Making Butter in the Classroom with Kids

One of the most basic lessons that any student can understand is processing or preparing food. As an agriculture teacher, I have often taken opportunities to teach kids about producing, marketing, and processing food. For example, I teach students in my wildlife classes to make country cured hams from wild hogs when they are often taught at home to shoot wild hogs and simply leave them in the woods to rot. Making butter is another good example of processing food as a lesson for children.

To begin with you will need very simple materials, which include: A small portion of heavy whipping cream, and, a small (or any size for that matter) glass jar that has a tight fitting lid.butter5

Making Butter in the Classroom

Here is how to make the butter:
1. Have the cream sit out of the refrigerator, at room temperature, for around 12 hours.
2. Put the cream into the glass jar. It may have a slightly sour smell which should cause you no concern.
3. Put the lid on the jar tightly – but be careful not to ruin the top by overtightening.
4. Have your students shake the jar. I recommend that you have them count the number of shakes it takes to make butter.
5. They will have to occasionally open the lid to check for butter. However, they should feel the butter in the jar prior. When the butter is done, a lump of butter should appear in the jar.
6. Buttermilk will be around the butter in the jar. This is what buttermilk biscuits are made with.
7. Drain the milk from the jar and gently rinse the butter several times with water until the water is clear.
8. Drain out the water, then place the butter in a small bowl.

The butter is now ready to eat. You may want to take crackers or biscuits to class and enjoy the butter. Jelly or other sweetners would be great. A personal favorite of mine is butter on hot pound cake. That would be a real treat for your kids in the classroom.