Summer Math: Using Homemade Ice Cream 3-Ways

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Celebrate National Ice Cream Day July 20th.  Beat the summer heat with these fun and delicious ice cream recipes. 

Often in summer, kids tend to lose some of what they learned throughout the school year. You can avoid that by practicing with practical and fun ideas at home! Measure ingredients and double the recipes to get in some extra work with fractions and multiplication over the summer.

Make our astronaut, sorbet or ice cream in a bag. Perfect for your future astronaut or summer camp trip.

Ice Cream in a Bag

We have made this a few times and each time surprises me as much as the last! So simple and so fun. It kind of makes you want to say "It's shake'n bake and I helped."

All you need for this recipe is plastic Ziploc bags, milk or heavy cream, sugar, ice and rock salt. You may also choose to add a variety of yummy treats like fruits, sprinkles or chocolate. 

1/2 cup half-and-half or milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 pint Ziploc bag
1 gallon Ziploc bag
3 cups crushed ice
1/3 cup rock salt

Fill a gallon-sized bag with about 2 cups of ice and salt.  Fill the pint-sized bag with all other ingredients. Place the pint-sized bag into the gallon bag filled with ice and salt. Now the fun and arm exercise begins! Shake the bags until a ball of ice cream forms. This should take roughly 5-8 minutes. Make sure that both bags are sealed shut before you start to shake.

Check out this cool website for more interesting facts on how and why ice cream forms.


Sorbet is one of my favorite summer treats. Light and refreshing. Until the recent purchase of our Vita-mix, I had no idea you could make delicious sorbet at home.  

You can use the freshest ingredients, use your local farmer's market or your own backyard to make some brilliant combinations: lemon basil, cucumber mint, raspberry, strawberry, pineapple....

3/4 cup liquid (juice or water)

1/4 cup sugar

3-4 cups of frozen fruit

Herbs (optional)

Ice if needed

Using your food processor or blender start by adding ingredients in the order listed.  Blend all ingredients until a ball of sorbet forms. Do not over mix or it will begin to melt.

Freeze-Dried Ice Cream

You will be happy to know you don't have to spend millions on a trip to the moon or send your kids off to NASA summer camp. Now you can try "astronaut" ice cream right from the comforts of your own home.  I think this would the perfect menu item to serve on a dark and starry night when something amazing is happening in the sky this summer. Or celebrate July's many astronomical accomplishments:

  • July 15, 1975 First International Manned Spaceflight
  • July 20, 1969 First moon Landing
  • ​July 23,1995 Hale-Bopp Comet Discovered
  • July24, 1969 Apollo11 Astronauts Return Safely to Earth

Check out this step by step video on the process and how it works.