Fun preschooler Thanksgiving activity

My son’s preschool sent home a book about making butter the other week. It gave very simple instructions on how butter is made (although I find the premise unrealistic: who has cream sitting around but not butter?)

The day after Mocksgiving, I was glancing at the book when I remembered I had the remnants of a pint of heavy whipping cream in the ‘fridge, which would likely go unconsumed. So I got out a canning jar and lid, had Grey help me fill it half way with the cream, and we started shaking. We passed the jar around the table, shaking as we went. Finally, I was advised I should put some marbles in the jar, because the shaking didn’t seem to be agitating enough.

When Grey and I went to open the jar to add the marbles, however, voila! Apparently, when you use whipping cream, the entirety turns to butter instead of separating to buttermilk & butter. It was a ton of fun and the butter tasted delicious. So, without further ado, here’s how I’d recommend making butter (either ahead of time or the day after) with your preschooler:

1) Get a clean canning jar and lid. A tupperware container would also work. I used an 8 ounce jar.
2) Add about a cup of heavy whipping cream to the jar/container. (You should fill it about halfway.)
3) Add a small amount (half teaspoon?) of salt, assuming you like your butter salted. You can also get inventive and add other flavors, like honey, maple, cinnamon or nutmeg. This would be fun to play around with.
4) Take turns shaking. Make sure your preschooler takes lots of turns, but likely the bulk of the agitation will come from grownup arms. If you trust the seal, you can roll it around on the floor.
5) When you shake but nothing moves, the butter is done. You can then check it out. If you make it in the canning jar, you can serve it right next to your jam on Thanksgiving day!

Published by


Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

5 thoughts on “Fun preschooler Thanksgiving activity”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s