Shake It UP!

November is here, and we are officially into holiday season. Many of us will be organizing our schedules around holiday gatherings and figuring out how to split our time among families and friends. Whether you are hosting, staying close to home, or traveling for the holidays, meal planning is a lot of work. We all know holidays are all about family, but it’s easy to stress out when you are prepping meals and you have children in the way wanting to be involved. While I truly enjoy having my kids in the kitchen on a daily basis, when it comes to preparing holiday meals I am reminded how their ‘help’ isn’t always so ‘helpful’.

In effort to keep this holiday season as stress-free as possible, I have the perfect activity that is easy, only requires one ingredient, and will keep them occupied for a long time. Best of all? They will feel like they have something special to contribute to your family meal.

So, what is it? Butter.

That’s right. Fresh… homemade… creamy… ready to spread on your bread and potatoes… butter. It may not be healthy, but it is a necessity on your holiday table.

This recipe/activity… whatever you want to call it, is so simple it really doesn’t require much for directions. So, turn on some music, gather your supplies, and start dancing and shaking!


  • Leak proof jar/container
  • Marble
  • Heavy Whipping Cream


  • Fill your container about halfway with heavy cream and add your marble.
  • Shake.
  • Shake some more.
  • Keep shaking.
  • Shake!
  • Drain liquid.
  • Spread on your favorite bread and enjoy all that hard work.


I have done this for the past 5 years with my kids. The first time I was certain it was a ‘fail’ because it didn’t look like butter at all. KEEP SHAKING! I provided pictures to show the different stages it will go through. (Don’t be overwhelmed by the pictures. These are not different steps. This is just showing what happens during the process.)



You can hear the marble freely move around as the cream starts to turn frothy


You can hear the marble, but it becomes quieter as the cream starts to thicken


As the cream becomes very thick, you may not be able to hear the marble at all. Keep shaking!


The fat begins to clump and separate from the liquid (buttermilk) and you begin to hear your marble again.


Butter forms into a mass. You can continue shaking and the butter will continue to firm up and turn yellow, but chances are your child’s arms are very tired by now.

Drain the liquid (buttermilk).

Do you have any recipes that need buttermilk? If so, keep it!


Spread it and Enjoy!


  • If you are making this the day of, then I would stop here. If you are making this a few days in advance, it is important to remove as much liquid as possible to keep the butter fresh longer. To do this, drop it in ice cold water and knead it to remove as much buttermilk as possible. Any excess liquid will cause it to spoil faster.
  • Place container in a Ziploc bag for added protection while shaking.
  • You could use a larger mason jar for big kids, but I chose to do a small plastic container for my 2 year old’s tiny hands.
  • Your child will get tired and need a break. If you have multiple children have them take turns shaking one container instead of trying to each do their own.



  • Add a pinch of salt for traditional salted butter.
  • Add powder sugar (or honey) and cinnamon for a sweet butter.


Have an infant/toddler who may be too young for this activity? Put them in the highchair with bowls, whisks, old spice containers, measuring cups, anything you can find! That way they can ‘cook’ with you MESS FREE and you don’t have to chase them around.

Michele Langseth
Michele is a wife and a mother of three girls (7, 4, &1). She is originally from Sioux City, IA but has lived with her husband in North Liberty for almost 9 years. She works from home as an in-home childcare provider as well as a mompreneur making specialty desserts as well as children’s accessories and apparel. She spends her days creating all types of artwork and food while constantly learning new skills. She began her blog this year as a way to document her journey to rediscover her passion for art.


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