Inside: How to use ice pop molds to make blueberry Greek yogurt freeze pops inspired by the adventures of Percy Jackson & the Olympians in the “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan, our top choice for middle-grader summer reading.
This post has been sponsored by Disney Book Group. All opinions are 100% mine.
My son Matthew is starting middle school in the fall. We left our first meeting with the middle school teachers with a long list of summer tasks in hand. At the top of the list: reading.
Luckily, we just picked up the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan, first published in 2005. My son's super excited about reading the series all summer long, starting with The Lightning Thief.
Why summer reading is so important
I was shocked to learn that the “summer slide” is responsible for student learning loss between grades. Students can lose 1-2 months of reading skills while school's out for summer!
How to prevent “summer slide” … and get your kids to read
According to the Colorado Department of Education, students who read 2-3 hours per week during the summer prevented summer slide.
The key is making reading fun for your kids by making it part of the summer vacation experience.
5 ways to make summer reading fun for your kids:
- Read on summer trips and vacations
- Join a subscription service or book club
- Visit the library or book stores regularly
- Let the kids choose their own books
- Introduce your child to a popular book series, like Percy Jackson & the Olympians
Aboard a cruise ship, at the beach, on a plane, or in the car, it's the perfect setting to put down the electronics and grab a book this summer.
At the top of his reading list, my son plans to read the entire Percy Jackson & the Olympians series during a one-month cross country road trip.
Why Percy Jackson & the Olympians is at the top of our summer reading list
Matthew's class read The Lightning Thief at the beginning of 6th grade and he's been eager to finish the series.
Each book in the series focuses on a different adventure in a different setting, exposing your child to various locations and storylines in a relatable way, while introducing them to classical Greek mythology.
As a travel bug, my son really loves learning about new places to visit. He's been asking to visit New York City and St. Louis since reading about these places in The Lightning Thief.
The contemporary locations give kids a frame of reference for the Greek mythology themes throughout the series.
What is the order of the Percy Jackson books?
The 5-book series has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 500 weeks:
- The Lightning Thief
- The Sea of Monsters
- The Titan's Curse
- The Battle of the Labyrinth
- The Last Olympian
All of the books are now available in a boxed set, including a bonus poster with art by John Rocco.
What is the best age to read Percy Jackson books?
Tweens are the perfect age to start reading The Lightning Thief. According to the education specialist at the Getty, kids can start reading the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series as young as 8 years old.
As an adult, I found the books compelling and entertaining.
Once you've picked up the Percy Jackson & the Olympians box set, encourage summer reading by bringing books to life with recipes inspired by the characters, like these blueberry Greek Yogurt pops.
How to make how frozen Greek yogurt pops
Cool off with a creamy fruity ice pop while reading your favorite books from Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Inspired by The Lightning Thief, my son and I created these blueberry freeze pops using Greek yogurt.
Greek references in Percy Jackson & the Olympians
We used Greek yogurt in this ice pop recipe as a nod to the Greek mythology references throughout the entire Percy Jackson series.
Tie reading to real-life by using other Greek ingredients, like feta cheese, in recipes with your kids.
Blueberries and blue foods are regularly referenced in the books of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.
Blue is Percy's favorite color.
Percy's mom makes blue cakes and brings home blue candy in a rebellious effort to prove character Gabe Ugliano wrong when he states that there is no such thing as blue food or drink.
Annabeth, one of Percy's friends, hates blueberries but has tall blueberry bushes in her family's backyard. In fact, her father tasked her with picking the blueberries as one of her chores!
Try this red, white, and blueberry oatmeal recipe for a tasty summer breakfast.
Before we dive into making frozen ice pops, we need to choose a mold.
Which Frozen Ice Pop Molds are the Best?
My son's obsession with ice pops started a few years ago, with his first recipe for “banana pops”, a blend of coconut water and ripe bananas frozen in a shaped-pop mold.
Every time he sees a new mold design, he has to have it. His ice pop molds collection has taken over an entire shelf in my kitchen cabinets!
Hundreds of frozen concoctions later, we've learned a few important things about how to make ice pops. And it all starts with choosing the best molds.
Wait, there are different types of ice pop molds?
You betcha! The sticky messes I've had to clean off the freezer bottom are proof-positive that the ice pop molds you choose make all the difference.
