Thankful Butter

Thankful Butter


  • 7 glass Mason Jars (one per group of 4 students)
  • Heavy whipping cream – several containers
  • Salt
  • Bread product of some sort to taste test the butter!
  • For extra agitation (to help to mix the butter a bit faster) add a marble to the jar!



  1. Break students into desk groups of 4
  2. Students should have one Mason jar and one container of heavy whipping cream at their table space
  3. One student will fill the jar about halfway; remind them to make sure the lid is on tightly!
  4. The next student in the group will begin shaking the jar vigorously. As each student shakes the jar, they will state one thing that they are thankful/grateful for and why!  (This is why it is called “Thankful Butter”!)
  5. Each student should be given a turn to shake the cream in the jar; after about 10 minutes or so, stop, and open the jar
  6. Talk with the students about what they have made so far (whipped cream…explaining that you’d add sugar to make it sweet!)
  7. Continue shaking for a few minutes longer; note how the solids are beginning to separate from the liquid and are forming themselves into a ball
  8. Carefully open the jar, sprinkle in a bit of salt, and shake a couple of minutes more
  9. Open the jar and remove the solid from the liquid – this is your butter!

10.Using a knife, allow students to spread their butter onto    the bread product you have brought in to enjoy!

Talking Points: What’s the science behind this activity?  Heavy cream has a good deal of fat it in, which is why it makes such delicious food items!  By shaking the cream, the fat molecules begin to separate from the liquid.  The more the cream is shaken, the more the fat molecules clump together, thus forming the butter!


Download this activity here





Thankful Butter (Activity also covers snack!)

(STEM, Life Skills)


Grade Range: PreK-8   

Time: 30-40 Minutes


Synopsis: Students are given the materials necessary to enact a chemical change and create a food product.  In the end, the students are able to enjoy the fruits of their labor!



Butter, food, life skills, STEM, thanksgiving