM Kids book and ebook for even more creative STEM and STEAM ideas!