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Posted on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 : 8:30 p.m.

Snow day family fun: making snow cream

By Tammy Mayrend

With our first snow day of the year, (actually my son's first snow day ever) my family and I crammed a lot of activities in: We went sledding, shoveled/played in the snow, hooked the dog to the sled to create a fun "dog sled" activity (the dog was not as thrilled), had snow cones and made snow cream.

What's snow cream you ask? Why snow ice cream... It's easy, it's yummy, and it's a fun activity for the entire family!

Here is a simple recipe for making your own snow cream plus a how-to video of our experience!


Basic Recipe:

1 cup of milk 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Large bowl of clean snow

Before beginning make sure all ingredients are available and nearby and make sure the children wash their hands. I had gone out to scoop the clean snow and made sure the bowl was handy by the back door, too.

First, measure the sugar into a bowl and add the milk and vanilla. Mix thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved. Next add the snow and mix until it resembles ice cream - You may need to cut the snow into the mixture rather than actually "mixing" it.

If you would like other flavors, replace the vanilla with chocolate syrup, puree some bananas or strawberries and add them, or add any flavor you and your family will enjoy - the sky is the limit!

Eat and enjoy!

Tammy Mayrend is a search marketing professional who blogs on local activities for families at


Tammy Mayrend

Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

Thanks for the comment Linda Diane, special care should be taken with snow to make sure it is taken from cleaner areas, and there is (as you mentioned) some concern about when/if snow is safe to eat. Parents might consider: - Does the snow come from a rural or urban area? Snowfall in more rural areas should be cleaner due to less pollution. - Is the snow fall coming off of older homes that might carry old paint/potential lead risk? - What color the snow is before eating to make sure it isn't contaminated with algae, animal urine, contaminants, etc. - Consider that manufactured snow or snow in/near roadways would carry potential risk. I have heard though, that snow, as it falls becomes cleaner. I of course can not find that fact right now, however when great amounts of snow fall, I find little reason to not have fun with some freshly collected snow. The kids don't need to make a meal of the treat - Frankly my kids had more fun making it than eating it! A fun snow link - <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> And finally, if kids don't want to eat the snow due to contaminates, them possibly they can try a few experiments collecting snow from different times throughout a storm to see what the snow contains as it falls. They wouldn't be able to see chemicals, but could smell the water and certainly see if particles were included or if it has a different color. Might be worth checking out. As always parents should help make the right choices for their families. I too loved Little House in The Big Woods, where maple syrup was poured onto the snow as a treat - it really is too bad parents can't take this for granted any longer!

Linda Diane Feldt

Tue, Feb 1, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

It sounds like a fun project, but I'm not sure that &quot;clean&quot; snow can be found. Snow acts to attract heavy metals and pesticides in the atmosphere. The levels would usually be very very low, but since there is no nutritional value in snow I'm not sure it is worth the exposure. I ate a lot of snow as a kid. The composition (through contamination) has changed in the last few decades. And it is a sad thing that even this fun thing has a dark side. Or at least should be approached with some small amount of caution. I hate to be a negative voice, but at least people should be aware that even something traditional and fun like this should be an educated decision. Most of the snow studies seem to be in more pristine environments, not in cities. I would think the results would be worse in more dense areas. I loved reading about maple syrup poured over fresh snow. I think that was from the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. It just doesn't seem like such a good idea any more. This is a minuscule risk compared to something as simple as walking across the street in Ann Arbor. But still worth considering.