Kids Week: Hand-Tossed Ice Cream

I think I speak for both Sara and myself when I say that we have been completely overwhelmed by the response to our theme this week! It’s so much fun for us to hear from all of you, especially those of you who have been lurkerlicious up until this point! However…I have to say that I feel a bit of trepidation because so many of you have talked about how excited you are to see some kid-friendly meals and, to be totally honest, we only really have one real-food post planned this week. Oh, well–I guess that’s why we’ll have to do this again really soon!

Anyway, in case you hadn’t noticed from the thread title, this is NOT the real food thread. This is another frozen treat. However, I feel that in the throes of summery awfulness, you can probably count ice cream (AND pudding pops) as real food. More than anything, though, this is something fun you can do with your kids. For these pictures, I borrowed commandeered my friend Tara’s house, kitchen, and children because a) my kids are on the small side and b) this is something that’s definitely more fun with more people. There was some hesitation on their part, including when we added the rock salt to the ice and when the ice cream bags landed on the ground a couple of times. But once the kiddos got situated with their ice cream adorned the way they wanted it, we had a few moments of complete silence followed by amazed exclamations of, “This is the best ice cream EVER!”

Hand-Tossed Ice Cream

2 c. 2% milk
2 c. whipping cream
1 c. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla
Desired ice cream toppings and mix-ins (we used sugared strawberries, blueberries, and crushed or chopped Butterfingers, Twix Bars, York Peppermint Patties, Reese’s PB Cups, and Skor Bars)

2 1-quart Ziploc freezer bags (I used Walmart brand and wished I’d sprung for the big guns)
2 1-gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bags (ditto on the name brand)
10 lb. ice
2 c. ice cream salt
Waterproof tape (like duct tape)
Gloves (optional, but I don’t think anyone would have minded a pair today!)

1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, milk, whipping cream, and vanilla. Have one of your larger little helpers hold open one quart-sized bag and pour half of the mixture into the bag and zip shut, squeezing out all the air. Use duct tape to tape the opening shut (we actually, in a pinch, used electrical tape and it was fine!). Repeat with second bag.

2. Place one filled bag inside one gallon-sized bag and sprinkle 1 c. of ice cream salt around each smaller bag. Add as much ice as you can comfortably fit into the gallon-sized bag, squeeze to remove excess air, and zip shut. Maneuver the ice around to make sure there’s ice on all sides of the smaller bag inside. Place in freezer while you repeat the process with the second bag.

3. When the second bag has been prepared, head outside. Be sure to bring the leftover ice and rock salt because you’re probably going to need to drain some of the salty water and replenish the ice supply while you’re tossing the ice cream. Let each kid take a turn (or a couple) tossing the bags of ice cream into the air or to each other. It gets C-O-L-D, so a pair of gloves won’t hurt anybody!

4. After about 10-15 minutes, remove the quart-sized bag and rinse off the saltwater. Cut a hole in one corner of the bag and squeeze the ice cream into individual dishes. Let everyone add their desired toppings and have at it! It might be a little melty, but I promise, not a single person will complain! 🙂


Other Posts from Kids Week:
Homemade Hot Pockets
Frozen Pudding Pops
Edible Playdough and Finger Paint


  1. That looks SO good. And it's fun for the kids. I'm wishing I had some whipping cream in my fridge right now. Who cares if it's 10:30 PM? I'd make it anyway!

  2. We had a serious ice-cream-making disaster last week, and I really wish I had had this then. Henry was heartbroken over the lack of homemade ice cream… YUM! And so fun.

  3. MMMMMM! We just made ice-cream on Saturday. Should have thought of this to keep the kids entertained while waiting for it, instead of using the old ice-cream freezer!

  4. I'm pretty new to your blog, but I'm so excited about this week's theme! Both the pudding pops and the ice cream look so easy and so fun! My kids are going to love it!

  5. Oh I totally forgot about this!!! I have seen this before, but it slipped my mind on how fun this would be to try out with the kiddos! Thanks for the yummy reminder! They're gonna love you for it! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I always forget about this too, but when I remember it reminds me of school. It is such a fun activity for teachers to do.

  7. yumm, homemade ice cream IS the best! too bad i don't have any kids to make it with. oh well, who needs kids, right??

  8. I was just trying to figure out how the heck I would entertain my kids today. This sounds like a great solution.

  9. We did this a few weeks ago for family night, and the kids thought it was great (definitely glad we had gloves!) But since they're a little younger, I did most of the shaking 🙂

  10. I had no idea you could make ice cream this way!! How fun!! I can't wait to try it! This Vegas heat is KILLING me and I think this will help!!

  11. I'm so glad you posted this! I've done this with my kids once before and then promptly lost the recipe and haven't done it since. No excuses now! Yum.

  12. Love it. You can also wrap the plastic bags in newspaper and masking tape, making it into a ball, which helps keep the coldness inside and not freezing your fingers!

