Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sensory Play: "Ice Cream" Shop

We've done noodles, slime, water, flour as snow, baking soda as snow, and now.....flour as ice cream! Friday was a gorgeous day outside, so I was able to do this rather messy sensory activity on the patio. Otherwise I would have been cleaning up for days if we had to do it indoors! This kept the kids busy ALL day long (minus the time for snacks, lunch, and naps) and was definitely worth all of the actual ice cream we had to eat in the last 3 months.

Want to create your own "Ice Cream" Shop? Here's what you'll need to get started:

Empty ice cream containers
We're not huge ice cream eaters, so it took us awhile to save these up (notice I did manage to remember to save a yogurt container too). I cleaned them out with soap and water, but since they're cardboard I couldn't soak them for as long as I would have liked.

Ice cream scoops
I found the colorful scoops at Wal-Mart for .99 cents a piece (the shiny one can be found at Wal-Mart too, but I grabbed that one from our spoon drawer). Since we don't need that many ice cream scoops, I will probably stick these in the sand box for playing.

Flour (2 bags) and Vegetable oil

Buy the cheapest flour and vegetable oil in the baking aisle of any store. Mix them together (1/2 cup of vegetable oil to every 4 cups of flour) and the result is a soft, easy to clean, moldable, and super fun to play with.

I used pom poms (found at Wal-Mart or Dollar Tree), glitter (I bought a 4 pack for a $1 at Dollar Tree), and sparkly gems (found at Dollar Tree in the craft section). The kids had a blast putting these on their "ice cream cones" or mixing it into the "ice cream" and making it "bubble gum ice cream."

Thank you to the Dairy Queen on Hickman for their donation of spoons.

Misc. accessories
For this, I hit up our toys in the playroom. I pulled out the Lego ice cream set and pulled out the ice cream cones in the play food. Because we had these items already on hand, it made this sensory activity super cheap to put together. If you want to purchase play ice cream sets to go along with this sensory activity, Melissa and Dough makes a set: or Fisher Price makes one too:

I set everything up on the patio and let the kids play however they wanted. These were the results:

Of course it was one of my children that had to try it to make sure it wasn't really ice cream. She took several bites before sticking her tongue out and announcing "no ice cream!"

The mess. Thank god this was done outside!:

The best topper to the kid's ice cream shop play was when my kid's grandparent's brought all of the kids milkshakes for an afternoon snack. The perfectly delicious treat went right along with their day of ice cream play.

The next activity that I'm busy getting ready: an outdoor farmer's market in the backyard, complete with sensory snacks of all of the fruits and veggies they'll be playing with.