Education Through Entertainment

How to Make Homemade Ice Cream | Science Activity for Kids

Posted on Wed, Aug 24, 2016

Here's a tasty activity perfect for these last few weeks of summer.  Watch this video to learn how to make your own delicious homemade ice cream!  With just a few ingredients and our technique, you'll be scooping up your own frosty treats in no time.

Watch this video to learn how to make ice cream!

Step 1: What You'll Need

You need just a few ingredients to make your ice cream:

  • Ice cubes (at least two trays worth)

  • Measuring cup

  • 1/2 cup of Rock Salt or Ice Cream Salt
  • 1/2 tea spoon of Vanilla Extract

  • 1 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream or Half-and-Half

  • 2 tablespoons of Sugar

  • A gallon size zip-lock bag

  • A sandwich size zip-lock bag

Get your ingredients ready

Step 2: Add the Ice and Salt

The first thing to do once you have your ingredients ready is add your ice to the large gallon-size plastic bag.  Fill the bag about half-full with ice.  It will take at least two standard ice cube trays worth of ice.  If you're planning on running this experiment a few times, you might want to purchase a bag of ice.

Fill your gallon size plastic bag about half-full of ice.

Once the ice is in your gallon-size bag, go ahead and pour in the 1/2 cup of rock salt or ice cream salt.  It might seem weird to add the salt to the ice, like you're going to melt the ice, but this is really the secret to getting your ice cream to solidify.  More on that later!

Add the rock salt to the ice.  Trust us - this is what makes it work!

Step 3: Mix Up The Cream


Now that your measuring cup is empty, re-fill it with a full cup of heavy whipping cream or half-and-half.

Once you've got a full cup of cream, measure out a half teaspoon of vanilla extract and add that to the measuring cup as well.

Next, pour two tablespoons of sugar into the measuring cup.  When everything has been added, thoroughly mix the ingredients together.


After everything has been completely blended together, pour your mixture into the smaller sandwich bag.

Pour your cream mixture into the plastic bag.

Make sure you seal the bag up nice and tight so absolutely nothing leaks out!

Step 4: Ice the Cream!

Now that everything is all mixed together, it's time to turn that cream mixture...into ICE cream!

Take the smaller sandwich sized bag and place it inside the large bag of ice.  Then seal the large bag tight.


Now, shake it up!  Shake the big bag around for 5-6 minutes so the ice goes all over the smaller bag.  

You may want to use a dish towel or wear gloves for this step as the ice will get even colder!  Why is this?  Well, when water is freezing, it gives off heat, but when ice melts, it actually cools down. Water freezing gives off energy while an ice cube melting uses energy.  As the salt slightly melts the ice, the remaining ice actually gets even colder.  This is what allows the ice to get cold enough in order to solidify the cream.

Remove the ice cream from the plastic bag


Once your ice cream has set up, you're ready to eat!  Grab a spoon and dig in!

Now that you know a basic vanilla ice cream recipe, add something extra to it!  Try sprinkles, food coloring, chocolate chips, or maybe even peanut butter!  Experiment with different ingredients to re-create your favorite ice cream flavors right at home.

Enjoy your home made ice cream!  Mmm mmm MMM!!

Check back again for even more do-it-yourself science experiments from Mobile Ed's Building Up STEAM series.

If you like DIY experiments like these, you should see the kinds of spectacular demonstrations we bring to schools with our live school assembly presentations.  Take a look at STEAM MuseumThe Magic of Science, Physics is Fun, Forces and Motion and Crime Scene Science, each full of interactive demonstrations that kids love.

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About Mobile Ed Productions:

Mobile Ed Productions, Inc. has been in business since 1979, producing educational, entertaining school assemblies and hands-on workshops.  Based out of Michigan, the company creates, designs, markets and distributes innovative ways to make learning fun in the form of live presentations and interactive exhibits.

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Topics: science fair projects, science enrichment, Teaching Science, Hands On Science, making science exciting, DIY, Building Up STEAM, science experiments