CREATIVE FAMILY FUN: Old-fashioned fun making butter

By Donna Erickson

Five-year-old Zach attempts walking on stilts with help from his mom. (Photo by Donna Erickson)

As technology advances at a rapid rate, many of the traditional ways of doing things may be unknown to kids born in the 21st century. Why not take a break from our high-speed, techie lifestyle and experience with kids and grandkids some of the old-fashioned ways of playing and working?

Whether it’s cranking homemade ice cream on a warm evening after putting on a puppet show, playing bean bags, walking on stilts or stacking wood for a night around the fireplace, games and chores can be fun learning opportunities.

Simple techniques from earlier days can be found at living museums, history museums, libraries and in your own homes with treasured photos, antiques in the attic and stories from your kids’ great-grandparents.

To get started, here’s a way of taking back history with your family any time of year. Make your own butter!


Here’s the stuff you’ll need:

— 1 empty, small clean jar with a lid, such as a baby-food or jam jar

— heavy whipping cream

— muffin, biscuit or cracker

— salt (optional)

Now, here’s the fun:

Pour the cream into the jar, leaving space at the top. Screw the lid on tightly. Show your child how to hold the jar in both hands and shake, shake, shake.

It’s great exercise, and you may notice your child might run out of steam. That’s the time to pass it on to someone else to continue the shaking. Eventually, chunks of butter will form.

Spoon out the chunks into a bowl and add a few sprinkles of salt, if you wish. Spread the butter on a warm muffin, biscuit or cracker, and talk about life in an earlier time when butter didn’t magically appear on the grocery store’s dairy shelf.


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© 2022 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Synd.

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