Summer is here! If you aren't stocked up with the best popsicle molds yet, check out the list below before you buy. Between the five, there is bound to be one that fits your budget, helps you beat the heat, and out performs store-bought popsicles.
Why We Make Our Own Popsicles
Even before my husband and I had kids, we could put away some popsicles. I'd buy a box at the store and no matter whether it was summer, winter, spring, or fall, they would disappear within the week. We found them to be a lower-calorie treat to our beloved ice cream, but it was hard to find ones that weren't loaded with added sugar and artificial ingredients. Add to this the expense of easily $4.00 a box, and it just didn't seem like buying popsicles was going to be the best buying decision I could make, with or without kids.
Now with kids (one of popsicle-eating age), I cannot imagine buying store-bought popsicles.
A Need for More Natural Ingredients
Many have ingredient lists that make them better left as an occasional purchase from the popsicle man. I want ones that are healthy enough to offer out every day, if this crazy Houston heat+humidity tempts us to. Sure Bugs Bunny with a gumball nose is cute, but I just can't justify that as an option we have around all the time.
My Money isn't Melting Away
When the more natural popsicle options can got for upwards of $1 a piece, it semi stresses out my SAHM soul when I see half that dollar drip down my little's lips and on to the concrete. I want popsicles that are cost-effective enough for my kids to eat and enjoy without a worry in the world. God knows I am too frugal to spend five bucks a box only from most to melt before it makes it in their mouths.
It's Time to Make the Switch to Homemade
Whether you have a crowd of kids requesting popsicles, little hands you don't want covered in drips, or are looking to make popsicles pronto, there are several popsicle molds on the market so that you and your family can enjoy homemade popsicles this summer.
Here are the 5 Best Popsicle Molds for Any Budget
Best for: Tweens and older
For his first (un)official Father's Day (while pregnant with our first), I splurged to get my husband a Zoku Quick Pop Mold. I knew he would he would be all about acting as my guinea pig so I could practice some popsicle recipes before we officially became parents. Of all the popsicle molds we have owned, this one was by far the fanciest and thus fastest. For those who find themselves (slash, their kids!) too impatient to wait for a popsicle to freeze, this may be your ticket to a cool summer treat. It is expensive compared to other molds, but if it fits your budget it can be a highly-entertaining and engaging buy. I could see this being an especially fun item for tweens and teens who enjoy the novelty of trendy items like this, make use of special gadgets that can be used for social purposes, and are able to experiment with and independently implement ideas for new recipes.
Best for: Kids 6+
When I was on the fence about splurging on the Quick Pop mold, mother-in-law found us these Groovy Pop Molds. They seemed sturdy and about the right size to satisfy my husband and his sweet-tooth; however, I have since found tat they melt more quickly than a little kid can eat them. We have tried several recipes in these molds though and continue to have success with everything from more "ice pop," juice-based popsicles to those that are smoothie-like and creamy in consistency. If making popsicles for a younger crowd, I would consider something a bit smaller like any of the following three options.
Best for: Preschoolers 3 to 5 years
Last summer, I saw several people sharing their love for these Silicon Popsicle Molds with preschoolers. We decided to give these a try for my daughter and leave above Groovy molds for Daddy-sized popsicles. Because the dripping tends to go back down into the tube instead all over the place, these are a slightly cleaner option. Depending on the age and coordination of your young kids, the design of this can still require a little assistance. We found that for little hands with maturing grasping muscles, it can be hard to keep pushing the popsicle up far enough out of these molds to eat. The best solution I've found for this is to use a chip-clip (with a clothes pin like clamp) at the base of the mold to slowly push the popsicle up a little at a time.
Best for: Toddlers 18 months to 3 years
If you are wanting a popsicle that your little one can enjoy before it melts, this may be the best option for you. Significantly smaller than others on the market (or listed above), the mini molds are the perfect size for little mouths and little tummies (holds 2-3 ounces each). Toddlers are able to enjoy this popsicle with ease as it isn't as top heavy as ones designed for older kids (like the Groovy ones). Plus, there is the assurance of a small drip guard to help stop them from getting quite so sticky. The silicon mold Zoku brand uses makes removing these small popsicles very simple for popsicles of all consistencies.
Best for: 18 months to 5 years
These are by far the cutest, most kid-friendly popsicle mold I have found for young ones. If I were starting from scratch on my popsicle mold stash and only buying one product this summer, I would have to say this would be it. Besides "Finding Dory" becoming all the rage with its upcoming release, I have yet to meet a young kid who doesn't adore the design of these. The size is again perfect for small hands, and consistent with the Zoku Mini Molds has a little drip guard juuuuust in case your kid can't eat it quite fast enough. One may worry that the design would be lost when popping these popsicles out; thankfully, this has yet to be an issue thanks to the silicon mold used to make the fish pops.
Don't buy another box of popsicles before you hop on over to Pinterest to see just how many DIY popsicle recipes are waiting for you and your family. All you do is have to invest in a set of popsicle molds to make this summer the start to something sweet, refreshing, and oh-so-very cool.
How Does Your Family Keep Cool?
Which popsicle molds have become your family's favorite? Do you prefer the simplicity of ice cube tray pops, or has your family fell for one of the more elaborate quick molds on the market? I'd love to hear your insight in case we can find some of your faves as summer clear-out specials!