Ice Cream Sensory and Pretend Play for Kids

With July being National Ice Cream Month we couldn’t think of a better excuse to set up an Ice Cream play activity. It gave us the opportunity to experiment with a variety of pretend ice cream mixtures whilst focusing on developing my three year olds fine motor skills.

Ice cream sensory and pretend play for kids



Ice Cream Sensory and Pretend Play for Kids


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For our Ice cream play we created (clockwise):


* Frozen shaving foam ice cream – I mixed brown, yellow and pink paint into shaving foam and placed it into the freezer for a couple of hours. The frozen shaving foam feels exactly like ice cream and melts too.


* Ice cream cones – I cut out cone shapes from an old egg box and used additional egg boxes to hold the ice cream cones in place.


* Icing sugar ice cream – in a green container I created three coloured ice cream toppings by mixing blue, green and purple  Wilton Set of 8 Icing Colors into Dr. Oetker Ready to Roll Regal Ice Icing White (454g).


* Ice cream play dough – I made brown, red and yellow homemade playdough to represent Neapolitan ice cream


* Ice cream toppings – I mixed blue, green, orange and purple paint into out of date desiccated coconut. I left one container of plain desiccated coconut and added Love Heart sweets.


* I squirted shaving foam into four clear triangle plastic bags and placed them in the freezer. Just before they were used I cut the end off of the bag.


* I used two condiment bottles to store liquid ice cream toppings. One contained chocolate flavoured water and the other stored watered down red paint


I also left put a variety of plastic tubs and cups, ice cream scoops, formula scoops and an Ikea 10-piece toy ice cream set(can get in this set-Big Durable Beach Sand Toy Set for Kids – 15 Pieces with Bucket, Scoops, Molds and Shovels).

All of the items were place on our blue Tuff Spot (similar to a Step2 Naturally Playful Sand Table). I reminded Adam several times during play that no items on the Tuff Spot were edible. The frozen shaving foam neapolitan ice cream looked particularly realistic.


Ice Cream Play Tuff Spot

Adam got stuck into creating his pretend ice creams immediately . He loved squirting the frozen shaving foam out of the triangle bags into the plastic cups.

Adam preferred to create huge tubs of pretend ice cream and spent ages decorating each one with the various ice cream toppings.

Toddler fine motor skill play

After working on a large scale Adam put his attention to using the small formula scoops to create several small ice cream cones. I encouraged him to add as many different types of ice cream as possible and he rose to the challenge.

Pretend ice cream cone

The pretend ice cream play activity was certainly a hit with Adam and he certainly worked on his fine motor skills development.

During a difficult pregnancy suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Emma vowed to make every day an adventure once she had recovered. Adventures of Adam is the outcome of completing a 100 day play challenge with her toddler as part of that promise. Emma has a section dedicated to HG friendly play activities so that Mums can still be part of their children’s play whilst they are ill.

Follow Emma on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.



This is part of Awesome Summer Activities for Kids Series:

Color Mixing with Ice Cubes and Water

Science Experiments Water Displacement

7 Ways to Enjoy Science Outdoors

cardboard box tiny town

Shark Run Game for Kids

My Little Washing Station

awesome summer activities for kids

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