We All Scream For Ice Cream

Disclosure: This activity has preferred ages of 6-11 with adult assistance or 11+ with adult supervision.

It’s been a scorcher of a summer, and nothing will excite your kids more than making their own ice cream in a bag! This experiment would be great on one of those days it’s just too hot to go outside.


You will need:

Credit: popsugar.com

Credit: popsugar.com

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup half and half

  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 cup ice cubes - maybe more

  • 3 Tbsp. rock salt

  • 2 pint size resealable plastic bags

  • 1 gallon size resealable plastic bag


  1. Combine milk, half and half, sugar, and vanilla extract in a pint-size plastic bag; seal tightly.

  2. Put that bag in another pint size plastic bag. If the bags get a small hole, your ice-cream will be super salty. Double bags help cut down on that possibly.

  3. Put the ice, rock salt, and the bag containing the milk-cream mixture into a gallon-size plastic bag.

  4. Rock the bag back and forth until contents thicken into ice cream, (or play hot potato with the bag!) about 10 – 20 minutes. You can also wear a pear of gloves to keep your hands warm while the ice cream gets colder. Wipe salt from the top of the pint-size bag before opening to prevent salt from getting into the ice cream.

  5. Top your ice cream with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

 The science behind it

What really makes the milk-cream mixture turn into ice cream? It’s all about the salt and the ice! When you add salt to the ice, it’s lowering the temperature at which water freezes. This allows your milk and cream to become even colder, helping it freeze faster! Once the ingredients start to freeze, you’ll notice the ice starting to melt. That’s because it’s given all its cold to the ice cream!

Why shake the bag?

Shaking the bag allows the ice-salt mixture to move around the milk-cream mixture, which helps the ice cream freeze faster. It also allows more air to form in the ice cream; everyone likes a fluffier ice cream!


Recipe: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/258841/easy-ice-cream-in-a-bag/

For the science behind the experiment and other tests to try out with your ice cream: https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/simple-homemade-ice-cream-in-a-bag-edible-science/