Preface: This post is about ice-pops, which I refer to as popsicles. Popsicle is actually a specific brand, but is commonly used to mean all ice-pops, similar to how "Kleenex" is used as a generic reference for all facial tissues.
A child’s first exposure to popsicles can be a wonderful one, or a terrifying one. There are lots of factors of an experience with popsicles. One aspect of a popsicle that can be both horrifying or exciting is the cold. For a child, who has never had a popsicle before, there might be a temptation to bite the popsicle. However, many of us more experienced popsiclers know that this can lead to extremely cold and sensitive teeth, which can even be painful. In addition to this, if the roof of our mouths gets too cold, we can even get brain freezes. However, once we gain experience with popsicles, learning what causes us discomfort (which is different for each person – a person with less sensitive teeth may be able to comfortably bite a popsicle), we can learn to enjoy them, and revel in the frozen deliciousness that soothes the heat of the summer.
Popsicles come in many styles and flavors, but not all are created equal. There is a particular variety of popsicles that are my favorite, that don’t have a proper name (at least that I am aware of), but most people call them “flavor ices” when trying to differentiate them from more traditional popsicles. These come in a plastic tube which requires a cut at the top to eat, and then one simply pushes the ice up the plastic tube slowly consuming the popsicle. They usually come in boxes with a variety of flavors and are extremely cheap. Because of the method of packaging, these can be stored at room temperature, melted, and put into the freezer a few hours before consuming.
More traditional popsicles are frozen juice, sometimes, but more commonly just flavored sugar water, like kool-aid. These have some sort of holder, sometimes plastic, but more commonly a short, flat, rounded piece of wood that has become known as a “popsicle sticks.”
A third variety is the “push-pop,” which has a hard outer tube, filled with (generally) a creamier frozen popsicle flavoring. These have a hard plastic base and stick used to push the popsicle up the tube for consumption. I have never been a fan of these, as the creaminess deters me.
Popsicles are a fun treat for kids and adults to eat, especially in hot weather. In addition to eating them, kids can have fun making popsicles at home. Many stores carry popsicle making kits, which include a plastic tray that resembles a deeper ice cube tray, and some of which have a plastic stick that protrudes into the flavoring to become a holder once the flavoring is frozen. These kits can be simulated by using an ice cube tray, saran wrap, and tooth picks (generally all found around the house). Simply fill the ice trays with kool-aid or juice, cover the ice tray with saran wrap, and poke a toothpick through each one in the center. Be careful not to move the toothpick around too much, as this will loosen the whole in the saran wrap, and the toothpick will not stay upright to make a good holder for the popsicle. This method should not be used for small children, as they can hurt themselves with the toothpicks.