You plan a picnic or maybe its someone’s birthday and your younger kids insist on being a part of the preparation.
How do you tell them that, contrary to what many cartoons show, fire is really REALLY hot and can hurt badly, or that you cant stop a whirring blade with your bare hands like Tom can, in the Tom and Jerry kids’ cartoon?
You are going to have to think of something, and fast. Kids get to that stage when they are absolutely not going to listen to any stories you tell them. They want to do things and not with dolls and play sets either.
By the time you finish reading this article, I hope to have sparked an idea or two in you.
One way out is to have them prepare stuff that doesn’t involve electricity, flames or sharp blades. While this really limits the amount of things they can thus help with, you still have a few options.
One such option is having them prepare the ice cream. No, I don’t mean you should have them heat up the ice cream base. NO! They can help with other parts of the process such as scooping out of the ice cream, the loading of the ice, the washing up afterwards.
Deciding which ice cream makers are best for kids depends largely on the age of the children in question. There are toys that simulate the ice cream making process in a bid to keep them entertained, but they are toys and may not be what your kids want.
I pick 3 ice cream makers and how you can use them to keep your kids entertained and occupied: –
1. The Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker (Ice Cream Ball)
2. The Donvier 1-Quart Ice Cream Maker (Hand Crank)
3. The Lello 4070 Gelato Junior (Automatic Ice Cream Maker)
The Play and Freeze is a tough plastic ball, which can be used to make ice cream anywhere as it doesn’t need electrical power to work. Your desired ice cream mix is poured in a can which is then inserted in the tough ball. The ball is then filled with ice and rock salt to cool the mixture down. The lid is firmly clamped on and tightened with the little wrench included.
This is where the fun begins. The ball is moved about in as many directions as possible to agitate the ice and freeze the mixture. Kids can have a ton of fun doing this. They can play many games with it involving picking up the ball, shaking it and passing it to someone else.
One thing they need to be careful of is that the ball is made of very tough polycarbonate and will HURT if kicked or thrown against a body part. Keeping these rules in mind, kids will have fun rolling the ball around, measuring the rock salt and ice and of course scooping out the creamy dessert.
Another ice cream maker that kids can have a blast with is the old fashioned hand crank machines. There are modern variations that still let you manually crank out your ice cream. An example is the child-safe Donvier 1-Quart Ice Cream Maker. They can take turns turning the crank that turns the paddle nestled in the ice cream. Once you have frozen the bowl for a while, and also prepared the ice cream base, pour it into the steel bowl that these machines have. Fit the lid on and hand it over to them.
They should start cranking away. They can take turns passing the bowl around, adding fruits, nuts, candy and cranking away. You may have to relieve them after about 15 minutes . Finish up the last 10 minutes and reward the tired little tykes with creamy ice cream. They can have a blast helping you wash up after enjoying their dessert.
If your child is old enough, they can help you in the kitchen , even with the bigger, automatic ice cream makers. This is because these are built to be child-friendly. If the lid is not properly fixed, the machine will not run. The Lello 4070 Gelato Junior is one such appliance.
These machines have 2 separate switches to turn them on. When the main body is plugged in and turned on, the machine will not run until the top part is attached and locked into place. This ensures that the whole machine is closed while running and no open parts are exposed, making them child friendly.
You create fun games by nominating one person as the launcher for the day. Make a fancy paper hat and sash to show their important task of pushing the On switch for dessert.
Folks, you are only limited by your imagination when you are coming up with other ways to entertain your kids around ice cream machines. Go on, let your imagination run free and HAVE A BLAST!
Photo Credit: kid at party