It’s time to use this ice cream in a bag experiment as a character building object lesson about perseverance. Using hands on lessons for teaching character helps cement concepts in a child’s mind and heart.
Science provides not only great insight into how our world work, but it also delivers interesting interactions that can become lessons on principles we want to teach our child.
This ice cream in a bag experiment is, of course, super exciting for kids because in the end they get to eat ice cream. No one is going to complain about that!
Character Building Education Series
More good news! Each trait comes with over a week’s worth of lessons. You could work on character with your kids every single day of the year if you chose to follow along.
This character building activity focuses on perseverance. Here is our initial lesson in perseverance. If following the series, always do that lesson first. Click here for all of my lessons on perseverance.
Today we use the science experiment of making ice cream in a bag and compare that to the benefits of persevering. Let’s get started.
Ice Cream in a Bag Experiment as a Character Building Object Lesson about Perseverance
Objective: Kids will learn that having perseverance yields positive results.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV
Ask the following questions:
- What does it mean to persevere?
- How have you shown perseverance this week?
Materials Needed to Make Ice Cream in a Bag
- 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla – I’m particular about my vanilla. I’ve linked to my favorite one.
- 3 cups Crushed Ice
- 1/3 cup Rock Salt
- Gallon Ziploc Bag
- Sandwich Ziploc Bag
How to Make Ice Cream in a Bag for a Character Building Object Lesson
- Add heavy whipping cream, granulated sugar and vanilla in the sandwich bag. Seal the bag completely.
- Crush ice.
- Add crushed ice and rock salt to the gallon bag.
- Put the smaller bag inside the larger bag. Seal the bag completely.
- Shake until ice cream is formed – 5-10 minutes.
- Enjoy your ice cream
Note: We did our own little experiment. Most recipes I found online called for half and half. We did 3 bags with half and half and one with heavy whipping cream. We all agreed that the heavy whipping cream was far superior.
The Science Behind the Ice Cream in a Bag Experiment
Why does this science experiment even work? When salt and ice combine, the freezing point of the ice is lowered. Here’s what happens next according to Steve Spangler Science:
“Keep in mind, however, that heat must come from somewhere to melt the ice. The heat that causes melting comes from the surroundings and, in this case, it’s from the warmer cream mixture. By lowering the temperature at which ice freezes, you were able to create an environment in which the cream mixture could freeze at a temperature below 32℉ (0℃) and become ice cream. The shaking (or stirring in an ice cream maker) moves the warmer cream mixture from the inside to the outside of the bag so it can freeze evenly.”
You can also watch a video on his site to see how he does it (slightly different than my recipe).
Ice Cream in a Bag Experiment as a Character Building Object Lesson about Perseverance Conclusion
As your kids are shaking their bags ask the following question:
- How does the activity we are doing right now relate to perseverance.
They will probably quickly point out that they need to persevere in shaking the bag to yield the positive result: ice cream.
Ask the question:
- Does perseverance always mean you will end up with positive results?
This answer is tricky. The results we want don’t always happen when we persevere. You can talk about how someone might train and train to win an race and he or she might end up in last place. Perhaps they put tons of effort in and then break their leg jumping over their first hurdle.
What is important to learn about perseverance is that there is benefit in persevering even when we don’t win.
Perseverance often means really pushing hard during the trickier times in life. Yet, we do yield positive results when we do persevere, even if it’s not what we originally hoped. It builds in us strength, character and hope.
Here’s a good verse that talks about that concept:
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” – Romans 5:3-4
In the case of our lesson today on perseverance, kids will experiences the fruits of their labor. Enjoy some of that ice cream with them.