– Go for a hike while you are making butter with kids.

In this consumer based society it is easy to become disconnected from where things actually come from. When my parents were growing up they went to the store and bought butter much as I do today. The difference is, that as they went to the store,
they were far more likely to pass the neighbor who kept a cow for fresh milk and another with a thriving vegetable garden in their front yard. They grew up knowing and seeing where their food came from. Today, unless your child lives in a farming community, we need to work harder to make sure that our children understand and appreciate how things appear on the store shelves. Making butter with kids is one way to demonstrate how food is made.
Make butter while you hike.
Before doing this activity go visit a farm if you can. We are lucky to have a working farm near us that serves as an educational center for kids. If you don’t have a farm available to visit you can read books, watch videos, pretend to be farmers.

This is a fun activity that gets kids out in nature and thinking about how we can interact with nature to make something new.

Exercise/Gross Motor
Observational and Critical Thinking Skills
butter hikeMaterials:
Glass Jar
Heavy Whipping Cream (Be sure you use quality cream for your butter. Since it’s practically your only ingredient, you will taste the difference.)
Pour the cream into the glass jar, leaving some room for the cream to agitate.
Go for a hike.
When we make butter we’re agitating the fat in cream so much that we force the fat globules in the cream to separate from their liquid neighbors, and clump together to form butter. It’s like making whipped cream… times 10.
Have the kids do different actions. For example, tell one child to run a short distance while another child jumps, skips, spins, etc., the same distance.
Then have them compare how their butter looks.
At some point you might wonder if somehow you have messed something up. And then…you see clumpy curds in milky liquid.
This is a good sign!
Keep going!
At the end of the hike, when your cream has transformed into butter, enjoy with a snack.
Talk about the changes that you observed. Isn’t it fascinating how by displacing molecules (shaking the cream) we can turn a liquid into a solid?
For more information on the science of making butter visit Scientific American
More fun activities for you to do with the kids:
A mandala treasure hunt, cooperative game and visual processing activity all in one.Footprints Gross Motor GamePrivacy Circle- teaching privacy to children




  1. Katie

    What a fun activity for kids! We will definitely be doing this over the summer, thanks for linking up with us!

  2. Erica

    Your post title lured me right in! This brings back so many memories for me from all of my years in elementary school. Every year one class made corn bread, another shaken butter, etc. with each of the six grades bringing something to the table for our Thanksgiving feast. I remember when I was in the fourth grade and got to shake the butter, taking turns with my classmates – this was like 27 years ago!! I love your idea for turning it into a snack made while hiking – I’m hiking Mt Washington this summer and will totally do this with my family!!

    • Mosswood Connections

      It makes us happy to hear that we brought back fond memories for you. Have fun making butter on your hike this summer!

  3. Tiffany

    This is great! I did this one year with my grade 1s when we were learning about farming communities. They thought it was the greatest thing they had ever seen! Then when they got to taste it after they were just over the moon!

    • Mosswood Connections

      Thank you. You sound like a great teacher. That is a great activity to pair with a unit on farming communities. Fresh butter does taste amazing.

  4. Tarynn Playle

    This is so awesome!! I love how you explain everything and break it all down. I’m actually writing a post about cooking hacks, tips, etc, and one of them is to make butter with leftover cream by making it a game with the kids. I would love to link to this post if you don’t mind-I’m not quite going into the detail you did here. Seriously, I love it!! Thanks for linking up with us! #TakeTime

    • Mosswood Connections

      We don’t mind if you link to this post, so glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by and hosting #TakeTime.

  5. Chloe

    This is such a creative idea. What a brilliant way to learn about churning butter. It sounds like a lot of fun and really interesting as well. Thank you so, so much for linking this to #whatevertheweather. xx

  6. Morna

    What a cool idea! We will definitely have to try this. #whatevertheweather

  7. Jenny Eaves

    This is such a great idea! We will definitely be trying this someday soon, how long a hike did it take to churn it up? I love practical science that kids can actually do themselves and see the results, plus you can eat it, so what’s not to love!
    Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

    • Mosswood Connections

      It took about 20 minutes to turn to butter, but it may depend on on cool or warm the day is.

  8. Cheryl @ ReimerandRuby

    Wow! great idea… Didn’t think of making homemade butter, we always just rely buying in the supermarket, but yes, it’s good that our kids know where our food came from. Thanks for sharing! #WhateverTheWeather

  9. Trena

    Neat idea! We’ve made homemade butter with the curriculum we use.. but just rolling and shaking the jar in the kitchen. Love the application of getting out in nature at the same time! Thanks for sharing with #What to Read Wednesday. We hope you will link up again next week.

  10. Theresa

    That sounds like so much fun. We will have to add butter making to one of our hikes!



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