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Maker Monday: Butter in a Jar

maker monday
Sally Quinn
December10/ 2018

This fun maker activity gives kids a chance to make something the whole family can share. Butter in a Jar can add a special touch to the breakfast table or dinner.

Use a mason jar or try a baby food jar for smaller hands. We went with an upcycled salsa jar for our butter.

Older kids can appreciate the science behind making butter. To put it simply, fat molecules in the cream are held in little globs. As you shake or whip the cream, the globs smack together and the molecules escape. Then, with additional shaking and whipping, air becomes incorporated into the cream, first making whipped cream. Continue shaking, and the air is whipped out and the fat molecules bump back together in clumps, making butter.

The process might take about 20 minutes, so taking turns between kids makes sense.

maker monday


Heavy cream

Glass jar


maker monday


Fill the jar halfway with heavy cream and add a clean marble. The marble will help promote agitation of the fat molecules and speed the process up a bit. Hearing the marble clink against the glass is a way to track how the cream thickens. Start shaking!

maker monday

You can open the jar and check on progress as you go. It’s cool to see the cream transforming itself into whipped cream and then butter.

maker monday


Once you can no longer hear the marble, you can expect to find soft butter inside. Enjoy on toast or crackers with a dollop of jelly. Refrigerate the butter and use within a week.

For more Maker Monday projects and other fun stuff for kids, visit the Kidsburgh Activities page.

Sally Quinn

Sally Quinn is an award-winning writer and editor who has been covering her favorite city for more than 30 years. She appreciates all that Pittsburgh offers families and has a blast guiding her 10 grandkids to new discoveries. Sally welcomes your comments and story ideas for Kidsburgh.

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