I have such fond memories of making ice cream as a child, all the salt and turns at the crank. I only recently discovered how easy it is to make ice cream with the automatic ice cream makers. From my experience, it is a guaranteed great playdate and is ideal for mother - child time. Make it extra sweet (mint chocolate chip or cookie dough) to healthy (fresh strawberry) to interesting (get creative !). We have this Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker which makes ice cream in 30 minutes and is plenty tasty. There are many choices of machines all varying in price. For storage, consider this stainless third pan.
For those feeling extra ambitious, I like these ice cream sandwich molds. Enjoy the ice cream and fun with your kids.
Farm Ice Cream Sandwich Mold, Set of 3 at Target $11.99.