Science Behind Making Butter

DIY Homemade butter - Edible Science for Kids

Hello friends and especially to all the super mom’s out there!!!

Today we have come up with another simple and easy science experiment but this time not only science we can call it as ‘Edible Science Experiment’. Yes!! Today I am going to post “How to make Homemade Butter”. Try this activity with your kids. It’s really fun and will fascinate all ages of children.

DIY Homemade butter - Edible Science for Kids

What tastes better than a homemade butter!!? Whether you spread it on a bread or roll it on a roti for dinner, taste of butter by our hands is always top the line. Show this old fashioned fun activity for kids and they will really enjoy churning your own butter at home. Children of any age can understand and more than watching kids enjoy doing this activity.

Homemade butter is made in a variety of different ways and today we are going to learn or make homemade butter using basic household supplies. Let us see what they are!!

Making Homemade Butter

One traditional and classic butter making process is by using a bit of muscle. Hahaha!! Confused!? Yes, we are going to make butter in a jar by shaking it using your muscle strength. It is so simple, fun and easily accessible activity for kids and also improves your child’s motor skills.

Who is it for
This is a cool science activity that is suitable for primary school kids (5-6 year olds) or kindergarteners (3-4 year olds). But that shouldn’t stop you if you have older kids. It is an Yummy activity that can be done by kids of all ages.

Things you need to make tasty Butter

Things We Need for making butter

  • One cup of heavy and fresh whipping cream
  • Clean and tight sealed glass jar with lid. Baby food jars (that have lid) work best if you are preferring to do with the small batches. Whereas a canning jar with a lid, seal and ring works great for larger batches. A different size glass jars could be used for the purpose but the amount of fresh whipping cream should be adjusted accordingly.
  • A clean glass bowl
  • A strainer

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  • Take one cup of fresh cream into a cup or glass bowl. Let it settle to the room temperature (suggested to leave it for five hours in the bowl).
  • Make sure all the glass containers we are going to in the activity are clean and clear.

Steps to Making Butter from Fresh Cream

1) Once the fresh cream is settled for five hours, pour it directly into a clean glass jar. Put the lid on the jar and screw it on tightly.

pour fresh cream to the bottle

2) For the next step, you may want to get a helping hand ready for shaking the jar. My daughters helped me while shaking and they both took turns to shake it. This is the only step where we need to put little efforts to take out butter. It will take several minutes of vigorous shaking to make butter from the cream! Shake it until the sloshing sound stops.

close and shake the bottle to get butter

3) After few minutes, the fresh cream will thicken and the sloshing sound stops too.

4) About the half way through, you may stop shaking and open the lid to show your kids what’s happening inside the jar.

Make your own butter

5) The fresh in the jar has just turned into a whipped cream. My younger couldn’t control herself from tasting it.

6) Place the lid back on and keep shaking until the sloshing sound stops again. This sloshing sound is because of the butter milk separating from the butter.

7) Almost we are done, shake the jar for few more minutes and take the lid off. You can see the solid mass inside the jar which is nothing but our yummy and tasty homemade butter.

8) Pour off the butter milk out of the jar using a strainer into an empty cup.

making butter experiment for kids

9) Here we go!! The most awaited homemade light and fluffy butter is ready to slather on your toast, bread etc. Flavour your butter with a pinch of salt and chopped herbs to make your toast tastier.


Before you start shaking, note down the time or put your stop watch on to take note on how long does it take to make butter out of fresh cream.

Now we jump into our second easy way of making butter at home as I already promised you in the beginning that I will tell you the three different methods.

Using Hand Beater

Were your hands paining? Let’s make the activity little more simpler.   We are going to replace our bottle movement with a beater. 



Do the preparation same as we did in the first method of making homemade butter. (Bringing the fresh cream to room temparature).

pour cream to the bowl


Take a cup of fresh cream into the jar and beat it with your hands. That is the reason I said ‘you need to invest your energy to make tasty homemade butter. 🙂

beat the cream to get butter

Beat the butter using beater until the liquid separates out and a solid mass is formed. The solid mass is nothing but our yummy butter. Nothing can beat the taste of homemade butter in this world.

Separating butter from milk

This recipe is for unsalted butter. If you want salted butter, you can add required salt to the fresh cream itself before you start beating it.

filter buttermilk from butter

Separate the butter from the glass jar and knead it for some time so that you can save the butter from getting rancid.

Now it’s time for our third method – Let’s use motorized beater. 

This method saves your energy while making homemade butter. Hahaha!! Yes, in this recipe you can use electronic beater to whip the cream.


    1) Pour a cup of fresh cream into a clean and clear glass jar and start beating it. This time you can beat the cream using electronic beater.

    2) Beat the cream until the sloshing sound made by the separating liquid stops.

    Making Butter Kitchen Science For Kids

    3) After sometime you can see butter separating from the butter milk in the glass bowl.

    4) Take out our fluffy butter from glass bowl into a cup and keep it under cold water in order to remove excess water from the butter.

    How to make delicious homemade butter buttermilk edible food science activity for kids

    Now our fresh homemade butter is ready to consume. It is very easy to make and saves your money than buying expensive butter from the stores.

