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  • Writer's pictureTeam Backcountry

Project Winter: Snow Ice Cream

Updated: Feb 2, 2022

Check out the second of five winter outdoor projects to try in the colder weather!

We know, we know, it's cold. But along with the cold, winter brings a whole new array of sights, scents, sounds, tastes, and textures. Children are naturally curious, and time spent outside provides ample opportunities for adventure, discovery, experimenting, and problem-solving. From the satisfying sound of leaves and frost crunching under their feet to investigating a single snowflake, to experiencing the fastest sledding hill in the neighborhood, your child can kick the restlessness of cabin fever, and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of the outdoors, even in winter. Need some inspiration to get outside?! Snow Ice Cream is the second of five winter activities to help you take a break from screens, get some exercise, and turn the cold weather into a chilly treat in a few easy-to-follow steps.


· Bowl full of fresh, clean snow

· 4 oz of sweetened condensed milk

· For Chocolate: a packet of hot cocoa mix

· For Vanilla: 1 tsp vanilla extract

· Optional: Sprinkles

· Bonus: Make your trip to King Soopers for ingredients count for the Backcountry Conservation & Education Fund. Click here, sign into your King Soopers' Digital Account, then connect your account to an organization. Choose "Backcountry Conservation & Education Fund" or "JM600"

What you do:

1. Go on a Snow-Hunt: Get outside after a fresh bit of snow, and walk around collecting snow from untouched places. Take your time and have some fun with this! You can also plan ahead and leave your bowl out to gather the freshest snow possible. Good snow=Good snow ice cream.

2. Add Sweetened Condensed Milk: Add about 4 oz of condensed milk to your snow, and stir until it is all mixed in. You may need to add less or more of the condensed milk to get your desired consistency.

3. Special Flavors: Add the chocolate cocoa mix or vanilla extract, and stir completely.

4. Make it Fun: Add sprinkles, grab a spoon, a bowl, and some friends, and ENJOY!

5. PRO TIP: Make it Science! Look for animal tracks as you gather your snow! Can you see where a rabbit has been looking for food? How about a bird or a mouse? Try to make predictions about what these animals may have been doing when they left these tracks. You can also pick some snow to investigate closely. Can you find a single snowflake? Can you find a few to compare? Try to bring a magnifying glass along and really investigate what goes into this yummy treat!


Tara was an Environmental Education Coordinator with the Backcountry Wilderness Area and is now a teacher. She was born and raised in both North Carolina and Colorado where she spent a lot of her childhood outside, and now as an “adult” she strives to provide opportunities for today’s kids to do the same!  When she’s not finding new adventures and trails to explore with her husband, little ones, and friends, she’s probably taking pictures of her cat, (Chicken) Nugget Warrior Princess.

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