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Using Motor Skills While Making Ice Cream

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We have a challenge this summer to make things and experiment with making different stuff.  We decided to start off our challenge with making ice cream, and the first type of ice cream that we made only needs 3 ingredients, some ziplock baggies, ice, salt, and physical activity.

physical activity while making ice cream


  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

You also need ice, 1/3 cup of salt, 2 small baggies, and 2 large baggies.

You first pour the cream, sugar and vanilla into one of the small baggies and seal it up.  Then put that sealed baggie into another small baggie and seal it up.  Next you put 3 cups of crushed ice and 1/3 cup of salt into a large baggie, place the small baggie of cream into the ice bag and seal it up.  Then put all of that into another large baggie and seal it up.

Now it’s time to have fun and get physical.  You toss around the bag and shake it up for about 10 minutes.  You can play catch, throw it in the air, hold it and shake it and generally make sure that it is in constant motion until the ice cream gets cold and freezes.

Once the ice cream is a creamy solid consistency, you can remove it from its inner sanctum and eat it straight out of the baggy.  Make sure that there is no salt on the outside of the ice cream baggy because you don’t want to contaminate your ice cream.  Here is a video that the kids made of them making the ice cream.

You could modify this activity many ways to fit almost any level of physical ability, and it is great for engagement and involvement.  It is also a great activity for direction following and measuring and pouring ingredients.

Looking For More? Try these categories


Fine Motor

Visual Perceptual


Motor Planning

Oral Motor

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Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.

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