Who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot summer’s day? On second thought- I love it any time of the year, and I’m pretty sure my kids do too! I can remember the look of pure satisfaction when my daughter tasted the creamy goodness for the first time. Her face just beamed with joy! I figured this tasty treat would prove to be an excellent theme for sensory play. We love sensory exploration, as it encourages open ended play, imagination, and building vocabulary! This ice cream sensory bin was assembled using a few items from around the house, including some pretend toys. It would be perfect for pretend play at home or in the classroom!
FIND ALL OF OUR ICE CREAM ACTIVITIES IN OUR PRINTABLE LESSON PLANS
FOR HOME PRESCHOOL AND PRESCHOOL CLASSROOMS.
Materials for an Ice Cream Sensory Bin
- Medium Rubbermaid container
- White pom-poms and/or cotton balls
- Ice cream scoop (real or toy)-example toy set
- Small bowls
- Pretend “cones”
When introducing the ice cream sensory bin to my girls, I first showed them all of its contents. I used a combination of white pom poms and cotton balls for the ice cream filler. I grabbed a couple of small plastic bowls from our kitchen, some toy ice cream scoops and cones, and an assortment of sequins for the sprinkles. Of course, you have to have sprinkles! If you don’t have any pretend ice cream toys on hand, a regular ice cream scoop would work great. You could even make your own cones by creating a cone with heavy card stock paper.
We discussed our favorite flavors of ice cream and our preference for our ice cream in a bowl or cone. My oldest chimed in that she, “…especially loves sprinkles on top!” I then invited them to make their own “ice cream” into the bowls and ice cream cones.
Exploring and Playing
They immediately began scooping and pouring the “ice cream” into their cones and bowls. My toddler especially loved the feeling of the soft cotton balls and pom poms in her hands. She squealed in excitement as she filled her cone to the brim.
My oldest was mesmerized with the sparkly “sprinkles” and made it a point to make her ice cream extra colorful!
Lots of imaginative play ensued as they pretended to lick their cones and try to build the biggest bowl of ice cream!
I was thrilled to see this activity appeal to both of them and encourage cooperative play. This ice cream sensory bin proved to be perfect for little and bigger hands.
GET A FULL WEEK OF ICE CREAM THEME LEARNING AND PLAY
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:
1) Count the Sprinkles Activity Mats (4 color, 4 black and white)
2) Ice Cream Number Cards (1-40)
3) Favorite Ice Cream Whole Group Survey
4) Favorite Ice Cream Individual Tally Sheets
5) Ice Cream in a Bag Recipe
6) Hot and Cold Concept Sorting Mats and Game Pieces (full color and black and white versions)
7) Ice Cream Dice Game (full color and black and white versions)
8) Ice Cream Theme Word Cards
9) Ice Cream Cone Color Sorting Mats
10) Initial Sound Ice Cream Cone Building Activity (for sounds /c/, /m/ and /r/)
11) Uppercase and Lowercase Ice Cream and Ice Cream Cone Matching Game
12) Ice Cream Cone Shape Matching Game
GET YOUR LESSON PLANS
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