That’s right….July is National Ice Cream Month, with the official National Ice Cream Day this Sunday, July 15! What holiday could be more fun than one based on America’s favorite frozen treat!? That’s exactly what Ronald Reagan thought when he declared it in 1984.
From the snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar that Alexander the Great enjoyed, to the recipe (for what we now call sherbet) that Marco Polo brought to Italy from the Far East, to a wide variety of flavors now offered at parlors and in the grocery store, ice cream sure has come a long way! Whether it’s in a cup with chocolate sauce or in a cone with candy and sprinkles, there’s a variation to satisfy almost everyone’s sweet tooth!
Take time to celebrate this delicious creation with the kids this month with these interesting facts, fun games and activities, and a make-your-own tasty treat!
Each American eats an average of 23.2 quarts of ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, and other frozen treats every year. (http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/summercrafts/a/021400a.htm)
Vanilla is the most popular flavor ice cream consumed at home, with chocolate coming in second. (http://www.idfa.org/facts/icecream/ic_consumption_2005.pdf)
More ice cream is sold on Sunday than any other day of the week. (http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/summercrafts/a/021400a.htm)
Children under 12 and adults over 45 eat the most ice cream. (http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/summercrafts/a/021400a.htm)
Fun Games & Activities:
- Have an ice cream flavor guessing contest. Set up stations with different flavors of ice cream. Let the kids take turns wearing the blindfold and tasting samples of different flavors and then writing down their guesses. The child with the most correct answers gets to be first in line to receive their frozen treat.
- Graph everyone’s favorite ice cream flavor.
- Make an ice cream sundae bar. Put out chocolate and vanilla ice cream, sprinkles, crushed candies, nuts, whipped cream, hot fudge, cherries and more and let the kids make their own special ice cream treat!
Make-Your-Own Ice Cream:What you need:
• 4 cups crushed ice
• 1/2 cup rock salt
• 1 quart-size zip-close bag
• 1 sandwich-size zip-close bag
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• Scissors, small bowls, spoons
What to do:
1. Put 2 cups of crushed ice and 1/4 cup of rock salt into the quart-size zip-close bag. Pour the milk, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla into the sandwich-size bag. Seal this bag tightly.
2. Place the smaller bag inside the larger bag. Gently squeeze out the air and seal it carefully. Continue squeezing it gently for about 5 minutes.
3. Drain the water from the larger bag, and add the remaining ice and salt. Seal and squeeze until the mixture is very thick.
4. Remove the small bag from the ice and dry the outside of the bag. With scissors, cut one of the bottom corners off the small bag and squeeze the contents into small bowls. Enjoy! (http://www.scholastic.com/schoolage/activities/k_2/makeicecream.htm)