    How long can you store the homemade butter?

    You can store homemade butter for 3-5 days at certain room temperature and 7-10 days if refrigerated. Make sure to store it with the lid on. The liquid that is formed while making butter is also can be stored in the fridge for 5-8 days.

    TIP: If you want to speed up the churning process, add some marbles to your glass jar before beating the cream. This works as an agitator and help churn the butter a bit faster.

    I suggest you to give a try to this activity which helps your young kids to watch and taste the wonderful final product.

    Making butter and buttermilk from cream

    Science Facts Behind Butter Making

    What is the science behind making butter?

    When shaking the fresh cream, the fat molecules in the cream get shaken out of position and clump together. Eventually, after enough agitation, the fat molecules that are clumped so much forms butter. During this process, the fat molecules gets separated from the liquid in the cream, and this liquid is called buttermilk and can be removed.

    Why does shaking cream make butter?

    Cream is nothing but the milk fat, a complex mixture of lipids gets stabilized by its own fat molecules. When the cream is stirred up, the fat molecules all together forms a clump leaving the water molecules since fat hates water. 

    Does heavy cream turn to butter?

    Yes, heavy cream absolutely turn into butter. When the cream is agitated, the fat molecules get shaken out of position and clump together forming butter.

    Can you turn half and half into butter?

    Unfortunately, half and half won’t work as a substitute since it contains very less content of fat to whip. 

    How much cream does it take to make a pound of butter?

    We will get about half as much butter as the amount of cream used (when shaking). For example: One quart (32 ounces) of Heavy Cream will yield 1 pound (16 ounces) butter plus about 2 cups buttermilk.

    Can you turn butter into cream?

    Yes, the butter can be turned into cream. Butter should be melted and mixed with the butter milk again to make cream. We can also turn butter into cream by mixing butter with whole milk. 

    What is the difference between butter and whipped cream?

    Both cream and butter are dairy products (means they are derived from the cow’s milk) and closely related. Cream is high source of butter fat where as butter is a semi solid form of cream. However, butter is higher in fat than cream.  

    Is making butter a chemical change?

    Yes, the cream goes through a physical change when it is churned into butter. The fat molecules clumped together while stirring or shaking causing the liquid (water molecules) to be squeezed out of the solid mass (butter). This physical change is absolutely reversible. The butter can be melted and mixed with buttermilk to make cream again.

    If you enjoyed this butter activity, you could try our whole set of activities in our edible science page

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    How To Make Tasty ButterMaking-Homemade Butter with Kids

    How to Make a Lava Lamp at Home

    Lava Lamp For Science Loving Kids

    We are thrilled to bring another density science experiment to you. If you liked our fireworks in water experiment, you will love making this lava lamp at home. 

    Lava Lamp For Science Loving Kids
    My daughters and I were super excited to do this experiment after watching many videos. We wanted to make our own version of it. The neighborhood chemist was short of the fizzy tablet which delayed our experiment for a while. 

    On a Friday, my husband brought home the long awaited Fizzy tablets. That made us all set to do the lava lamp at home. 

    Science Concepts Discussed
    Density of liquids, Fizzy Science
    Who is it for
    When we did this experiment, my elder one was 7 and the younger daughter was 5. Density is a good concept to be explained for older kids. So the experiment would be well suited for kids of 5 to 6 year olds or older kids of aged 7+

    What we need to make your own lava lamp at home?

    Except the fizzy tablet, you might have all the required materials at home

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    Let’s get into the lava lamp experiment. 

    DIY Homemade Lava Lamp

    Step 1: Pour water in your glass container. Fill just 1/4th of your container. We used regular tea cups. You can choose the size of the container based on your preference. Longer the height of the container, better the effect.

    fill the glass cups with water

    Step 2: My younger daughter prefers to play with colors, so  I let her add food colors to the water that we already added. You can choose your own color, I liked red and green as they bring out wonderful blobs. 

    Mix Food Colour in to water Go Science Girls
    Step 3: Just to be sure, we stirred the food color & water mixture a bit with a fork. Normally, the food colors get dissolved in water instantly. If you are using powdered food colors, this step might come handy to mix the food color well with the water. 

    Mix Food Color With Water homemade lava lamp

    Step 4: Next, my elder daughter poured oil on top our food color water mixture. Fill up the 3/4 of the container with oil. This is where all the action is going to happen, so it is important to have enough oil to show the blobs clearly. Also be gentle with pouring oil. Let is sit for a few minutes so that all the bubbles would settle down and your kids can clearly see the oil on top of the colored water. 

    Add oil in each glass - homemade lava lamp experiment

    Step 5: Now we are ready for action. I let my elder daughter to drop the fizzy tablets into the solution that we prepared. The tablet would slowly dive in and reach the colored water at the end. That’s when the fun started. We started seeing beautiful blobs coming out of the water and reaching the top. Seeing the action, my daughter quickly put tablets in all four mixtures that we prepared. 

