By Emmy Powell

This summer has been HOT, to say the least. One thing that makes triple-digit days more bearable is a nice bowl of ice cream.

Ice cream freezes at 21°F and can be made at home or in the classroom. The freezing point of water is lowered by adding salt to the ice between the bag walls. Heat energy is transferred easily from the milk through the plastic bag to the salty ice water causing the ice to melt. As it does so, the water in the milk freezes, resulting in ice cream. YUM!

This ice cream recipe can be a fun activity for kids at home on a hot summer day or in classrooms. It only takes six steps and about 10 minutes!

For Ice Cream in a Bag, you will need…

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream, half & half
  • Crushed ice (1 bag of ice will freeze 3 bags of ice cream)
  • 1 cup rock salt (about 8 cups per 5 lbs.)
  • 1 quart and 1 gallon size Ziploc freezer bags (Ziploc bags tend to be stronger & work best)
  • Duct tape
  • Bath towel

First things, first. Put the milk, whipping cream, sugar and vanilla in a 1-quart freezer bag and seal. For security, fold a piece of duct tape over the seal.

Next, place the bag with the ingredients inside a gallon freezer bag.

Then, pack the larger bag with crushed ice around the smaller bag. Pour ¾ to 1 cup of salt evenly over the ice.

Once the ingredients are secured, wrap in a bath towel, and shake for 10 minutes.

Open the outer bag and remove the inner bag with the ingredients. Wipe off the bag to be sure salt water does not get into the ice cream.

Then cut the top off and spoon ice cream into cups or bowls.

You can serve plain or top with your favorite topping.

And the most important step…ENJOY!

Each bag will have about 3 cups each.

While you enjoy the sweet treat you made, let’s learn more about dairy!

  • It takes 12 lbs. of whole milk to make 1 gallon of ice cream.
  • A single serving of milk provides 9 nutrients and vitamins.
  • 95% of U.S. dairy farms are family-owned and operated.
  • Holstein cattle, which are known for their black and white markings, are the most common dairy cattle in the U.S.
  • Milk travels from the farm to the grocery store in about 48 hours.