There are 3 types of ice pop molds:
- Hard Side Molds
- Stick-free Molds
Drawbacks of hard side molds
I remember using hard side molds as a kid. You had to either run the mold under warm water to free the pop from the mold or wait for it to melt away from the hard sides before you could eat the freeze pop. Kids don't want to wait!
Stick-free molds are for little kids
Toddlers and preschoolers are the perfect age for stick-free ice pops because they can eat the pop right out of the mold. The mold serves as the handle to hold onto the frozen treat while the kids eat.
As you can imagine, this scene can get bit messy, which is loads of fun for summer with littles!
But I have a middle-schooler. He doesn't want to be seen with a messy stick-free ice pop! Stick-free molds are like drinking from a sippy cup. Moms of tweens and teens, you know what I mean.
Stick-free molds are messy, as they are easy to overfill and spill when tilted in the freezer.
Why our favorite type of ice pop molds are silicone …
After making hundreds of ice pops, we've figured out that silicone pop molds work the best. Here's why:
Silicone ice pop molds are easy to clean
Peel the silicone molds from the ice pop and rinse with warm water. If you really want to get into all the nooks and crannies, turn the mold inside out to wash.
Air dry by laying the molds out on a soft towel.
After eating, place the empty handles in the silverware rack of your dishwasher to clean.
Easy to open to access the frozen ice pops
Removing ice pops from hard side molds is challenging and time-consuming. To remove an ice pop from a silicone mold, simply peel the mold away from the ice pop; no defrosting necessary.
Shapes – silicone molds come in the best fun shapes!
Easy-to-pop-open silicone molds are available in lots of different shapes and sizes. Because the silicone easily peels away from the frozen pop, the design possibilities are endless!
For this recipe we chose a monster-shaped ice pop mold as a callback to the monsters featured throughout the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.
Love smoothies? Check out these fun smoothie bowls with faces the kids can make out of fruit and nuts.
Blueberry Greek Yogurt Pops Recipe
Your kids are gonna love making these easy blueberry Greek yogurt pops this summer.
You'll need 4 ingredients to create these tasty ice pops:
- fresh blueberries
- vanilla extract
- plain Greek yogurt
Choose an ice pop mold set that makes 6 ice pops. If you have a set of 4, like we used, you may need a second set of molds to use the rest of the mixture.
Or you could let your kid eat the extra filling … which is what my son Matthew did!
1. Add blueberries, honey, and vanilla to a food processor.
2. Blend until slightly chunky.
3. Mix the blueberry mixture with the Greek yogurt. For a swirled effect, do not mix completely.
4. Spoon the filling into the ice pop molds.
5. Add the sticks to the ice pop molds.
6. Carefully place the molds into the freezer. Allow to freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.
7. Peel the silicone mold away from the ice pop before eating.Print
Easy Blueberry Greek Yogurt Pops
Refreshing blueberry Greek yogurt pops even the kids can make! Inspired by Percy Jackson & the Olympians, these ice pops are a delicious summer treat to enjoy while reading “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 5 mins
- Yield: 6 ice pops 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Frozen
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup of plain Greek Yogurt
- 8 oz ripe fresh blueberries
- 1 TBSP of honey
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- Blend the blueberries, honey, and vanilla in a food processor or blender until chunky. (Do not blend smooth like a smoothie).
- Stir the blueberry mix into the Greek yogurt. For a swirl effect, do not blend completely.
- Spoon the yogurt mix into ice pop molds. Freeze for at least 2 hours or until set.
- Peel away the silicone mold when ready to eat.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 65
- Sugar: 8.4
- Sodium: 22
- Fat: .1
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 10.1
- Fiber: .9
- Protein: 6.5
- Cholesterol: 1
Keywords: Blueberry, Yogurt, Ice Pop, Dessert
If your kids love blender recipes, check out these fun Palm Springs inspired freak shakes you can make!
Get ready to read this summer!
Skip the summer slide and beat the heat with these easy to make Greek yogurt pops your kids can enjoy while reading Percy Jackson & the Olympians.
Here's what you'll need:
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians box set
- Ice pops mold
- Blueberries, honey, vanilla extract, and Greek yogurt
Find out more about Percy Jackson & the Olympians at ReadRiordan.com
To help you introduce your kids to Greek mythology through the Percy Jackson series, we're having a giveaway*!
Use the handy widget below to enter to win this entire Percy Jackson & the Olympians series box set!
* Open to U.S. addresses only. Prizing provided by Disney Book Group.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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