Who doesn’t love ice cream? And why should it only be seen as a “Summertime” treat? I guess we must have be dreaming about summer this week when I created this PomPom Ice Cream Shoppe Sensory Bin for Onetime (my 2.5 year old son).
This bin let Onetime explore different textures (pompoms and rice) while also practising his scooping, pouring, and dumping fine-motor skills. It also lends itself well to imaginative play as you’ll see – which my son LOVES!
AND, I created an Ice Cream Shoppe Menu FREE printable to go along with the bin that can be used to practise counting to 5 and colour matching.
- At least 30 large pompoms of various colours (2″ ones are the best and look most like scoops of ice cream!)
OR a variety of colours of tissue paper crumpled into balls
- Small red pompoms for cherries (optional)
- Paper treat containers or plastic sundae dishes
- Plastic ice-cream cones (ours are GOWI brand) or water-cooler paper cone cups
- A large plastic scoop and/or an ice cream scoop
- Plastic spoons or ice-cream treat sticks
- Coloured rice for “sprinkles” (see this post for our easy recipe for making this beautiful multi-coloured rice!)
- A small container for the “sprinkles” or even better a shaker!
- White shredded paper for whipped cream (optional)
- Our FREE Ice Cream Shoppe Printable Menu
One of the first things you can decide is if you want this to be more of a Sensory activity, or a Pretend Play activity. The bin above is set up more for pretend play – like an Ice Cream Shoppe sundae station.
If you have a toddler, or just a child who likes more open-ended play activities, then present the materials like this…
The first thing he went for in the bin was the sprinkles shaker! So much fun to shake and pour into treat containers!
While we were playing, we chatted a lot about different flavours of ice cream and Onetime decided to make a special sundae for Daddy and me. He made sure there were lots of sprinkles for Dad, whipped cream for me, and even a cherry on top!
After lots of time just playing, I brought out the Ice Cream Shoppe Menu. I showed it to Onetime and talked with him about what a menu is, and what the numbers and dollar signs mean.
Then I asked him if he could match the colours of ice-cream on the menu with our pompom ice creams. He enjoyed this and we had fun labelling the different coloured pompoms with fun flavour names like, “Green Chocolate!” and “Fuzzy Blueberry!”
Our PomPom Sensory Ice Cream Shoppe was a hands-down success. Onetime had a great time pretending and it was satisfying for me to see him extending his language and math skills in a fun and creative way!
Hope you give this a try with your little one or ones. If you do – I’d love to hear about how it went! Please leave a comment.
Also, if you’re looking for more fun Math activities for your child, be sure to FOLLOW our Pinterest board at:
Follow One Time Through’s board Mathematical Kids on Pinterest.
And if you don’t want to miss out on any more of the fun we have here at One Time Through, sign up for our NEWSLETTER today. You’ll receive notifications by e-mail of new posts and you’ll also receive access to your exclusive FREE copy of all our newest printables!