Friday, May 15, 2015

Summer Reading with Activities at the Back of the Book - Day 2: Thermal Coffee Mug Ice Cream





The girls (ages 8 and 10) finished off the second book in the Nancy and the Clue Crew series, building steam into their summer reading.

This time the go-along activity included at the back of the book was "Nancy, Bess, and George's Coffee-Can Ice Cream", which made sense for a title like "Scream for Ice Cream".

We've made coffee-can ice cream before, but usually when the weather is warm enough to get outside to roll the cans around by foot, like a soccer ball.

Today was cold and rainy.  It was barely an ice cream kind of day, much less a make-ice-cream-oustide kind of day.  And on top of that, we didn't have any empty coffee cans, or plastic containers, handy.

But, the whole point of picking a book series for summer reading, with activities at the back of each book, is to actually do the activities at the back of the books, so the girls will want to read more of the books.  So, we switched gears a little, and changed from coffee cans to thermal coffee mugs (keeping with the coffee theme, but using what we could find in our kitchen), and pressed on.

Instead of pouring the ingredients (just milk, sugar and vanilla) into a small can, we filled quart-sized freezer bags, draped inside of cups, so they'd stand.



Once the ingredients were added, the girls pressed out the extra air, and sealed the bags.


Then, they added crushed ice and table salt (we didn't really measure) to the bottom of thermal mugs (the type you take in the car)...


...followed by the bags...


...with more ice and salt on top, to almost fill the mugs.  Finally, we taped the lids closed...


...and shook them vigorously for ten minutes (like Phys-Ed in a cup)...


...before removing the bags (carefully) from the melting ice, to open...


...and drape back over the cups...


...for ease of eating. While I gave the thermal mugs a quick rinse (to remove the salt), the girls enjoyed their treat, and shared the details of the story with me, so I'd know what making ice-cream had to do with the plot, in the first place (a sneaky reading comprehension quiz).


As it turns out, thermal mugs work nicely as ice-cream makers.  They keep the cold inside, so you don't freeze your hands while trying to shake them (like with bag-in-a-bag method), and the lids, designed to prevent spills, keep salty ice water from dripping out all over the kitchen floor.

8 comments:

Dawn Rebekah said...

Awesome! You are the perfect combination of a fun and teaching mom!
Blessings, Dawn

Phyllis said...

The thermal cups was a brilliant idea!

Scarlet Bluefield said...

Thank you! I have wanted to make coffee can ice cream for *years*, but have never been able to because we don't drink coffee and I haven't been able to find a coffee can source. I've made the ice cream in a bag, but I've just always felt like the coffee can would be easier.

I never, ever thought to use plastic containers! I guess that just goes to show how stuck in our thought patterns we can get. It's cool and rainy-ish here today, but as soon as it's warm, I'm gonna dig out my peanut butter jars of various sizes and do it! Finally!

Natalie PlanetSmartyPants said...

You never give up :) I think we successfully made icecream once just by using 2 different size bags with the outer one filled with ice and salt. Then we wrapped the bag in towels and shook it. However, there is something very special about icecream out of a coffee mug :)

happyheartshomeschool said...

I love how you made do with what you had on hand. I'll definitely have to try this with my kids. You're such a fun mom!

Ticia said...

Yeah the bag in a bag method never worked for us.

Angelic Scalliwags said...

Oh, I'm in Summer heaven! Leah and all her summer activities always make me so happy!
I shall sit back and enjoy! I hope you all have a lovely summer.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

This is brilliant! Much nicer than the standard ziploc bag of ice cream solution inside a larger bag of ice and salt.