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Beat the heat with homemade snow cones

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Among the many great ways to stay cool in summer is to make your own snow cones. When you’re looking for fun things to do with kids at home, homemade snow cones are a treat that all ages can enjoy.

Everyone can take part in making snow cones at home, even very young children. Though mom or dad may need to help with making the ice and–though it sounds contradictory to cold–using the stove, kids can help by getting out all the materials needed, choosing syrup flavors, stirring your concoctions, using their imaginations to create new flavors or for extra fun, designing a menu of snow cone flavors for friends and family.

You can make snow cones at home by purchasing a shaved ice maker and just adding your own syrup, but if you want to make snow cones completely from scratch, you’ll need either a blender or a freezer-safe container and a cheese grater, water, several packets of Kool-Aid, syrup, a saucepan, and a long-handled spoon.

If you’re using a blender, simply add ice and use the feature that grinds the ice into the smallest fragments. Kids can easily help with this by dumping in the ice cubes and taking turns hitting the button on the blender. To avoid the ice melting prematurely, wait to do this step until you’ve made your syrup.

If you’re going the manual route, you’ll first need to fill a freezer-safe container with water and wait until it freezes into a block of ice. While the water is freezing, the kids can work on making the syrup.

Bring water to a boil over medium heat. Let the kids pour in some sugar. Stir the sugar into the water. Add more until the consistency is syrupy. As the sugar dissolves, add 1 to 2 packets of the same flavor of Kool-Aid. Remove the syrup from the stovetop and pour into a container. Repeat this process for as many flavors as you’d like. Chill the syrups in the refrigerator while you’re preparing the ice.

If you’ve frozen a block of ice, remove the container from the freezer and set it in a sink full of warm water. Don’t allow the block of ice to melt, only loosen from its container so it can be removed.

Then, working quickly so as not to melt the ice, you’ll need to scrape the ice with a cheese grater. You may need to apply some pressure to get the ice to shave and starting near the corners may be helpful. If you have a cheese grater that collects into a container it will be more convenient, but you can also scrape the shaved ice into a bowl. Pre-chilling the bowl may prolong the ice from melting.

Once your snow is ready, pour your chilled snow cone syrup over the ice and enjoy a delicious treat with the kids!

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