I kind of can’t believe it but we just wrapped up our FINAL week of tot school with a fun ice cream theme! I’ve had so much fun coming up with and sharing 30+ weeks worth of ideas, activities and fun with you all since September.
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So where do we go from here? I don’t know about you but my summer calendar is already PACKED with classes, story times, pool dates, and dance recitals so we are going to take a break from our regularly scheduled tot school activities. But don’t you worry I’m not going anywhere 😉
For the next 10 weeks, We will be using one sensory bin for the entire week and finding new ways to play each day. Miss Madelynn is now 3 1/2 and Aubrey just turned 1 (and she is SOOO ready to get in on the fun,) so my challenge is going to be finding materials that M is super excited about that A can safely play with too (i.e. no choking hazards and all taste safe.) I can’t wait to share lots of ways to explore our Sensory Summer Bins.
For now let’s get into all the ice cream themed fun we had over the last week!
Here were our plans for Ice Cream week:
And here are the details of each activity:
Our favorite Ice Cream books for the week were:
Five Little Monkeys Jump in the Bath By Eileen Christelow
Izzy the Ice Cream Fairy By Tim Bugbird
Splat the Cat: I Scream for Ice Cream By Rob Scotton
Ice Cream: The Full Scoop By Gail Gibbons
The Ice Cream King By Steve Metzger
Ice Cream Writing Tray:
Last week’s sand writing tray was a big hit, so this week I changed it up to match our ice cream theme by filling the tray with sprinkles and adding some ice cream scoop letter cards. We used our finger but I thought it would also be fun to use a sugar cone for writing if you have one with a point at the bottom!
Ice Cream Counting:
I whipped up some simple counting cards for this activity with the numbers 1-10 on each cone. Then I gave Madelynn a tub of cut up straw “sprinkles” and a pair of fine motor tweezers. Then she practiced counting out the correct number of sprinkles for each cone.
Puffy Paint Ice Cream:
To prep this activity I cut out a triangle for the cone from construction paper. Then I mixed up 2 batches of shaving cream puffy paint by mixing equal parts shaving cream and white glue. I left one batch white, and dyed the other batch pink with a few drops of liquid watercolors. Then Madelynn painted her two ice cream scoops and added some real sprinkles while the paint was still wet.
Ice Cream Stamping:
Did you know dot stampers make the perfect ice cream scoops? For this little project I cut out tiny triangle cones from construction paper, then Madelynn stamped scoops, scoops, and more scoops on top of each cone.
Ice Cream Felt Board:
It’s been a while since I made a new felt set so our ice cream theme gave me the perfect inspiration to get some more use out of out felt board. I first cut out a bunch of brown triangles for cones. Next I cut scoop shapes from cream, pink, brown, and light blue felt. Then I cut small cherry pieces from red felt. Finally, I used the scraps of felt I had left to cut small rectangles for sprinkles. Madelynn loved setting up and playing with her own little ice cream shop!
Ice Cream in a Bag:
Have you ever made ice cream in a bag? We tried it for the first time and I was SHOCKED at how easy and delicious it was! I have a feeling we’ll be doing this lots this summer. This was also a great way to combine our gross motor and snack activities into one!
Here is the recipe: 1. Mix 3 cups crushed ice and 1/3 cup salt in a gallon freezer bag. 2. Mix 1/2 cup whole milk, 1/4 tsp vanilla, and 1 Tbsp sugar in sandwich bag. 3. Drop the small bag inside the large bag and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE! **Wear gloves the bag will get really cold ** 4. After about 5 minutes take the small bag out and enjoy, yum!
Catch the Scoops:
For this gross motor game, I created a cone from a large sheet of brown construction paper. Then I tossed ball pit balls into the air for Madelynn to catch.
Ice Cream Relay:
For this game I set up 2 bins on either side of the yard. On one end I filled the bin with ball pit ball “ice cream scoops” and toy ice cream cones. Then Madelynn tried to balance each ball on a cone and carry it to the other bin.
Ice Cream Cone Toss:
To prep this carnival style game, I hot glued 6 cake cones into an empty cardboard box. Madelynn tossed ping pong balls into the box trying to make one in each cone.
Ice Cream Hunt:
Madelynn loves these themed scavenger hunts, so for our last week I printed ice cream scoops with the numbers 1-15 and hid them around the house. She searched high and low for all of her ice cream scoops. Then she used the recording sheet and a clipboard to match and color each number as she found them.
Ice Cream Theme Snacks:
Waffle Ice Cream – Cut a waffle into a cone shape. Use a can of whipped cream to make a large dollop on top for ice cream. Dip the waffle into the whipped cream and enjoy!
Ice Cream Cake Cones – Stand cake cones up in a cupcake tin. Make your favorite cake batter (I used a box of Funfetti). Pour the batter into each of the cake cones. Bake as directed. Cool and ice each cone.
Frozen Strawberry Banana Ice Cream – Peel and freeze 4 bananas and 1 lb of strawberries. Place frozen fruit into a food processor and blend. Serve immediately or place in the freezer to set for a few minutes.
Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich – Scoop vanilla ice cream onto one graham cracker. Place another graham cracker on top and squish together. Roll the sides in sprinkles.
Ice Cream Scoop Sensory Bin:
In this sensory bin: Cotton balls, toy ice cream cones, scoops, spoons, and bowls
Ice Cream Sundae Sensory Bin:
In this sensory bin: Cotton balls, red pom poms, rainbow rice sprinkles, toy ice cream scoops, spoons, and bowls
Ice Cream Play Dough Sensory Bin:
In this sensory bin: Funfetti playdough, buckets, sand toy ice cream set This ice cream play dough is seriously amazing. It smells delicious and actually scoops like real ice cream! Best of all it is taste safe so even your littlest kiddos can play without any worry.
Here’s the super simple recipe:
-1 cup funfetti frosting (white or colored) -About 3 cups powdered sugar 1. Mix in a stand mixer, adding powdered sugar gradually. 2. Add a bit more or less sugar until your dough isn’t sticky.
That’s it! I used the pre-colored pink frosting for our “strawberry” so I didn’t have to mess with food coloring. So easy!
Ice Cream Scooping Sensory Bin:
Ice Cream Cloud Dough:
In this bin: Cloud dough (8 cups flour & 1 cup vegetable oil mixed together), sand toy ice cream set
And that’s a wrap for Tot School 2016-2017! Stay tuned for our Sensory Summer Play Ideas.
Then check out the rest of our 35+ themes on the Tot School Curriculum Main Page.
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