Students of all ages love hands on learning activities. What better way to understand how something works than with interactive educational experiences? Making butter with your students teaching chemistry and science principles and it’s great fun! Here’s how to make butter easily in any educational setting with no special equipment. You will need:
heavy whipping cream (Cream is sold in cup and pint sized cartons in refrigerated section near the milk. It can be expensive, so explain to the store manager that it is for a school project and he may be able to give you a discount.)
recycled clean glass jars or plastic water bottles
zippered plastic bag
refrigerator or cooler to place outdoors if the weather is cold
Procedure to make butter:
Give each student a glass jar or plastic water bottle. Pour one half cup of heavy whipping cream into each bottle. Instruct students to close lid on bottle.
To clabber the cream (make butter), the bottle should be shaken steadily for about 15-20 minutes. If students get tired of shaking they can roll the bottle back and forth on their desks.
While students are shaking the cream, explain the scientific principles behind butter making. Explain the history of butter-making in early America. Explore these websites to help you. Some of these websites offer free printable butter-making lesson plans.
As cream is shaken, it will thicken to a point where it is almost impossible to shake, but don’t stop. It’s not butter yet. Keep shaking until you hear liquid sloshing in the jar. That is the whey. The butter will float in a solid mass in the whey.
Use hand sanitizer.
Pour off the whey and allow students (who are not lactose-intolerant) to sample. Students should cut plastic water bottle with knife around the middle and carefully remove butter with their knives. They can place butter in zippered bag. Instruct students to add small amount of salt for flavor and blend.
Spread butter on crackers and sample. Refrigerate leftover butter or place in cooler outdoors to keep fresh. Students may take their butter home to share with their families.
For more great recipes and lesson plans for children, visit my blogs listed.