Summer seems to be on its way, but with it could come more restrictions than normal. In a year where kids may not quite get to have the holiday they usually would, it means having to find ways to bring the fun to them.
Now, nothing says “summer” quite like ice cream! What’s more, making your own with your kids could mean not only that it’s fun and creative, but also that it’s cheaper in the long run than buying from the store. And of course, by making your own ice cream, you can rest assured you know exactly what’s gone into it.
We took the time to test out a whole bunch of ice cream makers so that we could find the best ice cream maker for kids. Let’s go!
Who says that ice cream has to come in scoops?! We love watching the videos online of ice cream being poured out onto frozen plates and then expertly scooped into rolls before our very eyes, so we decided to try our own.
This fresh and easy approach to making ice cream has shown us that there’s a much simpler way of doing things and with kids around, that’s always a bonus. The kit was easy to assemble, and we had to put everything in the freezer for a few hours before use, so that it was cold enough to make the ice cream.
Then, once we were ready, it was a case of pouring our own mixture on, waiting just 20-25 seconds for it to harden, and then scooping it up into rolls. It meant immediate ice cream, no waiting, and the clean-up was simple, just like washing a couple of pans.
The only problem is that on a warm day, you’ll have to put the kit back in the freezer again so it could be a real pain if everyone wants a go, but for the low price and the novelty effect, we loved the idea.
It was so exciting to start using this ice cream maker because it looks exactly like the soft-serve machines we used to stand in front of, as the ice cream man filled our cones as kids.
We ordered the white machine but the pink one looks so cool that I wish we’d gone for that one, but the function of the machine is still exactly the same. It’s just the ticket to get kids excited to make their own ice cream, with a place for cones, dispensers for sprinkles, and that all-important lever for ice cream goodness.
The other thing we really appreciated was that we had fresh, soft ice cream swirling into the cone just 20 minutes after we started, which means there’s no time for kids to get bored and wander off to do something else. You do need to put a few items in the freezer for hours beforehand, though, so it’s not a straight-out-of-the-box kind of gig.
All we had to add were cream, milk, sugar and flavoring, but it’s so important to follow the instructions, and we can’t stress that enough! It’s carefully timed so if you’re too quick, you’ll get soggy cones but if you wait too long, then it’s very tough to dispense. We repeat: follow the instructions!
There are a lot of parts to the machine, too, so cleaning can be a real pain but still… to get delicious soft-serve ice cream with sprinkles we thought it was worth it.
Now, the Whynter is a little pricier than the other ice cream makers in the list, but we had to include it because it’s such a great machine. We’re kind of cheating with this one in that it’s not exactly for kids but with all ice cream makers there should be adult supervision!
The bright pink design is gorgeous and it’s a sturdy machine that doesn’t need to have any of its parts frozen before use; it’s a plug-in-and-go kind of machine that might take up to an hour to get the perfect ice cream but honestly, it’s so worth it.
The quality of the machine and the ice cream that it makes is also worth the asking price. It’s great fun to make not just creamy, delicious ice cream that tastes just like the hand-churned stuff we loved as kids, but also frozen yogurt, sorbets, sherbert… the works.
It has a great setting for frozen Greek yogurt and this makes it the perfect device for the whole family because once the kids have had their fill of their favorite mint-choc-chip you can indulge yourself with some delicious Greek yogurt with honey.
It can make practically anything you can think of, and because it’s its own freezer, you don’t need to transport the ice cream you’ve made to your own freezer. Not that you’ll need to worry about keeping it because the quality of the ice cream is so good, the family will easily polish it off.
The whole thing’s so easy to clean, so you can leave this part to the kids!
We had to put two Cuisinart devices into the list because we’ve found that across the board, they really do have the most reliable ice cream machines on the market.
We especially loved this ICE21R Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet maker for several reasons, which is why this hits our number 2 spot.
First, it’s fully automatic and so easy to use that even though by now we’ve had plenty of experience making our own ice cream (our waistlines are NOT grateful for that) we know that these days, there’s very little time to sit down and learn a skill when there are kids to entertain.
The easier, the better, and this device truly delivers. You put in the ingredients, switch it on, and then wait until it’s done, which can take as little as 20 minutes for frozen yogurt, though you’ll need a little longer for ice cream.
This particular edition is a firm favorite because it’s been made jointly with Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and we all know that they’re the experts when it comes to making some of the world’s most delicious flavors. We loved the book of recipes that came with it, and the kids will enjoy making their way through it!
Easy to use, easy to clean, easy to eat all the delicious desserts and treats that it makes. There’s so much that’s good about this machine. But is as quite as fun as our number one?
Ultimately, we just had to choose this as our number one because it’s the fun factor that wins above all else for us. Especially when you consider that this whole venture was to find the best way to entertain kids, the Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball delivers in more ways than one.
It’s appealing to look at, fun to use, and educational, too. It’s more than just putting ingredients into a machine and switching it on, and let’s face it, our kids watch us doing that with kitchen appliances all the time. This is something else.
It’s wire-free, requiring zero electricity, because the whole idea is making ice cream using movement, hence the ball. You need to add ice and salt for the freezing process, but there’s no need to put parts in the freezer. Add your ingredients, close it up, and start the game!
Ice cream needs churning but usually this is thanks to a heavy motor, which is why most ice cream makers weigh a ton and take up a lot of power. But with the ball, you’re doing the work of churning yourself, only it’s fun rather than hard work.
Roll the ball around, toss it between each other, just don’t drop it because it’ll crack! If the kids are very young, definitely stick to rolling it around but older children and teenagers will be find throwing it to one another.
It’s less expensive than most electrical ice cream makers, but definitely provides the most entertainment and at the same time teaches kids the basic science of kinetic energy being used to churn liquids into solids, and so on.
Kids will love it, as it’s cooking that doesn’t feel like work but they’ll be really happy with the results.
And There You Have It!
We had a blast making all these different ice creams, but the most fun was definitely the Play and Freeze ball because it had that perfect blend of work and reward that kids thrive on.
We have to move onto something else now, though, because we’ve eaten enough ice cream to last us for years!