The back story actually goes back pretty far- 1994 when I was in fourth grade. My class did a big pioneer unit, and one of the activities was making butter! I remember shaking a little baby food jar till it I got butter. (My mom also helped me hand-sew a doll and she made me a matching dress!) I wanted to recreate it with my kids.When I decided to do this with my kiddos, I headed to my library and requested The Butter Battle Book and The Best of Dr. Seuss DVD that has an animated version of the book. Then I went to the store, and forgot which I needed- heavy whipping cream or half and half? I picked half and half. Wrong! So back to the store to buy heavy whipping cream. My store had a tiny milk carton sized container for about $1.50.
First we read the book, then we worked on the butter. I started with 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream in a pint canning jar. Any little water-tight jar should work. I’m not sure if you have to use glass (I’m remembering from fourth grade with a glass baby food jar) but I had the canning jars so we went with those. I found instructions on LifeHacker that said to shake for 2 minutes, then let it rest for two minutes. Then repeat until you have butter. We ended up shaking 3 times (total of 6 minutes). Before each “rest” we opened them up and took a look at what was happening. At first it was just the liquid, then after the second shake it seemed more like pudding. Then during the third shake we noticed that it was starting to form a solid! When we opened it up after the third shake there was a bit of liquid and chunk of butter! I then poured off the liquid and put it in the refrigerator while we watched the movie.
In our homeschool group, Classical Conversations, our week 13 science memory work is “What are the states of matter? Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma.” It was fun to discuss how we started out with a liquid, added a little friction, and ended with a solid!