Ice Cream Activities for Toddlers that you have to try! + FREE printables pack!
Looks like we officially are in summer which means it’s time for some fun ice cream activities for toddlers.
Honestly there are so many amazing ice cream activities that are great for toddler development. We could spend a month just playing ice-cream related stuff.
Here are the ice cream activities we have done this week, that you have to try!
- Pretend play Ice Cream Parlor
- Ice cream playdough mats
- Eye Spy ice cream activity
- Ice cream color matching
- Sensory Bin Pom pom ice creams
- Cutting sprinkles
You can grab all these FREE printables here
Pretend Play Ice Cream Parlor
Pretend play is really necessary and beneficial for toddlers. It challenges their growing brains in terms of creativity, problem solving, empathy and so much more.
But here’s the truth- moving from
- your toddler always hanging on your pant leg every step you take
- or asking 110 times a day- “what are we going to do now mommy?”
To those magical moments where they are engrossed in pretend play is a bit tricky!
Learning how to play pretend actually happens in stages (like every aspect of early childhood development).
Some key ways we can support our toddlers through each of these stages of toddler pretend play development are :
- Play along: when your toddler hands you that ice-cream cone, make the “chomp chomp” sound and engage in the little world they are imagining
- Invitations to play: It can be really helpful if you have a play space set up already for your toddler. That’s where all those free printables come into play! That way there already is some established and prepared structure that they can play in.
- Model pretend play: Sometimes we step too far back in an attempt to give our toddlers freedom to play. An apprehensive toddler might find it hard to engage initially. You can start off by making them an ice cream to try. Or act silly like your ice cream melted and you need the ice cream man to make you a new one. Once your toddler is engaged, feel free to give them a bit of space.
Ice cream activity: Pretend play ice cream parlor
The night before I printed and set up the parlor. Apart from the printables I used:
- An egg box to hold the cones
- Ice cream cones, cups, tub and scoop
- Pom poms (that we had made before—-> See ice cream activity number 5 (below)
- Balloons blown to little circles
- Mini pom poms
Ice cream play dough mat activity
This was a fun ice cream activity that my toddlers could do while I got dinner ready.
- Print the mat and laminate it or put it inside a plastic sleeve.
There are a couple of ways to use this mat:
- Fill each ice cream scoop with a different color playdough
- Use plasticine to cover each scoop. This means breaking off small pieces of plasticine and squishing them over the page using one finger. So much amazing fine motor stuff in this ice cream activity! This is what we did.
- Build a 3D model using playdough to match the colors from activity 1.
Eye Spy Ice Cream Activity
This is a great activity for your toddler (probably 2 years and up) to do independently. I like to have activities like this in the car or with me if we are going to a restaurant.
The point is to find how many of each ice cream there are in the main picture.
Because the picture is busy and the ice creams are different sizes. This means that it really challenges different visual skills and concentration. Some really beneficial “work” for your toddler.
Grab the printable pack and print it out as a quiet toddler ice cream activity.
Ice cream color matching activity
Again you will need to print and laminate this or put it in a plastic sleeve. I used pre-cut adhesive velcro on each side for my toddler to be able to stick the ice creams down. If you don’t have velcro you could also use blu tack.
This was great for my 18 month old.
It was a little simple for my 3 year old. So I mixed it up by having him find the ice creams hidden around the house. I would give him clues like “Find the blue ice cream near a book about bears”. Or “Find the red ice cream under something big”.
Sensory Bin Pom pom Ice creams
Do you remember making pom poms as a kid? It was one of my grandmother’s go-to activities to keep us busy during the summer.
They are surprisingly quick and easy to make and playing with the wool was a sensory activity in and of itself.
Honestly I think playing with all my balls of wool and making these pom poms was both my kids favorite part of the activity.
The sensory bin is made up of:
- The pom poms we made
- Some old rainbow rice (sprinkles)
- Cones and scoops
- Any other spoons, pouring utensils you have lying around
Ice Cream Balloon Swingball and Scissor Skills Activity
Scissor skills are such an important fine motor skill. We try to include scissor activities regularly. Cutting these sprinkles is a great activity even for a 2 year old. Remember to always supervise scissor activities closely.
What you need is
- Multi colored cardstock cut into long strips ( the thickness of the strip depends on the level of scissor skills- as a rule of thumb- 1 inch wide for 2 year olds, 2 inches wide for 3 year olds and up)
- Draw lines on the cardstock to show where your toddler should cut (for 2 year olds make the line thick so they have some room for error). This is great for working on pre writing shapes and toddler drawing skills
- Let your toddler cut the strips.
- Stuff the strips into a balloon and some glitter if you want
- Blow up the balloon
- Tie the balloon onto a long string or yarn
- Roll the cone and attach it with sellotape to the bottom of the balloon
- Tie it onto a tree or tape the end of the string to the ceiling
- Let your kids jump and hit the balloon and enjoy watching the sprinkles that they cut and the glitter bounce around inside.
This is a great indoor or outdoor activity to practice jumping and burn off some of that toddler energy.
- Ice Cream activities are super fun for toddlers
- You can find all the printables I used HERE for free.