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Ways Kids Can Learn from Making Ice Cream
July is National Ice Cream month, and not only does ice cream make a cool, summer treat, but making it from scratch can also be a great way for kids to learn in the kitchen. As if we really needed any more reason to eat ice cream this summer, here are a variety of ways your little one will benefit from the process of making your own at home.
1. It’s a Sensory Experience
Have you heard of the kitchen bag method for making ice cream? In this method, you toss all the ingredients into a plastic bag and freeze overnight. Then, you shake, shake, shake! Shaking and mixing the bag of frozen ingredients will allow kids to experience temperature and texture as the ingredients start to combine and and soften. Make it extra fun by turning on their favorite song so they can dance as they shake, rotate, and mix.
2. Healthy Recipes Can Teach Nutrition
Healthier sorbet recipes that incorporate real fruit, like this Mango and Vanilla Bean Sorbet recipe, are a great way to get your little ones talking about healthy foods and naming fruits. You can teach them how fruits are naturally sweet, talk about which ones are in season during the summer, and try different combinations so they can explore different flavors.
3. Toppings for Fine Motor Skills
That’s right--you can let your kids make a full-blown sundae in the name of fine motor skills! Placing smaller toppings, like sprinkles and M&Ms, can help children practice dexterity. You can even increase the challenge by first having them use a pair of kid’s jumbo tweezers to sort toppings by color before they add them to their creation.
4. Engaged and Out of the Heat
Some summer days, it’s simply too hot to play outside. But instead of plopping little ones in front of the screen, making ice cream is a great way to engage them in an activity that has a sweet reward. The benefits of involving kids in the kitchen are numerous. Our Original Learning Tower is a great way to do this - read why this child development expert recommends it.