Ice Cream in a Bag Recipe (with Milk!)

Shaking up some homemade ice cream in a bag with milk is the perfect summer activity for toddlers.

Hot summer day + bag shaking and noise making + cold tasty treat = total toddler win!

Making homemade ice cream in a bag is much easier than you might think. With the exception of rock salt, you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen! (It’s fine to use regular salt in a pinch, but larger grains of salt make for faster freezing.)

Some people like to use half-and-half instead of whole milk or a combination of the two, but since we’re working with toddlers here I prefer whole milk.

This recipe makes plain vanilla ice cream in a bag, but feel free to add chopped up strawberries, blueberries, or bananas to make this recipe your own.

Ice cream in a bag with milk is a super easy way to delight your toddler on a beautiful summer day!

Want more awesome toddler summer activities? Check out our Toddler Summer Bucket List for 100+ fun activities to do with your toddler this summer!

toddler making ice cream in a bag
Shake shake shake!

How to Make Ice Cream in a Bag with Milk

Click here to jump to recipe.

You’ll need a gallon bag, two sandwich bags, milk, sugar, vanilla, ice, and rock salt.

Start by combining the milk, sugar, and vanilla in a sandwich bag. It’s easier if you prop the bag up by folding the top over and placing the bag in a small bowl or cup.

Zip the bag shut and place it inside another sandwich bag. This will help prevent leaks and spills.

Next, add plenty of ice to your gallon bag. The bag should be about halfway full. Pour in some rock salt. This will help the milk mixture reach a temperature low enough to freeze.

Place the zipped sandwich bag inside the gallon bag of ice. Zip it shut.

Now shake, shake, shake!

The bag will feel very cold, so you might want to have your toddler wear gloves.

After about 10 minutes of shaking, your mixture should freeze into ice cream!

We did this activity outside so the heat made it take a little longer. I ended up putting our bag in the freezer and saving it for an after-dinner treat.

If you want a creamier ice cream, try using half-and-half instead of milk.

We used milk and the final product was a hit! My toddler loved it, and I loved knowing exactly what ingredients were in it since we made it ourselves.

If you want to add toppings, add them after you have shaken the bag enough to freeze it.

Enjoy your homemade ice cream in a bag!

Ice Cream in a Bag with Milk Recipe


  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup rock salt
  • ice
  • 1 gallon bag
  • 1-2 sandwich bags
  1. Pour milk, vanilla, and sugar into the sandwich bag. Add a little chocolate syrup if you’d like to have chocolate ice cream.
  2. Push the air out of the bag and zip it shut. You might want to double bag to avoid spills. If so, place your sandwich bag inside another sandwich bag and zip it shut.
  3. Shake the bag and squish it around to combine ingredients.
  4. Add ice to your gallon bag until it is about half full. Add the rock salt.
  5. Place your sandwich bag inside the gallon bag and zip it shut.
  6. Shake, shake, shake it up until your ice cream freezes – around ten minutes in most cases. I suggest having your toddler wear gloves or wrap the bag in a towel so their little hands don’t get too cold.
  7. Add your toppings and enjoy!

Will you make ice cream in a bag with your toddler? If so share your creation on Instagram! Don’t forget to tag us at Happy Toddler Club and use the hashtag #happytoddlerclub!

Pin for Later!

Want more awesome toddler activities? Follow us on social media so you won’t miss a thing!

Follow Happy Toddler Club on Pinterest

Follow Happy Toddler Club on Instagram

7 thoughts on “Ice Cream in a Bag Recipe (with Milk!)”

  1. Hi! I’m dairy free, so I assume this is ok if it’s made with dairy free milk such as almond milk or oat milk? Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Hi Anna! I have not tried this with non-dairy milk but I imagine it would be fine! Just make sure you shake the bag long enough to let it fully freeze πŸ™‚ Let us know how it turns out!


Leave a Comment