Month: January 2021

Kids at Home with MPPL Blog

STEAM Saturday: Ice Experiments

Did you know that salt lowers the temperature of ice water? To see this process happen, try making ice cream with only a few ingredients.

Materials Needed:
  • 1 Gallon Zip Bag
  • 2 Sandwich Zip Bags
  • 1/3 Cup Rock Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Ice (enough to fill 1/2 of the gallon zip bag)
  • Gloves
homemade ice cream ingredients
Instructions:
  1. In one sandwich zip bag, combine the milk, sugar, and vanilla extract together. Then, zip the bag close.
  2. Put the zipped bag with the mixture in the second sandwich zip bag and zip this one closed. This gives your mixture extra protection.
  3. In the gallon zipped bag, make sure there is enough ice to fill 1/2 of the bag. Then, add the rock salt to the ice.
  4. Place your sandwich zip bags with the mixture into the gallon zip bag of ice and salt. The, zip the gallon zip bag close.
  5. Put on your gloves and shake your gallon zip bag for 10 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes, take you sandwich bags out and open them to tasty vanilla ice cream.

There are many different recipes to make ice cream like this on the internet. We found this one on the Happy Toddler Blog.

Lift Ice Cubes with Chemistry

After making your tasty treat, learn more about salt and ice including why it is used on snowy roads in the winter. You can even learn how to make a piece of yarn to stick to ice with this experiment from Scientific American.

ice stuck to piece of yarn
Photo credit to Scientific American

Maker Monday: Baking Bread

Winter is a great time to bake bread.  While it takes time to rise, the hands-on time of baking bread is minimal.  Helping in the kitchen is useful for reinforcing following directions, practice with numbers, and is way to spend time with kids while bring productive. 

Kid Chef Bakes: The Kids Cookbook for Aspiring Bakers book cover

This recipe is from Kid Chef Bakes, the kids cookbook for aspiring bakers, by Lisa Huff.  It makes two loaves of white sandwich bread.

Tools:
  • Stand mixer or large bowl
  • Plastic wrap
  • 2 loaf pans (8 ½ by 4 ½, by 2 ½)
  • Pastry brush (optional)
  • Wire rack
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups warm milk (2% or whole is best, 105-115° f)
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 T butter at room temperature
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • Butter for greasing pans
Prepare the Yeast:

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attachment, or a large bowl using a spoon, mix the yeast, milk, and sugar. Let stand for 5 min.

Combine the Ingredients:

Add the 2 T butter, 4 c flour, and salt to the yeast mixture. Mix on low with the hook attachment until well blended.  Add more flour as needed, a little at a time, until the dough forms.  Raise the speed to medium and continue to knead for 4-6 minutes or until the dough is elastic.  Alternatively, mix the flour in by hand and knead by hand for about 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Let it Rise:

Grease a large bowl with oil.  Add the dough and turn to coat, then cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place to double in size, about 1 hour (or more if your house is cool). Tip the dough out, split it, and form two loaves. Please each loaf in a greased loaf pan.  Allow to rise again for about 30 min.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. 
Bake:

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until brown and hollow sounding (bread should be about 200° F in the center when baked.) Cool slightly and then tip out onto a cooling rack.  Cut when cool.

Making Butter:

If you are looking for something to do while your bread is rising, try making butter in a jar.  All you need is heavy cream and a jar. Try this recipe: How to Make Homemade Butter

The Science of Yeast:

To learn more about yeast and for some simple yeast experiments, visit: https://redstaryeast.com/science-yeast/yeast-experiments/

Warm Up with Winter Reading!

It may be cold outside, but you can enjoy books and activities from the warmth of your home. Read, attend virtual events, and get creative while earning digital badges and chances to win great prizes. Visit mppl.org/winterreading2021 for all the details!

Register with Beanstack to join in the fun. Then, log each day that you read or that someone reads to you, and enjoy fun activities to earn chances to win prizes!  

Don’t have a smartphone or internet access? Call to request a paper log in English or Spanish (847/590-3320 for English or 847/590-4090 para español).   

mppl.org/winterreading2021