  13. We used to do this when I was a kid, except we would put the ice cream baggies in a #10 tin can (coffee can sized) loaded with rock salt and ice, and then roll them back and forth to each other. My dad would fish out the winter gloves for us so our hands wouldn't get so cold.

  14. I've never seen or heard of this before – what a fun activity to do out in the sun and then be able to cool off with a real nice treat. Can't wait to give this a try. Thanks!

  15. Great idea! We have one of those ice cream balls that the kids can push around while it churns ice cream, too! Fun times!

  16. This is a family tradition in my husbands family. The duct tape is such a good idea; we'll have to try it next time. Salty ice cream is not good!

  17. Hey Kate and Sara!
    Just wanted to say thanks for the pie pointers last week. I totally won first place (for best flavor) in the pie contest! Your banana cream pie is so awesome!
    Thanks again!


  18. Ah-ha! The easy-peasy and inexpensive version of the ice cream ball thing! I love it. Not sure my 2-year-old would grasp what we were doing, but definitely a fun activity to keep in mind!
    – Jennifer

  19. Made the chocolate mint pudding pops last night, can't wait to eat them tonight. Think we'll try the ice cream with our 9-year old and one of his friends later this week.

  20. Can't wait until my son is a little older to try this! Maybe my husband and I will have some fun with it! A great date night activity! 🙂

  21. This looks like a lot of fun! My family used to do something similar, but we would roll cans back and forth with the ingredients inside. Keep bringing on the great kid friendly ideas! I especially love cool treats!

  22. I've done that!! We've done the #10 cans, and we've done the baggies, but we usually wrap them in newspaper to make them more "football-ish." The trick is in draining the saltwater bag before you open the ice cream bag…

  23. This recipe looks better than the one I've used. We wrapped ours in newspaper and taped it to make a ball to toss around (helps it not to get your hands as cold and messy too).

  24. We haven't made this in a while, and the weather is FINALLY getting hot, so maybe a stop at the grocery store is in need so we can have some yummy homemade ice cream! Thanks for the idea!

  25. Fun! I have a ball I make ice cream in and you can kick it around, but it doesn't make very much. This seems like a great idea! Thanks!

  26. I remember using one of those old churning things to make ice cream as a kid but this looks like way more fun! And I agree- ice cream is a food group in and of itself. Yummy!

    melacan at hotmail dot com

  27. What a great, easy way to make ice cream! Will bookmark this for when my little girl is old enough to help, cuz I think I'd look pretty silly doing this by myself! 🙂 Thanks so much!

  28. Ok – So I had a babysitter for my kids a few years ago that did this with them. She brought the ingredients (except the milk and ice) and they had a ball doing this in the backyard. What FUN!!!

  29. Our extended family did this at a family reunion one year. Except we did them in cans. It was really fun to watch people rolling their can all over, waiting for their yummy ice cream.

  30. I've done this before, but be careful! Your hands can get really cold really fast! (But I guess the ice cream makes up for it! 🙂 )

    tari.mcdonald @ gmail . com

  31. That sounds fun and easy and of course looks delicious. Just the other day I was lamenting the fact that we don't have an ice cream maker, so this is perfect! 🙂

  32. great idea! this would be perfect for a birthday party or something…and hopefully it will tucker the kiddos right out!

  33. This looks like as much fun to make as it is to eat. My only concern is that I will be doing all the work and my 3 year old will be doing all the eating. 🙂

  34. When I read this post out loud late Wednesday night my husband was kind of skeptical about the idea. I think I'm going to make it and prove him wrong!!

    mnhub-junk at yahoo dot com

  35. So fun! We've done this before, but I never thought to put in all of the add-in ideas. Great idea! We will have to try this this weekend.

  36. I've seen this done before but I'm a pansy and afraid to let kids toss food around like that. But the taping it up looks better than just hoping my zipper bag will hold. Thanks!

  37. Is it too late yet?? I just bought my popsicle holders at Target today! It's about 99 degrees outside…in the NW. A/C is not very common around here. Including our house!

  38. We just made these with two 4-year-old boys. Delicious end product. I was so thrilled to pull off a real "mom" project on a hot day. Seriously, wear gloves! My fingers almost got frostbite 🙂 It was a little soupy after the kids tossing it about, but the remainder went in the freezer and two hours later was absolutely PERFECT frozen yogurt consistency. I love this site. Thank you Kate & Sara!

  39. Thanks for this! I have two boys, only one of whom will eat ice cream but he can't wait to try this.

    ANy ideas of how to make the ice cream chocolate? Or, should we just use chocolate milk instead of white?


  40. suggestions: use a ziploc sandwich bag=individual servings, u can eat straight out of baggie with plastic spoon= no dishes to wash

    whipping cream is not necessary but it does aid in texture and smoothness

    as much fun as it is to toss the bag, if using individual baggs (what i said above) you just rock the bag sideways repeatedly (when we did this in science class, we realized that ice cream is created faster when rocking not actually shaking)

  41. This recipe was really good. I did it with my preschool group and expected it to be fun, but not really good. It tasted good, was easy, and forgiving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.