Barbara Berst Adams
February 18, 2009

Ice Cream Making Activities
Ice Cream Sales Enhancements

Showcase the playful, special-occasion side of ice cream. Long ago, farm families and their children often enjoyed the feeling of contributing to a common goal.

Large projects like the making of ice cream and soda pop can help re-create this bonding and sense of contribution that far outweigh simply being “served” by the hostess.

Ice Cream Assignments and Field Trips

With adults and mixed age groups gathering together, have everyone participate in the making of the ice cream or soda pop when it’s a one-day event.

Break up jobs into separating the eggs, measuring the cream, pouring the ice and salt, cranking the churn, chopping the strawberries, crushing the nuts, scooping and serving the finished product.

When time permits, choreograph groups to go out onto the farm and harvest the petals, feed the dairy cows, goat or sheep and fetch that morning’s fresh milk from the cooler, gather the walnuts or retrieve them from storage in the barn and shell them.

If not many ingredients are produced on your farm, make a group outing to other local farms for the main ingredients, such as a u-pick pear orchard or blueberry farm, then return and set up the group soda pop or ice cream home factory.

Who’s Bringing Ice Cream Labels

It may also be appropriate to engage others by having them contribute something from their own homes for a gathering further in the future, such as next year’s family reunion.

For example, if you’re having an ice cream, grape soda pop or root beer making project where everyone will take home a quart of their own, have someone in the group design container labels ahead of time, have everyone save recycled containers, have one grow the chocolate mint, one harvest and dry the wintergreen leaves, and another plant and grow the anise.

Plan Ice Cream Ingredient Gardens

Kids can grow special gardens that specifically contribute to a home hobby or cottage industry of making soda pop or ice cream.

A small mint garden, edged to protect from its rampant spreading, is very fun and easy to grow. You might include chocolate mint, banana mint and orange mint, and start with just one plant in late winter, then the kids can root more and more starts in jars of water to plant in the early, first garden.

Kids can nurture a hibiscus shrub for a fruity-tea soda pop (very fun, because hummingbirds love the flowers), or plant and eventually harvest anise seed for root beer.

Ice Cream Recipe Experimentation

Let kids observe and participate in the spirit of experimentation with your recipes. While we know success can bring confidence and a sense of accomplishment, the thrill of experimentation seems lost to many today. Meaning, it doesn’t have to “succeed” the first time, which teaches the joy of innovation, invention, brainstorming, seeking and trying solutions, and gaining “bounce-back-ability” when one idea doesn’t turn out as planned.

Simply experiment once a week or once a month as your end goal without plans to feed a crowd. Any good results get entered into the family cookbook.

Ice Cream and Special Events

Birthday parties, sleepovers, and living history and natural science lessons, can revolve around a soda and ice cream event using tested, successful recipes.

Everyone participates and has something they made themselves to take home and share instead of a store bought party favor trinket.

Read Part 2 of this article ….

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