Homemade popsicles are easy and fun. Kids enjoy it and they require very little work from the mom-in-charge. The first thing you need are molds. Tupperware makes some nice ones, but we are forever losing one piece or another. Dollar stores and department stores sometimes have commercial molds available. They go on sale after July 4th, so that might be a good time to pick some up. If you don’t want to purchase molds you can use muffin cups or ice-cube trays instead.
Personally I don’t use store-bought molds any longer. I prefer to use plastic or paper cups and purchased craft sticks. I bought a huge box of 500 slightly deformed popsicle sticks on sale about 5 years ago. We are just now coming to the bottom of the box. I did notice my local Dollar Store had a package of 200 for $1. When I need new ones later on this summer, I’ll be sure to pick some up.
The cups I use hold 3 oz each. They come in packages of 300 for about $1.50. Paper and plastic ones are both available. I prefer the plastic ones because they can be washed and reused a few times before they sprout leaks. The paper ones must be replaced each time.
I use a large rectangular pan to hold all of the cups after filling them. This makes them easier to carry, keep them all upright in the freezer. Then place them all in the freezer for about 2 hours. They should be partially frozen. Shove popscicle sticks into the cups, they should stand upright in the partially frozen juice.
General Freezing Directions
Prepare the pop-mixture as described in the recipe. Transfer the mixture to a large measuring cup or pitcher. Carefully pour the mixture into your molds. Fill the molds to within 1/2-inch of the top. This gives them room for expansion as the liquid freezes. Place the mold into the freezer for about 2 hours. They should be partially frozen now. Carefully shove your sticks down into the center of each mold. They should stand upright. Continue freezing for about 4 hours, or until frozen solid. Run the mold under tap water to loosen the popsicle before eating.
If possible, try to teach the kids to return the sticks and molds to you when they are done with them. This saves a bit of money and teaches them to be careful with their resources.
Here are some of my favorite Popsicle recipes. Enjoy!