By Dennette Bailey

When we are looking for something to do for the kiddos or the family to do together, it can often feel like work. If you have children of various ages you can find yourself pulled any many directions. And the money to do it all, it adds up.

Making ice-cream is an activity that the whole family can enjoy and shaking it yourself can save you $24! If you have been shopping and seen the really pretty ice-cream makers, they start at $25. Friends – the best ice-cream maker is a zip lock bag. You will have to pay for the other ingredients (easily under $15), but these are all you would have to buy in addition to the ice-cream maker. While a box of zip lock bags, ladies and gentleman, cost just $1 at the dollar store.

The recipe is below and I have made this with children 3-12 years of age while teens and adults watched and offered to assist in the shaking as well ( not for the fun of it of course). We made the ice-cream outside, just in case one of my little
shaker helpers got a little too enthusiastic and opened the Ziploc bag (they didn’t). This is a great family activity, classroom activity or activity to have at a party. It will not disappoint and best of all the ice cream actually taste really good. I am not kidding –I conducted a taste test with store bought ice-cream and the children preferred the ice-cream they made over the store bought!!!

The best thing about this is that if you are a health nut like myself, you can use almond milk, fruit and even agave to substitute for the other ingredients. And remember- you saved $24 letting the kids shake it!

You will need: (per serving)
1 cup of half and half
1/2 cup rock salt or ice-cream salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint-size zip lock bag
1 gallon-size zip lock bag
Any of your favorite ice cream mixins

Step one: mix the half and half, sugar and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag. Seal the bag tightly, so that none of the liquid will leak out.
Step two: fill the gallon-size zip lock bag halfway with ice cubes. Sprinkle the rock salt over the ice cubes.
Step three: Insert the pint-size bag filled with ingredients into the bag of ice and salt. Seal the gallon-size zip lock bag. You might even consider double bagging it to reduce the possibility of leaks.
Step four: shake the bag for 5-10 minutes until the ice cream mixture begins to harden. When you are satisfied with the consistency of your ice-cream remove the small bag and serve!

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