    Add fizzy tablet in each glass - lava lamp experiment for kids

    The kids were thrilled to see the blobs. Finally we did it. We made our own home made lava lamp.  

    seeing the blobs in lava lamp experiment

    My daughter got a good idea – what if we see this with black light? Why not? Tisha quickly brought the black light torch and switched it on. The kids started jumping on joy watching the lava lamp in UV light. 

    We were very happy that all turned out well. 

    making lava lamp by kids

    I let the kids enjoy the show for a while. Then I started explaining the science concepts behind the blobs. 

    Science Behind Lava Lamp
    I always prefer to ask questions before explaining the science behind any activity. 

    As a mother of curious girls, we should always encourage our kids to ask as many questions as possible. 

    Here are some of the questions and the suitable answers that you can use to discuss with your little ones.  

    What happens when you make a homemade lava lamp?
    When the Fizzy Tablet added with water, it combines with water and creates carbon dioxide. The released carbon dioxide gas bubbles rise up in the oil while carrying the  food colored water. You should see big blobs initially due to the fastness of this chemical reaction. Eventually, the chemical reaction will slow down and the food colored water comes back down to its original place. 

    Though chemistry plays a major role, the underlying science concept for the blob to come out is density of materials. Density can be defined as amount of material that can be fit into given space. 

    Which is heavier – water or Oil. Why is it heavier?
    Water is heavier than oil. You could do a simple experiment. Measure up 500 ml of water and 500 ml of oil in two similar containers and weigh them up in a kitchen scale. Your kids can visibly see that the water is heavier (in mg / lbs) compared to oil. 

    Water is heavier because the density of water is higher than the oil. In other words, the molecules of water are tightly packed compared to oil. This is why oil floats on top of water. 

    Why does food coloring mix with water and not oil? Why does water and oil not mix?

    When food color is mixed with water, it instantly mixes with water. The concepts work more like magnets. Don’t we remember, the opposite (north and south) poles attract each other? Similarly water particles have negatively charged oxygen and positively charged hydrogen. They both attract each other due to polarity. 

    On the other hand, oil does not have any charge (i.e. no positive or negative charge). That is the reason why it couldn’t mix with water. 
    What is meant by fizzing tablets?

    Effervescent tablets / Fizzy tablets are uncoated tablets. They have typical kind of substances that would  instantly react with water (if mixed) and create carbon dioxide as a result of chemical reaction. Do you know, you can create a carbonated liquid just by using fizzy tablets? 

    How does Alka Seltzar affect water and oil?

    Alka Seltzar when mixed with water produces carbon dioxide. The released gas forms a bubble and tries to reach the top as a result we get blobs. 

    What is Alka Seltzer composed of?

    Aspirin, Citric Acid and Sodium Bicarbonate are the components of Alka Seltzer. Actually the sodium bicarbonate and the citric acid what mixes with water and creates carbon dioxide. 

    How do you make a lava lamp without Alka Seltzer?

    There are options to use salt to make a homemade lava lamp. Otherwise you can simply use citric acid with baking soda in 1:2 ratio to substitute Alka Seltzer. 

    Can you make a lava lamp with olive oil?

    Yes, ofcourse, you can use any vegetable oil. All we wanted to show that Oil floats on top of water.

    How much vegetable oil do you put in a lava lamp?

    I prefer to have atleast 3/4 of the container. So for 1 portion of water, I would add 3 portion of oil for a lava lamp. 

    Can you leave lava lamps on all night?

    The original lava lamps are not safe to leave on all night. Because the original lava lamp produces heat and it is not safe to keep the heat rising. On the contrary, the homemade lava lamp eventually will die off after some due as the chemical reaction would stop. i.e. once the citric acid and sodium bicarbonate goes off after the chemical reaction, the blobs will slowly die off. Because, there are no more carbon dioxide produced. And the colored water will come down and settle down with the rest of the water. 

    Are lava lamps supposed to get hot?

    Real lava lamps do get hot.  Typically, you should not use the lava lamp for more than  8 hours at a stretch. 

    Can you touch a lava lamp?

    Real lava lamps are normally hot. So it is not safe to touch a real lava lamp. 

    Caution for parents ...
    All the experiments in our blog requires parents guidance and support.  Adults should always overlook when the kids try out any science experiment. 

    Small kids are always attracted to colorful liquids. Though there is nothing harm in tasting food colored water or vegetable oil, there is significant side effect of tasting fizzy tablets. KEEP THE TABLETS AWAY FROM YOUR KIDS. 

    Serious Precaution: Effervescent Tablets (Fizzy Tablets) are not safe for children. In any situation, we advise not to let your kids to taste or consume the tablet. Consuming Fizzy Tablet might cause nausea, dizziness or drowsiness. If face such condition, contact your physicist immediately. 

    Though the lava lamp looks incredibly cute, keep off the little ones from drinking or tasting it. 

    Home Made Lava Lamp Experiment for Kids

    Disclaimer:This post contains affiliate links from Amazon. An affiliate link means that when you purchase using the link provided in this page, I would get a small referral fees WITHOUT any extra cost to you. I highly appreciate your understanding and support.