Ice cream is a favorite summer treat, and it is even tastier if you make it yourself.  This method is quick and the ice cream is delicious.  It is a fun activity for a party.

For each serving of ice cream, you will need:

1.  1 cup of cream or half and half.

2.  2 Tbs. sugar

3.  1 tsp. vanilla

4.  A quart or pint ziplock bag

5.  A gallon ziplock bag

6.  1/2 cup of rock salt

7.  Enough ice to fill the gallon bag 2/3 of the way full

A spoon full of homemade icecream 
 Cream, sugar, and vanilla in a quart sized zip-lock bag 1.  Pour the cream, sugar, and vanilla into the quart bag.  Seal it tightly.
 Rock salt and a bag fo ice 2.  Put the ice and the rock salt into the gallon bag.
 The little bag in the small bag 3.  Put the small bag into the big bag, seal the gallon bag tightly, then shake and knead the big bag until the ice cream hardens.  It usually takes 5-7 minutes for the ice cream to reach a soft serve texture.
 A spoon full of homemade icecream 4.  Discard the ice and salt, and enjoy your ice cream!

Variations:

Chocolate Ice cream:  Omit the sugar and vanilla.  Add 2 Tbs. of chocolate syrup.

Fruit:  Add 1/4 cup of finely chopped fruit such as peaches, cherries, or strawberries.

Homemade ice cream is a perfect summer treat, but it usually involves lots of cranking and mixing.  Using ziplock bags is easy, each person make his or her favorite flavor, and clean up is quick. 

Flavored ice treats are so old that no one knows who first had the idea.   The Chinese, Arabs, and Persians all had cold dishes made with ice and sweetened with fruit.  Recipes for frosty milk treats appeared in the 1700's and the first had-crank ice cream maker was patented in 1843.  Making ice cream was a rather laborious process before modern refrigeration, as ice had to be cut in the winter and stored underground.  The ice cream required lots of cranking and had to be eaten quickly.  Now ice cream is mass produced and the homemade version is a special treat, though it is somewhat easier to make thanks to a ready supply of milk, flavorings, and ice. 

You can quickly make this non-toxic play dough with ingredients you already have in your kitchen.

Every refrigerator needs a handprint turkey for Thanksgiving. Here is one that is a little bit different from the classic hand print cut out, but just as cute.

The spring blossom tree is a fun craft. Children will love that they can munch on popcorn and use it to make "blossoms" on their tree.