Kids Can Explore States of Matter by Making Butter

14 November


We made butter! This is something I have been wanting to do for a while, but never had a reason.  This week though we were talking about baking, so I decided we would make some butter. (No butter isn't baked, but you bake with it. That makes sense right?)

If you need a specific amount of butter you need to start with double that amount of heavy cream.  You also need a clean container with a good fitting lid (we used mason jars), and a few clean marbles speed up the process.  We did learn that smaller amounts form butter quicker then large amounts.


Start by pouring your cream (warm it up a few minutes for it to work faster) into your jar and add the marbles. You can add a little salt too if you want salted butter.

Now you can introduce kids to the idea of liquids. The cream is liquid; it flows and changes shape with the container.


Then you can choose any number of ways to agitate the cream.  We tried rolling...



And shaking...



But the girls favorite by far was jumping! By this point they were trying to figure out what would happen. I told them it was going to turn into a solid. It was going to turn into butter. Then I went on to describe what a solid was (something that does not readily change shape).


A few minutes later, the girls were starting to think it wouldn't work, and then it started to sound more solid then liquid.  I looked at it and it wasn't quite butter, so we shook some more.  I noticed it sounded really liquid again once it was fully separated because the buttermilk was sloshing around! So here is our butter (and buttermilk)!


We poured off the buttermilk (and saved it for baking too) and rinsed the butter with cold water. If you don't rinse off the buttermilk the butter will be sour in a couple days!

And just like that you have turned liquid cream into solid butter with liquid buttermilk.



Then we tried some on bread!



Everyone seemed to approve and learned a little about states of matter too!



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