How Do You Teach Preschoolers to Make Butter?


Quick Answer

Fill a glass jar with heavy cream or whipping cream, cover it securely with a well-fitting lid, and instruct preschoolers to shake the jar vigorously for 10 to 20 minutes to make butter. This activity is often taught as part of a farm or food theme, and it is easily modified to fulfill various objectives.

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Full Answer

Allow each preschooler to make his own butter by giving each student a small glass or sturdy plastic jar, or use a pint-size jar to teach preschoolers how to make butter as a class. Fill the jar or jars about half full of cream, and encourage students to shake the jar until the liquid begins to form into small, yellow clumps. Play music and dance while making the butter, or read a story to keep children from losing interest.

Check the butter often, and help preschoolers observe and identify the various changes the cream goes through as it becomes butter. The mixture typically thickens as the fats and proteins in the cream clump together, and then may separate again before forming a solid clump of butter. Add one or two clean marbles, depending on the size of the jar, to speed up the process.

Serve the butter at snack time with crackers, muffins or toast, or let children take the butter home along with a note explaining the activity to parents. If the butter is not used immediately, prepare it for storage by scooping out the butter, draining the remaining buttermilk and then rinsing the butter in cold water.

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