Making this ‘Iceberg Slush’ has been one of Penguin’s most favoured activities for a few months now! Every now and then, he’ll go into the kitchen cupboard where our ice cube trays sit when not in use and get them out, and then to the fridge to get the orange juice. Saying no at that point is rarely an option. And I love seeing how much he enjoys doing this, so why would I want to stop him? Yes, it tends to get a bit messy, but there are so many positives to this that it’s most definitely worth it. Like many other kitchen activities, making this Iceberg Slush is a great multisensory learning opportunity!
Making ‘Iceberg Slush’
The original recipe for this comes from the children’s TV series ‘Big Cook, Little Cook’, though we’ve developed our own variation on it, and sometimes add something extra depending on what we happen to have at home at the time. So please feel free to use your own or your child’s personal favourite ingredients when making this:
The first step according to the original recipe is to prepare a glass, giving it a fancy ice-like rim. We don’t always do this, but it definitely adds to the experience when we do. All that it needs is some (granulated) sugar on a small plate, and a piece of lemon to rub around the rim of the glass. Then dip the lemon juiced rim into the sugar so that it sticks, and leave it to dry.
The next thing to do is one of Penguin’s favourite parts of the process: Pouring orange juice into the ice cube tray. This ususally gets a little bit chaotic as he likes to do things at some speed (is this really my child?! I’m more like a tortoise or snail myself, lol). But it’s absolutely brilliant practise and his skills when pouring have improved hugely since the first time we made this slush, a few months back, and that’s great to see.
Once the ice cube tray is filled, it goes into the freezer. If you want to, take a second ice cube tray and put berries (fresh or frozen) or fruit pieces in, filling it up with water to make some decorative fruity ice cubes. We’ve done this a couple of times, but Penguin REALLY likes eating frozen berries, so he prefers putting them straight into his mouth rather than into the ice cube tray. A few plain ice cubes could alternatively do the job as ‘icebergs’ in the final drink.
Wait while the liquids freeze into ice cubes…
Once the orange juice ice cubes have set, it’s time to get them out and give them a good bashing! Penguin loves doing this. He pops all the ice cubes out into a big bowl (we have a metal one, plastic should work just as well, but I’d avoid using a glass one), and then uses a potato masher to crush the ice. Apart from it being good fun, it also offers great proprioceptive input (this is a type of sensory stimulation relating to the body’s positioning and strength of movements etc, and it’s a type of input which Penguin generally craves a lot of, as seems to be quite common for many neurodiverse children).
The crushed orange is then scooped into the drinking glass, leaving room to top up with fruit ice cubes (or plain ones, or none if you’re just not fussed about having ‘icebergs’ in there, or worry about them being a choking hazard) as well as some liquid. The original recipe uses lemonade as the final ingredient to fill up the glass with, but we have a thing for Ribena, so that’s what we usually use. We pour in a bit of the concentrated stuff, and then top up with fizzy water. I suspect the final product might look prettier if using lemonade, but we quite like our purple tinted slush.
Add a straw and you’re ready to go! (We like straws, but if you don’t, skip it.) If you’re in a party mood, why not add a lemon slice, and maybe even an umbrella or other decorations to your drink?
For Penguin, the thing he really loves about this is the process. He’ll drink some of the final product, but most of it will be left for me to finish. I don’t mind that.
So, in short:
- Prepare the glass (optional)
- Make orange juice ice cubes
- Make more ice cubes (fruity or plain, optional)
- Crush the orange juice ice cubes
- Put everything in a glass
- Enjoy (optional!)
If you wish to add some extra learning elements into this process (on top of what is intrinsically involved), you could for example count the ice cubes as you empty the trays out, and you could talk about the different forms of liquids (solids, like the ice is, and liquid form, like it is when we pour it, and gas, which we get when we boil water, and also what the bubbles in fizzy water are). From a sensory perspective, you can bring attention to various aspects along the way, such as the colours, temperatures, sounds, smells, tastes, textures etc. However, depending on what your child is like, it can often be good to not overload them with too much talking, and rather step back and let them enjoy and explore the process.
If you make this with some regularity, they will hopefully, gradually become increasingly independent, and you could also add visual supports to show each step of the process. Perhaps take photos of each step the first time you make this, and then print them out to use them as support for the next times?
Hope you have a fun time making slush together! For more kitchen activities (mainly baking) take a look HERE. And to see more of what else we get up to, please join us on social media (find us via the links below). Take care x
- Facebook: facebook.com/sensationallearninguk
- Instagram: instagram.com/sensationallearningwithpenguin
- Pinterest: pinterest.com/senlearnuk
- Twitter: twitter.com/senlearnuk
PS. The ‘Big Cook, Little Cook’ episode with Penny the Penguin, in which they make this Iceberg Slush, can be found on this DVD (amazon affiliate link, opens in new window). The ‘Little Cook’s Cook Book’ which you can see in some of our photos above comes with the DVD! This recipe is also one of the many recipes included in the hardback ‘Little Cook’s Big Cook Book’.
Below are a few more products from amazon.co.uk relating to this post (click on picture or text, links open in new window). Prices stated were accurate at the time of publishing but may of course change.
- ‘Don’t Mess with the Chef’ Child’s Apron, currently £6.79
- Child’s Adjustable Chef’s Hat, currently £3.50
- 100 Striped Paper Straws, currently £3.99
- 50 Fab Flamingo Paper Straws, currently £7.99
- 144 pcs Classic Cocktail Umbrellas, currently £3.98
All links included in this post are Amazon Affiliate links, meaning that if you click through here and decide to make a purchase, I should recieve a small commission from Amazon (of no extra cost to you, of course!) as thanks for pointing you in their direction. Every little helps, thank you ❤
Linking up with: