It's one of those slow moving Saturdays. Your oldest kid is having a playdate with one of his best buddies. They've torn through all your son's toys in record speed, argued twice over who can "force push" and who has the power to perform a "Jedi Mind Trick" and have played the Wii WAYYYY longer than you meant to allow them. You don't want your kid's friend to report home that all they did was play video games and because you're "the boss," and mean, you turn off the blasted system. Bored, sad, and down-right grouchy (basically driving you insane) you need something to rescue you from this self-induced Swamp of Sadness your quickly sinking into. Now is the perfect opportunity to pull out the old timey "Let's make ice cream in a coffee can" trick. The beauty of this project is the single-serving size means they don't even have to share..thank god.

Step 1: Gather Necessary Materials and Ingredients

The beauty of this project is it's one of those activities you can pull out when you're in need of something fun to do with the kids. Most of the ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard with the exception of saving a few empty containers and purchasing a box of rock salt.

For a single-serving of quick, yummy homemade vanilla ice cream you'll need:

1 empty medium sized coffee can. We used a 13oz can.

1 empty container with a lid that'll fit inside the coffee can with extra space around it for ice and salt. We used small empty jelly jars and plastic yogurt containers

(Now is the time to pat yourself on the back for recycling and having a mini-lesson with your kids about the importance of reusing items, consumption and global warming)

You'll also need:
1 Tablespoon measuring spoon

1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon

1/2 cup measuring cup

1 small spoon for stirring

For the vanilla ice cream you'll need:

1/2 cup milk. We used non-fat because that's what we drink. However, any milk will work and I even hear soy milk also works for you lacto-free folks

1-2 Tablespoons granulated sugar depending on how sweet you want your ice cream. We used 2 and it was a bit too sweet for my kids. My son's friend is pretty much sugar-free so he used 1 packet of Splenda and it turned out pretty tasty.

1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. The kids found 1 teaspoon of vanilla to be a little bit too over-powering

Small chunks of ice. Enough to fill the surrounding space around the small container inside the coffee can.

1-2 Tablespoons rock salt. We actually found ours at Von's and it was specifically made for ice cream

Optional ingredients:
1 teaspoon chocolate syrup substituted for the vanilla extract if you're craving chocolate
1-2 Small snack size Hershey's Chocolate bars or other chocolate that can be chunked up if you want to make chocolate chip ice cream

You can mix mixed berries
I&acute;m from Costa Rica!!!<br>Tarrazu&acute;s area coffee is one of the best. Nice to see that you appreciate really good coffee!
what a way to make personalized ice cream and keep the kids busy. I loved the bowling idea. Genius. I think you should get a 20 for the great directions and pictures.
Suggestion: Plastic coffee cans and mittens. And they make some really nice small reusable plastic storage containers too. I just cringe at the idea of a glass jar in a metal can with ice and shaking and... label me overprotective.
I super love this. but the splenda in the hand of a child---eeek. otherwise, mmmm ice cream
I agree, I know how much damage that stuff can do to the body! Stevia is much better, but it can't be dumped like those packets.
They sell Stevia in packets Meijers has it.
&nbsp;I think this is a great, practical instructable, with some great game ideas and very easy to follow instructables. I know, from personal experience, that the games are <strong>really fun! </strong>Thanks a Heap!
Lol - I&nbsp;LOVE your intro!!&nbsp;I am having one of those days today - even without the friends over (just my own kids!) and I need a damn good distraction. :)&nbsp;And probably some coffee and icecream for me lol.<br /> <br /> Nice 'Ible! :)<br />
nice instructable, i want to do that tomorrow P.S. im turning 11 in 2 days
Awesome post, your kid's adorable btw.
great game ideas!!
Nice! Are there any other container mediums I can use? A ziploc Bag? -PKT
I love the NBC shirt lol
unfortunetly, i've had nightmares from that movie....*shivers* altohugh you have to love Jack!<br/>
how did you manage that?!?!
i don't know, maybe too little expeirince with it as a little kid. I tihnk it's kinda like that wallis and gromet thing. It's jsut plain freaky to me.
hahaha now that, i can relate to.
At least you can.... my 7 yr old cousin like, LOVES it. i cant stand him either so.....
"1 empty medium sized coffee can. We used a 13oz can" (sigh) Remember when coffee came in 1 pound cans? Great instructable.
Great Ible! I love it!
One word: Awesome! Great writing, great ideas, great pics. This is all around a great 'structible
awesome! can't wait to try this with my moms neighborhood kids since mine are under two. i'm sure their parents will appreciate it too!
This is a great activity. It also works well by putting the ingredients in a snack-sized zip-lock bag and then putting that into a pint-sized freezer bag, we did stuff like that at the beginning of the semester to get people involved with college clubs. It's a cheap way to entertain a lot of people at one time.
This is a very cool instructable, but part of it shocks me. When I was a kid oh so long ago, having ice cream was cool enough, no matter what was in it. You didn't get to decide what was in it down to the teaspoon. Ah well.
This is an awesome instructable! I am passing it on to my friends with kids!!!
Good work.
really nice instructable!! gotta try it someday <sup>_</sup><br/>
Ice cream! Coffee cans! Not to mention wonderful pics and a very cool narrative--this rocks--thanks!
Great Instructable! (with great narrative to boot!)<br/><br/>Nice way to keep the <strike>brats</strike> wonderful children occupied. <br/><br/>How well did the fat-free milk work? I thought you needed heavy cream (or at least half-and-half) for it to have the right texture... maybe not?<br/><br/>(Small thing, step 16, the link didn't work. Use this syntax: <br/><pre>[http://www.otterhop.com/content/central-services-presentsthe-board-educationim Central Services Presents...Board off Education].</pre>)<br/>
Thanks so much. I fixed the link. The fat-free worked just fine--freezes up like a charm. Obviously the fat-free isn't creamy like half-and-half, more like iced milk, but it was what we had to work with and the kids didn't seem to mind.
Ha, it's amazing what low quality rubbish kids will eat if they made it themselves! Brilliant Instructable, well worth the Feature.
<em>Nice way to keep the <strike>brats</strike> wonderful children occupied. </em><br/><br/>Here's a funny thing- this would be a great Instructable without the ice cream. This is exactly the kind of childhood I had (turn off the bowling game on the computer, create a bowling game out of empty bottles in the garden) and I firmly believe that is what gave me a passion for making/improvising stuff. There are sadly people out there who would benefit from reading an Instructable &quot;How to play with your children&quot;... now there's a collaboration idea for you :)<br/><br/>Anyway, that's enough misty-eyed reminiscence- great detail, great Instructable, now I want ice cream...<br/>
Nice way to keep the <strike>brats</strike> wonderful children occupied. <br/><h4><strong>LOL!</strong></h4><h3>Nice One!</h3>
Great stuff. The best part about this isn't the ice cream -- though it looks delicious -- but the well constructed Instructable. Plus all of the bonus games! Keep up the good work!
you can do this same with a very large bag, but it is not as fun.
This is worth a 10 just for the pix and directions (but I like the ice cream, too!). Never read an instructable this good!
Wonderful... I am thrilled with the lovely simplicity.... and you used duct tape. Holy cow ... to be served with beer can chicken.... You could also do hot stuff like real potatoes in a can. ...or real creamed corn or real beets... and serve at a barbecue by putting all the stuff on the patio and asking the guests to keep their supper moving around for a while.

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