5 Things to do with Great Grandma’s Whisk (other than making cake!)

One of our prized possessions and most squabbled over ‘toys’ is an old fashioned manual whisk! It provides hours of entertainment both indoor and out. Read on for a guide to family fun for this hardworking utensil…

Phew! For  moment there I thought I’d not be able to write this, I couldn’t find a buyable alternative for people not lucky enough to have heirloom kitchen implements.  However, it turns out the problem was just language … the things I want are called egg beaters not whisks! So in the UK you can get a shiny new old fashioned whisk here, or in the US you can get an awesome new set of egg beaters or here.

Anyway, we love our whisk! We don’t even own an electric one.  Our long serving, hard working rotary whisk plays double service – first in the kitchen for waffle day and occasional whipped cream needs and then secondly (or maybe this should read the other way around) for gross motor fun for the kids. Actually thinking about it, it also has a third use – being part of the imaginary play. Does no one else’s garlic press double as a space rocket and spaghetti server have a secret identity while the colander shelters animals? There’s always something missing from my kitchen when I need it!

Manual rotary whisks are fascinating for children because they can see the workings of this simple machine.  They an observe and wonder at how their actions more gears and create spinning. They are also endless fun for the splash, waves, bubbles and okay…mess that they can make! These are probably activities that you’ll want to supervise just to make sure the fun doesn’t spread too far and to ensure little fingers are safe.

Here’s a few simple ideas to keeps minds and muscles busy for a good while.

1. Washing up bowl and bubbles

Let’s keep it simple! This takes virtually no prep. Fill a washing up bowl or tub half full with water and add a good few squirts of washing up liquid (dish soap). Stand the bowl outside or inside on a towel and start off the fun…  It takes a little while to get large volumes of bubbles so you might need to demonstrate what to do with younger children to help the process long. The result should be mounds of delightful suds and squeals!

If you want to add to the fun, then why no get out a pile of toys for washing and drying….add a scrubbing brush or cloth and they’ll be hours of fun cleaning cars, farm animals, dolls or whatever they desire.

2.  Bath Time!

The same principle works with bubble bath of course.  Add their favorite bubbly product towards the end of filling the bath and let them create the rest of the foam themselves.  If you don’t want the metal whisk in the bath then you could try this plastic whisk from Haba.


(And in the UK).  It’s a great way of introducing the rotary action to the youngest of participants and they love to experience the feel of the whirlpool it creates.

3. Fairy Potions and Mud Pies

If Great Grandma doesn’t mind her whisk getting a little muddy then treat it to a wonderful outdoor adventure! Arm each child with a little bucket and let them collect nature treasure from around the garden, woods or wherever you are. Petals, seeds, grass, pine cones, dandelions and daisies are all fair game!  Back at base camp you can simply add water and let them whizz it all up with the whisk or throw in mud and make a fantastic pie.  For added potion magic measure in a couple of spoons of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and a squeeze of white vinegar and watch it bubble right over!

We decanted our mixtures in to other vessels for a bit of pouring practice.

4. Sensory Sea Foam

You can make this in a blender by scaling back the recipe or putting in a quarter at a time. But we wanted to go large and go messy so took the whole lot outside and worked for our fun!

You need:

  • 2 cups / 500mls warm water
  • Quarter Cup / 60mls washing up liquid / dish soap
  • Quarter Cup / 60mls corn flour / corn starch
  • A little blue color… see note below…

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl or tub and whisk with all your might! In no time at all you should have stiff peaks of resilient bubbles that you can scoop of into a larger play bin. Whisk the remaining liquid in the small tub and repeat the process until you have enough foam. Add in what sea creatures for pretend play or stirring and scooping tools for simple fun. Enjoy the mess and a good bath afterwards!

Note: We used food color gels and ended up with very blue hands, arms and legs. It all washed off but I’d recommend trying liquid water colors instead (or in the UK liquid water colours!).

5. Back in the Kitchen

Having honed those whisking muscles why not make yourselves a treat? Pour whipping cream  into a large jug or bowl and whisk until it’s firm. You can sweeten it with sugar or vanilla essence before hand if you like but I don’t tend to. You can serve it on top of fruit, ice cream sundaes or how about portioning it into ice cube trays and freezing it for a delightful way of cooling your cocoa?

Whipped Cream Ice


Come on then, time to dish! What ‘non-toy toy’ do your kids love to play with?


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