Ice Cream Science – My Own Recipe

Art Math Science
Time 1 hour
Age 7 & up
Group Size 4 or more
Tags Advertising, Cooking, Measurements

Make the best ice cream ever!

Now that children have a hang of the process, it’s time to let their creativity loose. This is an open-ended activity, where children will create their own ice cream recipes, using any ingredients they would like. They will then name their new ice cream recipe and create a print “advertisement” for it. This activity is a great opportunity for you to assess what your students learned last time—do they understand the process? How much of each ingredient should they add to get just the right flavor, color or sweetness?


Follow the preparation instructions for the method you have chosen.

Ice Cream Science – My Own Recipe

Suggested Materials

Choose your method—the Ziploc bag (from the Ice Cream Science activity) or the coffee can (from Ice Cream Science – A New Recipe)—and use the materials list from that previous activity.  Include as many “extra” ingredients as you can—ex. cocoa powder, strawberry syrup, unsweetened powdered iced tea, mint extract, chocolate chips, almond extract, lemon extract, coffee, green tea, honey, food coloring, etc.  The more different ingredients you have, the more creative your students will be able to be.  You will also need markers, crayons or colored pencils and paper for this activity.


Make it Matter

Opening Discussion

Ask your students what they remember from the last time they made ice cream. What flavors did they make? Were there any new flavors they wanted to try? Can they make any improvements to the flavors they tried last time?

The Challenge

Can you make an even more delicious ice cream using the ingredients you’ve been supplied?


Make it Happen

Doing the Activity

  1. Separate children into teams of 2 or 3.
  2. Teams should first talk together about what flavor of ice cream they would like to make. Hopefully there are many options, and teams can certainly mix ingredients together to make new flavors—they aren’t stuck with just making chocolate or vanilla! If there is disagreement as to which flavor to make, how can they resolve it? If time allows, children can make 2 different kinds of ice cream, or can make one flavor, taste it, then make improvements to the recipe.
  3. Once the flavor or flavors have been chosen, students can measure out their ingredients. Make sure that they are carefully recording their recipes. Teams can decide how much they use of every ingredient, except one.: you should again ask them to use only 1/2 cup of cream for their ice cream. This allows for comparison between and among recipes and will ensure that you have enough cream for everyone.
  4. Make the ice cream!

Make it Click

Let’s Talk About It

After your students have made their first batch of ice cream, bring them together to talk about what they did. How did their ice cream turn out? Is there anything they would like to change?


Make it Better

Build On What They Talked About

If time allows, have the teams make one more batch, improving the recipe they just tried or creating a new flavor if they wish. Once the final batches are made, allow the ice cream to harden in the buckets or bags of ice, and ask teams to come up with a name for their new flavor of ice cream. Then pass out the paper and the markers, crayons or colored pencils and have your students create a print “advertisement” for their new product. For tips on this activity, refer to the Soda Science – Advertising Your Soda instructions from this curriculum.


  • You can do commercials instead of print advertisements—bring music into the activity and ask teams to write a “jingle” or a rap for their commercial.
  • Have teams create labels for their ice cream that they can glue onto the coffee cans and use in their ads.
  • Record radio ads that can then be played back for the entire afterschool.
  • Share the commercials during a family event or during pickup time when parents are arriving.
  • Have props or even costumes on hand for the commercials.
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