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Ice Age

Our frosty frozen fruit treats are a refreshing snack and a super science experiment.
 

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Measurement
Fine Motor Skills
Observation

Frozen fruit pops are the perfect summertime snack. Not only are they cool and delicious, they also provide a quick way to hydrate your child on a hot summer day. When children make the pops themselves, they actually prefer these frozen fruit concoctions to sugary store-bought varieties. You and your child can create a myriad of variations on this seasonal treat, using healthy ingredients and little or no sugar.

That's not all: Making fruit pops also teaches important science skills. Science is all about observing, creating, and measuring change. In the recipes that follow, your child will become well acquainted with this concept as the ingredients used change from a solid state to a liquid state — and then back again.

To contain your creations:

  • Buy popsicle molds in many grocery and department stores or online (Prairie Moon has a colorful array of molds ranging from $4 to $10).
  • Make your own pop containers. Small paper cups are handy because children can peel off the paper as they eat the pop. The trick with paper cups is to place a section of plastic wrap over the top and then press the stick into the wrap. This will hold the stick in place as the pop freezes. You can also use plastic yogurt containers as molds.
  • Make mini-pops by freezing your concoction in Styrofoam or plastic egg cartons. Use lollipop sticks for handles.

Recipes

All-Fruit Pops
Yogurt-on-a-Stick
Crystallized Watermelon Slices
Ice Cube Surprises

All-Fruit Pops    

Nothing but fresh fruit goes into these easy blender pops. The trick is to use almost over-ripe fruit. One batch makes 6 pops.

What you need:

  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 10 to 15 very ripe strawberries (small)
  • 1 very ripe mango or papaya (or 3 kiwis)
  • 6 popsicle sticks

What to do:

  1. Ask your child to help you wash and clean the fruit.
  2. Your child can peel and slice the banana with a plastic serrated knife.
  3. After you have peeled the mango (or papaya or kiwi) your child can use the plastic knife to make small chunks.
  4. Ask your child to place the fruits in a blender. You might ask: How will the fruits change after they are blended? Turn on the blender and witness the change.
  5. Invite your child to watch you pour the liquid fruit into popsicle containers or paper cups.
  6. Ask your child to place a popsicle stick into each container
  7. You might ask: Is it easy to move the stick? Do you think it will be easy to move it when the pop is frozen? Let's try it and see!
  8. After the pops are frozen, your child can observe how the fruit has changed from the blended fruit to the frozen fruit. Here is a great question to ask: How can you make your solid fruit pop a liquid again?

 

Yogurt-On-A-Stick

Here's a quick and easy one-ingredient pop. Plus, it provides your child a bit of protein. One batch makes 3 to 4 pops.

What you need:

  • 1 8 oz. container of low-fat, low-sugar fruit yogurt, such as Stonyfield's
  • 4 popsicle sticks

What to do:

  1. Pour fruit yogurt into popsicle molds or small paper cups.
  2. Add sticks.
  3. Freeze.
  4. Remove and eat.

 

Crystallized Watermelon Slices

A light sprinkling of sugar makes these watermelon slices sparkle when they come out of the freezer!

What you need:

  • 1 small seedless watermelon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

What to do:

  1. Slice the watermelon into thin slices. Cut into triangles.
  2. Ask your child to sprinkle sugar (lightly) on the "red part" of the slices.
  3. Have your child place the slices on a wax paper-lined tray or freezable plate.
  4. Place in the freezer for four hours.
  5. Remove and enjoy!

 

Ice Cube Surprises

Because the surprise contents of this treat can pose a choking hazard, this recipe is best served to children ages 4 and up.

What you need:

  • 12 or more seedless grapes
  • Fruit juice or other beverage

What to do:

  1. Wash the grapes.
  2. Place one grape in each ice cube tray compartment.
  3. Fill tray with water.
  4. Put in freezer until solid.
  5. Add an ice cube or two to a favorite drink.
  6. As the ice cube melts, the grape "surprise" will be revealed.

More cube fun: On a really hot day, make a necklace of ice cubes! Fill a tray with water. Have your child place a section of string or yarn in the ice cube tray (from one end to the other) before freezing. When the cubes are solid, tie up the two ends of string to create a refreshing ice cube "jeweled" necklace. (This is best worn outside or in the pool!)

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