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I tried this bestselling snow cone maker — and my kids loved it

This small, easy-to-use device is perfect for parties and entertaining the neighborhood kids.
/ Source: TODAY

With kids in middle and high school, summer in my house is a welcome respite from the rigors of the school year. The stress of grades is behind us and suddenly we don't have to be in multiple places at set times every day.

The weather has finally turned warm in Indiana (and in fact usually gets hot FAST) and as almost everyone can attest, summer just has a relaxing "feel."

Everyone in my house loves a cold treat in the summer, and when I saw this affordable snow cone maker on Amazon, it seemed like a fun addition to our house as a hot afternoon summer snack.

Boy, was I right! My kids loved it, and soon everyone wanted to come to our house to make snow cones.

Nostalgia Vintage Snow Cone Maker, $30, Amazon

This No. 1 new release in the "shaved ice machine" category is a simple way to easily make snow cones at home.

It's easy to use

The Nostalgia Vintage Snow Cone Maker, which also happens to be Amazon's bestselling shaved ice machine, fits easily on a counter. I like the retro design because it looks like a cart with wheels (though the wheels don't actually work — they're just for show).

It's simple to put together and even more simple to operate. Simply put ice cubes into the top feeder, put on the lid, then twist the lid (like a food processor) until all the ice is shaved. It was easy enough for my 11-year-old son to operate when he was approved to eat a snow cone. (If I didn't have an approval system in place, he would have eaten 10 a day!)

It definitely yields a good quantity of shaved ice. The machine can hold enough at once to make 20 snow cones in case you're hosting a party.

Nostalgia Snow Cone Maker
Lyn Mettler

It doesn't include syrup

The kit comes with a scoop to remove the ice, two washable plastic snow cone holders and a tray to set them in, which attaches to the side of the appliance. It does not, however, come with the syrup to pour over the ice to flavor the snow cones.

So, I purchased the Hawaiian Shaved Ice 3 Flavor Fun Pack for $21, which also had more than 1,000 reviews. It comes with three syrups — blue raspberry, grape and cherry — as well as 25 spoon straws, 25 paper snow cone cups and stoppers/pourers for the bottles.

Hawaiian Ice Snow Cone Kit
Lyn Mettler

If you want to get everything in one fell swoop, Nostalgia also offers a "bundle pack" for $48, which comes with three syrups, 20 straws and 20 snow cone cups.

But you don't need to buy one of the premade packs to enjoy a good snow cone — some reviewers even said they make their own syrup using sugar and Kool-Aid.

There were a few small hiccups

We ran into a few issues using the machine, but came up with some easy solutions.

Every now and then an ice cube gets stuck in the shaver, so an adult will need to remove it as there are razor blades inside. There's also a safety mechanism to ensure the machine doesn't turn on with your hand inside.

Also, The remaining ice in the appliance melts when you're done and is a little difficult to pour out because of how it's shaped. I pour out what I can and then wipe it with a towel and leave the door open to let it completely dry.

Nostalgia Snow Cone Maker
Lyn Mettler

Still, you can use it to make anything from Coca-Cola slushies to frozen adult beverages. At the end of the day, it's just a really fun gadget to have around!

For more fun summer recommendations, check out:

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