Summer wouldn’t be Summer without ice cream. July also happens to be National Ice Cream Day so what better way then to celebrate with an Ice Cream Tuff Spot.
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Our blue Tuff Spot was the perfect place to hold our Ice Cream Parlour as it contained any mess we made. It was also a great height for Adam to be able to reach everything independently. We used a range of non-edible materials to create three varieties of ice cream. Here is how we made a variety of different types of pretend ice cream.
How to make pretend ice cream for sensory play
* Frozen shaving foam ice cream – I squirted shaving foam (cheap supermarket economy works best) into three Ziploc bags. I then added brown, yellow and pink paint into each bag. After mixing the paint and shaving foam together I placed the three bags into the freezer for a couple of hours. I then emptied the bags into a blue container. We had plenty of Frozen shaving foam ice cream left over so I cut one corner off of the bag in order for Adam to be able to squeeze the foam out. I placed the bags in colourful plant pots until they were ready to be played with. The frozen shaving foam feels exactly like ice cream and melts too.
* Icing sugar ice cream – I took a pack of Ready To Roll Icing and placed it green container (from Ikea). I divided the icing into three sections and mixed in Wilton Icing Colors so I had blue, green and purple ice cream.
* Ice cream play dough – I made brown, red and yellow homemade playdough to represent Neapolitan ice cream. As always we followed our favourite play dough recipe from Imagination Tree.
How to make pretend ice cream toppings for sensory play
I created two types of different ice cream toppings. First I mixed blue, green, orange and purple paint into out of date desiccated coconut. These would be used to sprinkle on top of the ice cream. I left one container of plain desiccated coconut and added Love Heart sweets.
For the other type of ice cream toppings I used two condiment bottles to store liquid ice cream toppings. One contained chocolate flavoured water and the other stored watered down red paint.
Additional resources in the Ice cream Tuff Spot
I wanted Adam to be able to make several ice cream cones. However, we only had 3 cones as part of our Ikea 10-piece toy ice cream set. So I made our own by cutting out cone shapes from using a recycled egg box. I also used an additional egg box to hold the ice cream cones in place. On the tuff spot I also left a variety of plastic tubs and cups, ice cream scoops, Paper Cocktail Umbrellas and formula scoops.
How to play with the Ice cream Tuff Spot
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.
Adam got stuck into creating his pretend ice creams immediately . He loved squirting the frozen shaving foam out of the 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.
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.
The activity was great for developing Adam’s pretend play, decision making skills and reinforcing his fine motor development.
The pretend ice cream play activity was certainly a hit with Adam and he certainly worked on his fine motor skills development. Adam had such a wonderful time sprinkling the coloured coconut on top of his ice creams that I decided to extend the coconut play. Check out our Kandinsky Inspired Sensory Bin over on B-Inspired Mama and our Coconut Sensory Bin.
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