Parenting and Kids

School Holiday Ideas: Why and How You Should Make Homemade Ice Cream!

After this summer, you should never wonder how to make homemade ice cream again! It’s a fun activity to tackle and doubles as a way to stock your freezer with treats for the school holidays. You can make your own from scratch or even purchase a soft serve ice cream maker for home use.

Whichever method you choose, your kids will certainly love the idea of experimenting with different flavours, and you’ll get to keep them busy while making and eating it!

Making ice cream at home also has some educational perks. This article unpacks the benefits your kids will receive when doing this fun ice cream making activity. Read on below to find out more and see one of our favorite kid-friendly recipes.


How to Make Homemade Ice Cream

Let’s start with how simple it can be to make ice cream at home. Most Super WAHMs still work during the school holidays, and if you’re one of them, you’ve probably done endless searches on how to entertain kids while working from home. Many educational ideas require lots of energy, time, and money – three things you may not have in abundance!

Ice cream making is different. Whether you use a professional ice cream maker or a no-machine method, you’ll realise making ice cream from scratch is easier and less time-consuming than you think.

To make homemade ice cream, you’ll need to stock up on the most basic ingredients, including cream, egg yolk, milk, and sugar. While the recipes differ, you’ll generally be required to make a base, let it chill, mix it together with your other ingredients, and let it freeze before eating. Easy!

professional ice cream maker


Making Ice Cream is Entertaining and Educational

Making ice cream both by hand or using one of the best ice cream makers for home use has entertaining and educational benefits. It’s one of our favourite screen-free activities, and here’s why:


Home Ice Cream Making Teaches Math

Yes, you read that right! When making ice cream at home, you can incorporate some math practice without your kids even knowing. You can double or half recipes to encourage multiplying and dividing skill development. When you’re adding mix-ins, your kids will have to figure out the correct ratios to not kill the texture and taste of the final product.


Teaches Attention to Detail

When you’re following a recipe, attention to detail is a must. Your kids will learn how to pay attention to and follow directions, and when it comes to measuring the ingredients, they’ll have to use the appropriate measuring cups to measure the specified amounts. Both these activities teach them to concentrate, digest information, and act it out.


Develops New Skills While Teaching Kitchen Safety

Whether you’re using a countertop ice cream maker, electrical whisk, or stove, you get an opportunity to teach your child how to use different appliances and the safety measures they should follow for each.

You never know – you might inspire them to be a budding cook or kitchen helper when you are making dinner!

making ice cream at home


Making Ice Cream Creates Sensory Awareness

Another benefit of making ice cream is your child’s exposure to the ingredients, temperatures, and sounds involved. Depending on their age, you can teach them about different colours, let them experience different tastes and textures, and allow them to feel the coolness of the fridge or the heat of the stovetop ice cream base. You can also teach them about the different sounds each appliance used in the process makes.


Encourages Critical Thinking and Creativity

When you’re making ice cream at home with your kids, you can teach them about ice cream science and encourage them to get creative with flavour combinations.

You can use two or three different ice cream-making methods to teach them the science behind each and experiment with emulsifiers and stabilizers. If you plan on using mix-ins, set a few options out for them and let them go wild with unique combinations.

Once their batches are ready to eat, ask them to serve it up in an artsy way.

How To Make Homemade Ice Cream With Rock Salt Ice Cream Bags

Using salt and Ziploc bags is an easy, fun, and inexpensive way to make ice cream at home. While using appliances deliver a more automated experience, this method is entertaining and teaches some science too!

Here’s the recipe:

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup cream or milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Ziploc bags – one big, one small
  • 6 cups crushed ice
  • 1 cup rock salt


  1. Mix the cream/milk, sugar, and vanilla in one of the smaller Ziploc bags.
  2. Place the ice and rock salt in the larger Ziploc bag.
  3. Place the smaller bag with the ice cream mixture in the bigger bag and make sure that both are sealed tightly.
  4. Wiggle, play, toss and squeeze the bag to help the mixture thicken. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Add in any toppings and enjoy!

Notes: You can add chocolate or strawberry powder to the milk mixture for different flavours. If you’d like to make the ice cream more nutritious, use powdered vitamin shakes.

homemade ice cream flavours


Before You Go

Whatever you choose to do with your children this summer, remember to have fun! Whether you’re making ice cream or trying one of our other 5 screen-free activities for your kids’ wellbeing, the best time spent with them is any time at all. Staying home for the holidays is already a treat for most kids, and the best gift you can give them is your attention.

Making ice cream at home is an entertaining way to spend time with your child, and in the process, both of you could learn something new.

Now that you know how to make homemade ice cream with a simple ingredient list and method, you’re only left with using your creativity to think about how you’re going to incorporate the educational aspects listed above.

Simone Langford

Simone Langford is a busy mum and an ice cream maker guru! Simone’s passion for making ice cream (and eating it) has evolved into creating where she shares all the latest ice cream maker reviews, hints and tips to make the best homemade ice cream.