This is a fun activity for kids. Help younger ones make their sodas. You can even make a party around this theme. Make some ice cream sodas and turn on a good movie for a fun evening!
16 to 24 ounce plastic cups (or soda shoppe-style glasses for older kids)
Good quality chocolate syrup
Good quality coffee syrup
Soda shoppe vanilla syrup, raspberry syrup, or other flavors you like
Half and half
Ice cold plain seltzer (flavored seltzers, if you like)
Vanilla, coffee chocolate, raspberry ice cream — really any flavors you like
Whipped cream (canned works well)
Garnishes like cherries, sprinkles, crushed candies, whatever you like
Set this up in the kitchen along a counter with the cups first, then the syrups, half and half and seltzer, and then the ice cream and toppings. Place the half and half in a closed pitcher in a large bowl of ice and let people make their own sodas. Remember to refreeze the ice cream as soon as possible.
This can serve as many as you buy ingredients for and you can expand the varieties of all ingredients when you have a larger crowd. Figure about 6 to 10 ounces of soda, 3 to 5 ounces of half and half and 4 to 8 ounces of ice cream per person. Syrup amounts vary, about 2 to 4 tablespoons per serving.