Homemade popsicles and ice cream are just what summer ordered!

Anything that doesn’t require turning the oven on in the summertime gets thumbs-up in my book so I’m looking forward to spending time making homemade popsicles and ice cream with the kids. Not only can you can control the ingredients and amount of sugar that goes into them (it’s okay if YOU put the two cups of sugar in but not the popsicle company), but you can also take the quality time that you’re spending with them to teach a life and science lesson about how everything freezes and blends. It’s quite entertaining and it’s so much fun to eat the end result. Of course, it’s hard for mom to do it ALL alone — there are some fantastic products out there to make things freeze a little faster and taste way yummier. While it’s easier to go to the store and buy ice cream or just buy one of the fancy machines that does all the work for you, this is more about giving the kids a fun summer activity and a reward at the end of the project. Here’s a few of my favorites that always make fantastic tasting and pretty looking treats!

Sure this looks like it’s way too fancy to be good but it freezes your pops in seven minutes and you can mix-and-match flavors together in one pop and add in real fruit. Zoku Quick Pop Maker, $49.95, at williams-sonoma.com.

If you’re looking for something simple and fun, look no further than this little contraption. It does take a little muscle to get the ice shaved but it’s fun for everyone to take a turn cranking the ice into the little cups. A fun summer treat! The Original Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine, $14.99, at amazon.com.

If you’re dying to make real homemade ice cream this summer, try making it the real way in a ball! Toss it, roll it, shake it and you’ll have a whole pint of ice cream in no time flat. Have-a-Ball Ice Cream Maker, $25, at Walmart.com.

What’s cuter than a penguin that makes ice cream? Exactly. Be prepared to shake, shake, shake but you’ll get your ice cream and it will keep them busy, busy, busy! Penguin Shaped Easy Quick Ice Cream Maker, $16.95, at amazon.com.

Now we’re talking…it’s a carnival style snow cone maker that is perfect for just you and kids or for bringing to all the summer BBQs. I think I’ve met my match! Snow Cone Maker, $39.99, at target.com.

What’s your favorite icy summer treat?